If you love, adore the moon. If you rob, steal a camel.

Stories for the Long Silk Road

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Michelle D'costa: Memory

His tongue in her mouth felt like an intrusion of privacy. Yet she didn’t mind.

First she let him into her soul. Slow and steady wins the race. Her mother always said. Love need not be rushed. It should be a steady stream not a gushing waterfall if you wanted it to be everlasting and that's what she had wanted- A Happily Ever After Ending.

So Preeti waited like a faithful devotee for her prayer to be answered. She had almost come to believe that she was meant to be alone forever. She had killed her expectations. A slow poisonous death.

But as she closed her eyes all she could see was his face. She had read in romance novels that a kiss could take you to unknown heights. She was flying. Not that she ever flew before to know how it felt. She hadn’t been privileged to be lifted off the ground leaving all her sorrows behind in the land it was born(although temporarily). She had dreamt of flying though. Leaving bits of her dreams suspended in clouds and if God willed they would rain on her someday making them come true.

Every experience has its own ingredients of discovery. No two moments can be paralleled. Nothing in the world could have prepared her for her first kiss.    

Adam knew that Preeti couldn’t forget that moment ever. As he was the first man to kiss her. He knew because he had unlocked her lips full of secrets and her tongue that tasted freedom with the gratitude of a prisoner set free. He was happy to be her rescuer.

It wasn’t his first kiss though but he knew it wasn’t his last. He wanted more. Only from her. He would kiss her on places he knew existed on the female anatomy but was yet to discover for real. He felt her fingers creep into the spaces between his fingers and at that moment he felt complete. Like a scissor is complete only with both blades.

*  *  *

Now he wants her to do the same. He pleads. ‘Hold my hand Preeti. Please.’

But she doesn’t. The events of the night flash before him.

He had decided he would do something special for her. Just to see her smile. Special people deserved special treatment. Not on their birthday or valentine’s.

Any day, every day.

He opened the car door for her. She hesitated. She was chided before for trusting too soon. ‘Can’t we just walk it down?’

He sensed her discomfort. He wanted her to take the ride with him. The car was part of the surprise. But he reminded himself she wasn’t like other girls. To gain her trust in itself was an accomplishment. He wouldn’t dare to jeopardize that.

So he shut the car door and bent his left arm so that she could place her palm in the crook of his arm.
‘Sure ma’am’

She smiled, relieved and held his arm firmly.

They had to cross the road to see the surprise. They had to.

Crossing the road is just one among other routine acts we do without much thought that could prove to be fatal some day.

Routine acts like forgetting to light the gas ring or using the hair dryer in the bathroom or crossing the road.

If only they had taken the car…

*  *  *

Now he held her limp fingers to his tearing eyes. His grip slippery. ‘Please respond darling.’

‘Mr. Adam, you are wasting your time.’, the doctor stood behind him in the dimly lit room.

‘Her brain has severely suffered from the trauma Mr. Adam. She won’t remember anything. Even if she survives, she will just be a vegetable.’

The doctor’s words seemed to be coming from one end of a dark tunnel.

Questions hijacked Adam. His own voice very loud in his ears.

If not for the amnesia post the accident, would she have remembered me forever? Would she have treasured our first kiss? If not for the accident, would she have liked the surprise?

Her reaction will remain a surprise forever. He thought.

No. She will remember. She has to. She will see what I have done for her. And she will love me back. Am I selfish to still expect her to love me?

Isn’t it because of me she’s here in this condition?

If only I had insisted on taking the car.

The beeping of the heart monitor got louder. It reverberated in the small room.

It pierced his thoughts. Brought back to reality he clenched her fingers with all his might. ‘Don’t leave me’

The line on the machine went flat.

Putting full stops to all his old questions and giving birth to new ones.

The doctor reached for his shoulder with one arm and with the other arm he switched off the machine.

‘Whenever you’re ready Mr. Adam’

The silence that followed engulfed Adam.

He longed for the variations in her heart beats.

When the monitor was beeping it had annoyed him but now he knows that that was better than silence. At least it meant that Preeti was around.

He realized how lonely silence could be. She loved to talk. And he loved to listen.

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Silk Road Mantra

by Suchoon Mo

bury me not

in the lone Silk Road

I go and go

from west to east

I go and go

from east to west

bury me not

in the lone Silk Road


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