They have been difficult, these days. I have tried to remain calm & composed, maintain an impassively happy face in front of everybody, my family, my friends and even myself. But something inside still burns and hurts even though I think that I have stopped caring. There’s something that still lingers around and surfaces whenever I am alone, or in a group, when I am happy and when I am sad. It always comes around, leading me into isolation even though I am amidst a crowd. I find myself burning with hot fever, a fever never seen on the outside but slowly increasing as the time goes by, and waiting to strike when it gains strength enough to burn me down with a single flame. As I said, something still burns in the deepest corners of my heart and mind, my soul. Love.
Realizing these horrid and terrifying emotions I run. I run to escape the cruel thoughts that are blasting my mind. I look around myself and realize that before the guerrilla attack my mind was lost in the beautiful ladies clothing before me. I was in a Pantaloons store, walking unknown to my mind, and going wherever my legs carried me. And lo! I wake up to find myself in the ladies section. The scent of delicious perfumes in unmistakable. I turn around to find rows and columns of Bvlgari, Lacoste and what not brands lined up for the display. I turn around again to find myself staring at a fantastic top. Just like the one I had gifted her.
I realise the fever reaching my earlobes. I touch them, they are burning. I run my hands over my neck, they are warm. I think it’s best to get out. I get out of the store to find that I am in a mall. I see a barista in front of me and I run into it, literally. The feelings are getting stronger by the second. I can see her, I can see her smile, her short hair covering her goddess like face, I can see her eyes blinking at me, those dark brown eyes which said so much and never spoke a word. I can see…
It’s time I get a hold of myself. I sit alone on a table for two and ask the waitress to bring me some tissue paper. She obliges in no time and I am off to writing this crap you are reading.
Meanwhile, I touch my earlobes again. They aren’t hot anymore, but warm. The extra blood is still circulating, but it will cool down I think. I think of ordering a cappuccino, I never do that. I don’t like hot coffee much. In fact, I don’t like coffee much; I just prefer it over tea. But hey, hey… I am in a coffee shop. So I look through the menu. I finally order a Grande latte topped with whipped cream along with a butter croissant. The order arrives within a minute and the smell of butter fills my nostrils with great expectations. The latte too looks promising. I take a sip of it, it’s good. It’s good even though I don’t like coffee. In fact, I never liked coffee. She did.
I smell the drink, its intoxicatingly bitter and it reminds me of her. It reminds me of a line of the book I am currently reading.
“The scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.”
– Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I guess I can replace the almonds with coffee. No, I can replace them with clothes, or songs, or cakes, dancing, beautiful girls, couples… oh fucking damn it, I can replace it with life.
The scent of life always reminds me of HER.
I draw a heavy breath. I can’t write anymore. I can’t even fucking write anymore. The drug that has always made me calm as I pour out myself on the paper is also contaminated with her. I reflect why? Why is she here? Why is she in my writings? I know the answer; it comes to me in a flash. She was the reason I started to write. She was the inspiration, she was the aspiration, she was the fucking destination of my writing. Everything I wrote, I wrote with her in my mind. And so she is there, still there when I write. Always.
It’s raining heavily outside. I can see the glistening roads from the glass front cover the mall. I look at the people who are hurrying in in groups, and those who are just standing in groups outside, waiting for the rain to stop. I turn towards the inside of the mall and I can see the few empty two-seaters of Barista, few tables occupied by families and some with couples, and some couples outside the cafe roaming the mall. Everyone is with someone. If they are not, they are buying something for somebody. No one is alone except me, and the empty chair opposite to me.
I sit alone at my table, smiling now to myself. I don’t know the reason for my smile. I think it’s a sad smile. Perhaps, it’s just another involuntary cover I have to protect my true self from the world. I have no idea why, but I don’t care anymore. I know that writing is the weapon which will penetrate through all my protections. It will cross them; it will lead me to freedom – freedom which will finally grant me happiness and joy. I’ll be happy again, and I will sing again, good songs, happy songs. Another smile sprouts on my lips. I think it’s a happy smile.
I am watching the empty glass in front of me. The cold coffee was good. I like cream a lot and it was certainly up to my expectations. There is a small piece of the croissant left in my plate. I guess I’ll finish it and pay the bill. I am calmer now. The thunderous roar of love has, if not died, subsided for now. And I guess it’s safe to leave the café now, mix with the crowd. Maybe I will go out into the rain, get wet. But I know, something still burns inside, and it’s just a matter of time before it grows strong enough to burn me down.
Something still burns inside. Love.