I can see those marks on your skin,
The brutal ones too.
Some are very old, turned into scars.
Some seem to be fresh.
And those red, between the cuts, look like blood clots.
I can see the pain, I may not feel it.
I am on the stage, singing melodies,
You are sitting right in front of me, in the cafe.
You order drinks, you buy one for me too.
I like the gesture and now we are talking.
The next moment, we are in an apartment.
I come close to you, we lean together, we kiss, we cuddle, we sleep.
It's morning now, it's time for me to leave, & as we had decided, after this night we won't ever meet again.
I stand up to leave,
I am dressing up now,
I come close to you,
You are still sleeping,
I lean towards you,
I plant a gentle kiss, & before i could actually leave, i see things.
I see few of my hair strands,
Some on your sheets,
Few on the pillow,
And one on your chest,
Right next to your bruise.
I take a deep breath,
And then I start sewing.
I start stitching all your lesions with my hair strands,
One by one,
Behind your ear,
Above the elbow,
Beneath the chin,
Adjacent to thighs,
In between the fingers,
On the edges of your lips,
And where not.
I mend all your laceration with the strands of my hair.
You are still asleep.
I wonder if it pains, while i am darning.
But then you would have woken up.
I believe, it doesn't hurt you.
I feel good.
It's afternoon now, i rushed to leave.
I remember how you told me,
That there's heaven and there's hell,
And you live in the space between them.
It wasn't high up in the sky or deep down the waters, it was just somewhere in between.
It's been 7 years now, since we have seen, met or even contacted each other.
It's a late summer evening, and i am walking down this busy street.
People are over enthusiast today, children running all over, youngsters roaming around, too many vehicles on the road.
I am walking past this crossroad, and i see a face too familiar.
It's you, yes, the same eyes, nose, physique - a bit weak though.
In that moment, I pause.
I couldn't move & all i did was stare at you.
You saw me, we had an eye-contact.
I started walking towards you, i was never soo happy before,
my pace faster, i see you smiling too, faster, faster,
I am moving,
And suddenly you ask me to stop,
I couldn't understand,
I am still moving,
And before i can understand,
I feel a strong hit, it's a bus,
And within a few seconds,
I am on the floor.
The red fluid flowing.
It's blood all around me.
I still see you, this time you ain't smiling.
But i am glad i finally met you.
I am no more alive.
That evening was my last.
And now, even i live in between heaven and hell.
I visited the apartment, where we met that night.
I realised it's closed now, no one lives there anymore.
But, the sheets on your bed, the wrinkles on the sheets, the curtains, the bathrobe, the pillow, the floormat, the covers, they were all just the same, the way it was, when i left that afternoon.
I wondered how after so many years, everything could still be the same.
And I saw things,
I saw few of my hair strands,
Some on the sheets,
Few on the pillow,
One on your chest.
You were still lying there, just the same.
As if, you were waiting for me to come back to you again, to sew all your marks, to make you feel better again.
I saw further,
The marks were already stitched, just the way i did.
And this time, i realised, why it didn't pain when i was sewing your wounds.
You were dead,
You always were.
You never woke up,
You were a lie, always.
And i believed you.
That day, you came to take me with you, it wasn't an accident, you smiled at me because you knew I'll fall for you again.
You bought me in this "in between" space, and now you no more live here.
I am alone, here too.
Where are you?
Now i am in the woods, singing the same song, and hoping you'll arrive, and the same cycle will repeat again.
Till then, i live in the woods, which is not too high in the sky or deep in the waters, it's the actual "in-between" and i am alone.
To be continued...
Written by Swati Shrivastava.