-Ashuta Bhattarai

He took a deep breath in and puffed out a thick cloud of scented vapor. The vapors, as I watched, disappeared into thin air after floating aimlessly around him. Pepsodent complete care…I have useless talents! It’s strange. Even a prosaic activity seems elegant when performed by the right person. I could watch him exhale his carbon clouds all day, if only I had all day, but there were things I needed to catch up to. Things I needed to know.

Hey, how have you been? What were all those years like? I had made up a lot of stories in my mind, you know, stories of how we would meet again. A few were realistic, many were fictional but, I did wish a thousand times for at least one of those to be true. Imagining a situation is so easy, realizing that it will never happen is hard. And yet, here we are, creating clouds out of the chilled December air. From all the possible ways we could have met, this was probably the only way I had not imagined.

To think about it for a while, the way I longed to see you, my eyes should have burst into tears, my blood should have frozen in my veins and I should have screamed in ecstasy the moment you called my name. But I did none of those things. Instead, I was calm. I did shudder at the sound of your voice. A million faces came to my mind all of a sudden. It had been such a long time since I heard that voice but somehow, I knew it was you. And just like that, all the anxiety was gone. I turned around to the welcomed sight of your smiles and within them, I found my bliss.

Am I in love with you? Maybe, maybe not. I guess, I am in love with the ‘idea’ of you; the thought of you standing here with me, smiling in peace, but what is there to love? The spark binding our relation, whatever we have, is only short lived. You come with a return ticket. That is the only thing certain about you. And I have to start counting again, waiting for your return, again imagining situations, making up stories about how we will meet the next time.

You came like a Christmas, with carols and celebrations. You turned me into a moth who just caught the warmth of a distant fire and you stayed around; you let me touch the fire, you let me burn by my own will and as the clock ticked 12, you left. It’s no longer Christmas after 12, is it? And just like that, you were gone, leaving me behind, making me wish for another Christmas all over again.

A version of this article appears on our Medium Page.
First Published on Feb 15, 2017.