Feral Soul

She’s like a miniature storm,

Wrecking havoc like it’s the unspoken norm;

Completely reckless is what you’d call her

If ever alongside her you were;

Unpredictable, she’s an untamed disaster of nature;

Unique, she’s a true masterpiece of the maker;

With her disheveled hair and those wild eyes,

She never fails to be a surprise;

Gallant, she never chooses to hide;

Blunt, she always speaks her mind;

Dauntless, she’s the one who taught me how to live with my head held high.

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Pale black

It’s been several hours since she departed. It’s unbelievable how radiant the sun is now. It seems like he is genuinely happy, as if he has finally moved on. Or is it all just a facade for the clouds that have come to visit? Or it his way of pushing the memories far away? Shine so bright that they can’t come close.

But even if the glaring rays are a result of his  joy, what will he feel when he has to leave, knowing that in a few moments, the moon will appear in the same spot? What sort of chaos will take over his mind when he would feel her presence nearby, but unable to steal a single glance? Maybe one, if he’s fortunate.

However much perpetual his ‘happiness’ may seem in the day, it all comes crumbling down when the sky darkens. They may be eternal, but their happiness forever ephemeral.

They are separated by only a few minutes on the clock.

Pale Blue

A rare occurrence, the sun and the moon got a little time together today. However, the moon is fading away at a steady rate while the sun is glowing with power, or maybe it is sorrow.

As she says goodbye, leaving behind nothing but a wisp of a cherished memory in the azure sky, the sun sobs, its tears, the rays, falling down upon us. They hope to meet again someday, when they’re slightly older and find a way to evade past their strict schedules—day and night, dawn and dusk, from light to dark, and from dark to light.

I’m thinking, as I look around the light that surrounds me, a favour from the sun, that maybe sometimes tears aren’t so bad after all. Maybe it’s the universe’s way of showing us the light or in this case, making us show it to someone else.

A Dairy Rendezvous

Ever since the years of my childhood, I have always had a bizarre fascination towards the profession of a milkman. I would peek through the windows a little after dawn, when the first rays of sunlight streaked in, waiting for the local milkman to pass by on his blue bicycle, armed with a dozen milk cartons and bottles. I even developed a habit of waiting at the front porch for him to receive the usual two bottles of milk at my house.

“How are you doing today?” he’d always ask.

“I’m fine.” I’d mumble awkwardly.

And then he’d walk away coolly, headed to the next house. I noticed how content he always seemed with his job of delivery service. The fact that some looked down upon his “odd” or “blue collar” job never did seem to faze him. He walked with his head held high and a perpetual beam on his face.

Once, he told me how much he loved meeting new people, seeing new faces. Ironic—his work required him to look at the same faces everyday. But his job did teach him to see, not just to look. He might have had to look at the same face everyday, but each morning, he saw a different person.

You’re never the same person two days in a row.

A Place To Belong

Friendship—a single word that can get so many emotions swirling through our minds in a matter of seconds. A deep love, affection and an intense sense of belonging. The feeling that is the opposite of loneliness, the feeling we’re all afraid to lose. The feeling I’m craving at the moment. It’s a bond deeper and more meaningful than any chemical ones they teach you about in school—it’s a bond threaded between souls. It’s a bond that is perpetual. It’s a bond whose pull I’m feeling right now, even though I’m not a part of it, sitting on a park bench looking at the group of five adolescents, seated comfortably on the lush green grass which glistened in the sunlight.

The group consisted of three girls and two boys, all ten eyes shimmering with the purely platonic love they had for each other. The books they had brought to study were long-forgotten and strewn messily all around them, left to bask in the soft rays of the afternoon sun. All intentions of studying were forgotten as they laughed together at a childhood incident that was etched onto their hearts. They spoke of better days, reminiscing their times together. Yet you could almost feel them holding on to the strings of optimism, feeling sure that they would have even better days to come; even better days to cherish in their memories. Physically, they were beside a vibrant pink cherry blossom tree in the park, yes, but in their minds, they were somewhere completely different from their actual surrounding—somewhere only they knew.

The dead leaves rustled and crunched under my feet as I strode a little further from the quintet, unable to handle watching them any longer. The sun was shining directly overhead as my eyes inadvertently found something else to stare at. I blinked thrice to make sure my vision was real, and not just a figment of my woeful imagination. It was a pair of friends, but it was not the depth of their bonds that startled me. Rather, it was their identities. The first of the duo was a ginger cat and the other was a pug-faced dog. Cats and dogs-ostensible enemies-here they were, playing with each other’s paws, engulfed in their unconventional friendship. They were proudly defying the laws of nature by forming this friendship that no one had the power to stop. That’s the thing about friendship, it makes you cross boundaries you never imagined you would even in your wildest dreams. It gives you power, power over anything or anyone who might try to bring you down. Your friends become your support system—the ones who will stay by your side until the very end.

While I was stranded inside my mind with only my thoughts as companions, I didn’t notice the stranger who was standing in front of me. The stranger waved his hand in front of my face, breaking me out of my reverie.

“Hey, are you okay? I said you were looking all lonely by yourself. Do you mind if I join you?” he asked with a welcoming smile.

That very moment, I could feel the universe smiling at me. I could feel how right the moment was—with the chirping of the birds and the distant buzzing of the insects in the background. I think I finally found what I had been searching for: a place to belong.

Void

Everyone was smiling today. The place was so happy, like confetti had washed down – confetti of smiles. All this happiness, the extravagant décor, the cheerful celebration – all for me. My parents and sisters chatted with the crowd proudly, boasting about me. They look so proud. I finally made them proud. I should be happy, over the moon. But I was still treading the low earth.

They were ecstatic – it was expected, of course, seeing as it was their dreams that metamorphosed to reality, not mine. I was just their channel. A mere channel with no mind of her own (or so they thought), a route to success in life. The life was mine, but the success ended up being theirs.

The expensive schooling, the endless tutoring, the countless coaching centers – it had all paid off for them. For today, their youngest daughter finally earned an honourable rank among her ‘successful’ siblings. She brought respect to the family by becoming the youngest-ever CEO of a renowned real estate company. All the guests here found me admirable, nudging their growing children once in a while in-between conversations to gesture at me, trying to ignite some spark of unfound ambition on their uninterested faces.

No! Please! Don’t become what I have become! I want to yell at them. But I don’t. I smile politely.

“Shh, that’s not how the new CEO should be acting.” I could almost hear my mother’s disappointed voice inside my mind.

I wish I could feel some sort of emotion towards this occasion. I tried. I failed. I even tried to be sad but no, my brain wouldn’t have it. I stopped having dreams a long time ago – both in the metaphorical and physical sense. Nothing inside, just a bottomless pit, an abyss of emptiness.

Hoping to get away from everyone’s unwanted joy, I make my way towards the balcony. A blast of fresh air greets me as I drag a nearby chair with my foot and plop down on it.

My slender fingers clutching the flute of champagne tilt it downwards and pour it on the potted plant in front of me.

“Here, have some poison.” I tell the plant.

A moment’s pause.

“Don’t worry, I’ll have some too.” I say, fishing out a cigarette and a lighter from my purse.

Lighting it, I take a long drag, feeling it soothe me temporarily.

“You shouldn’t do that, it harms the world.” A voice says. Momentarily startled, my eyes follow the owner of the voice, a boy of about nine.

I look up at him and reply, “And the world harms me.”

I gestured for the boy to take a seat on the chair next to me and toss the half-finished cigarette onto the ground, crushing it under my shoe.

“Why don’t you look happy? Shouldn’t you be inside?” he asks, sounding genuinely curiously.

I don’t reply. Instead, I study him carefully, noting the way his eyes gleamed with dreams. And belief in those dreams, something I surely lacked during my younger years. Lacked it enough to toss away my dreams of wildlife photography. Lacked it enough to go from treasuring nature and capturing it with my camera to mindlessly destroying it for the sake of human settlements. I disgusted myself.

Looking back at the boy, I ask, “What do you like doing? What do you want to be?”

“I wanna be a chef – I really like cooking. I’m gonna have a huge restaurant someday. Mum says I’m going to be an army officer, just like Dad. But I don’t want to. Their uniform is gross.”

I look intently at him and say, “Then go to her. Go to her and tell her that you’re not your dad. Tell her how cool your cooking is. And if all else fails, look up at the sky and imagine how good it’d feel to live your own dream, not someone else’s. Walk forward.”

Don’t be like me, living the dream but dead at the same time.

Bright Nights

My thumb skidded across to the switch of the lamp, the only source of light in my dark room. One click later, I was shrouded in darkness. But the darkness didn’t faze me in the slightest. When your mind, heart and soul are all engulfed by the darkness, physically being in a dark place wasn’t a big deal. I welcomed it. Because it is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, and I had had the cruel taste of both.

My body might be here, but I am somewhere else. Well, I haven’t reached it yet. I’m waiting.

You might be wondering if I’m dead. Sadly, no. Oh, how I wish I was. I live to die. To join him.

My mind is drifting, traveling through time and space, taking me to a place where the only guests allowed are him and I. Somewhere, a place that nobody knows. Somewhere only we know.

He’s here, I thought as my eyes caught sight of a man’s silhouette. His silhouette. My lips stretched into a genuine smile, one that only came at night. I was one step closer to being two steps far from him. I felt him move closer, entwining his fingers in mine.

“Let’s go.” He whispered in my ear, sending chills of excitement down my spine. This euphoric thrill, this exhilaration had become my will to live. It gave me bright nights to return to after enduring the tough hours of dark days.

I even forgave him for his carelessness that night when he made that brutal, reckless decision without stopping to think about me. I forgave because even in death, he didn’t forget me. I knew he’d always come back for me at the beginning of each night, making the endless pain worth it all.

My eyelids flutter close, and I finally leave your reality behind, and arrive at mine. My eyes take some time to accustom themselves to the brightness of the meadow we were currently sprawled across. A soft blanket of grass covered the uneven ground with small efflorescent flowers scattered around, adding pops of blue, purple, red and yellow. Fluffy white clouds were sailing across the sky to visit the ones they wished to see. The glittering moon hung in the sky, next to the smiling, glowing sun which was floating about. And underneath all that, lay him with his beauty enthralling enough to rival nature’s.

His perfect lips curved into a grin, making his dimples pop and my heart race in the process. My long fingers wove through his soft, chocolate curls.

I noticed a change in the ground below us.

“Are we falling?” I inquire, merely curious.

He turns towards me and says, “Do you want to?”

“No, I want to fly.” I reply.

“Then of course, we’ll fly.” he decides.

And just like that, with our arms stretching wide, we were shooting upwards, leaving a trail of billowing smoke behind us. We swam through galaxies, jumped across meteors, and traveled through planets.

We are currently having a footrace, and our course was the ring of Saturn. Panting, we stop to relax, thoughts of the race completely forgotten when we look into each other’s eyes.

“We have to leave. For now.” he says.

I nod, understanding.

In an instant, we exit our dark paradise.

“Sleep well, darling.” he requests, his lips ghosting on my forehead.

“For now.” I remind him, the memory of his emerald eyes the last thing swirling around my mind before I am taken over by unconsciousness.

And so, even death couldn’t do us apart. Reality did.