I was sitting next to him, on the floor- the platform between the stairs and the door that opened to the terrace.
arms- wrapped around crossed legs as if such body language would cross out the feelings within.. fingers- clasping, only to unclasp again.. heart- fluttering and flapping only to remember that it had been advised uncompromising bed rest.. after all, injuries from the last flight hadn’t yet healed.. hair- doing a perfect job of hiding unsolicited blushes.. mind- repeatedly telling me to get away from him
Experience taught me I should start listening to my mind and so, I stood up.
I said that I was going… he told me to wait… he stood up… he took a step towards me.. coming closer….
As much as I would love to say that his scent filled my lungs with dandelions, I’d be lying.
All that filled me was raw fear. I was petrified. I had spent months trying to ‘get over him’ and he may just take me back to square one! It took me so long to accept (or just begin accepting) that it isn’t meant to be but he may just awaken those crumpled hopes once again…!
My mind was screaming. My heart was shrinking. The pit of my stomach felt so dense, it was pulling me down with weight that my wobbly knees weren’t able to withstand.
At the same time, I stood frozen.
You know, like a man nonchalantly walking on the railway track, feeling the vibrations under his feet, but gloating over how he could play with risks… thinking safety was just a matter of taking one step away from the track… confident that there was no danger and he would escape unharmed within three seconds…
But when the train was finally in front of him, approaching, he stood frozen. Mesmerized. In a trance.
That’s how I stood in front of him. Fixed like a mannequin while the sweet nothings he was whispering filled my ears like the shrill whistles of the train… my eyes filled with the blue checks on his shirt which were growing bigger and bigger, like the approaching engine………..
till his arms, like wheels, were over me.
They say, in your last moments, you get a flashback of every beautiful memory. They were right. In those final moments of resignation, I closed my eyes and lived them again. When I did open my eyes, there was nothing but an embrace of acceptance.
I had given up all inhibitions. I was no more afraid. I raised my arms which had been awkwardly placed by my side all this while, and rested them where they were supposed to be.
I buried my head in his chest and as he stroked my hair, the steps, the walls, the doors, the railing, the roof, the photograph hanging on the wall, our shoes…everything faded into an off-white cloud of nothingness.
On the ‘other side’, there is no sense of time- no clocks and no sounds- not even your own heartbeat to disturb the perpetual silence.
No part of it is a remote possibility and that’s what makes it all the more soul satisfying.