“You took my heart away when my whole world was grey. You gave me everything and a little bit more”…

The music floated in the air while the rhythm dissolved into the sweetness of her tender touch. Her skin was florid and delicate, always had been. Like a sculptor admiring his masterpiece, he patiently drew invisible lines on her face and he could feel the heat rushing under her skin while her lips quivered like ripples created in pellucid still water by a slight breeze. The dress flung across her alluring body was a white pleated cotton skirt with pink brocade. White suited her above all the other colours since it matched her spirit – pure and untamed. She buried her face in his chest just beneath the pointed chin and he wondered if she could hear his throbbing heart.

From there, Aiden could see her flowing skirt covering her long sleek back. They were so close that he could hear her breathe and he could smell her long auburn hair that drifted him to a different world where there were flowers- lots of flowers- but he couldn’t make out which one. The truth was he did not care as long as he could smell it leaning his head against hers. He lifted her face slowly towards him as if it was the first time he was looking at her. As a matter of fact, he was looking at her for the first time- with deep love and growing lust. The sun rays peeping out of the closed window fell right on her face and she was glowing against the strands of her curly dark hair snaking down the cheeks.

The music stopped playing and once again the room was filled with deafening silence. Breaking the flow of the moment, Nola took her arms off his shoulders in one smooth swing- but she knew things had changed. She had changed, he had changed, and their relation had changed. She moved backwards with leaden legs as if she was trying to pull herself away from a magnet. But he didn’t want her go away. He wanted her to stay close to him forever. How he wished he could tell her what he had in his heart! Instead, he just stared at her blankly moving step by step away from him.

Pulling him back from his kingdom of thoughts, Nola asked, “Den, hungry?”

He had always felt the hunger but never realized what he was hungry for. Now that he knew, he couldn’t tell her that she was the one he craved for. Aiden was a timid introvert and he rarely talked to anyone other than Nola. Especially when he was nervous, he would fumble, mutter the words incoherently and his voice would suddenly give up as if there was a knot right in the middle of his throat. But with Nola, things were easier. However, case was different that day. Words were eluding him and his own voice was betraying him ruthlessly on that very day when he needed them the most. He had so much to say to her but, nervously, gave in with a single nod.

Flipping her hair back, she resumed, “I am a little hungry too. Let’s eat something first and then continue practicing for the final dance.”

Final Dance was a custom, more like a ritual, in their college where graduating students would dance with their partners on the last day of their college. Nola was very excited for the program and she was eventually successful in talking Aiden into it after a good amount of emotional blackmailing. Aiden, after left with no option, at last agreed to go to the Final Dance.

He stood frozen in his room watching Nola walk to the door as if she was playing a piano with her toes and singing to the very music she played on the floor. The door banged in front of him and he was left alone with her fragrance that mystified him with its earthen smell with a tinge of sandalwood and lilies.

Aiden rushed towards the bathroom with his entire body burning with icy flare. He closed his eyes and turned the shower on; being very cautious not to look down. Not knowing what to do, he sat down with his arms wrapped around his knees leaning his head on the wall. Every drop of water falling down on him brought back the memories of a time long gone by.

The day when he first saw her in school ran through his head. Nola- different from the world, different from all the girls he knew; her hair tied into a pony, her shirt twice her size, her skirt somehow discolored and the shoes worn out. She aced in academics but didn’t have any friends so to speak of. He used to watch her gliding through the corridors swiftly as if she was running from something; but not because she was scared- in fact she had great confidence, sometimes arrogance, that came from all the giant books she had devoured and from the high self-esteem she had since very young.

It all started when Miss Arnie assigned them together in a group project on the “Influence of Renaissance Art on Modern Arts”. They used to talk for hours about Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Donatello and even Giotto. Their interest in fine arts and architectures sparked their friendship which soon turned into a deep unexplainable bond. Sometimes they would ponder about as to why Gabriel wasn’t painted pointing towards John The Baptist in the London version of “Madonna of Rocks” as it did in the original version. Sometimes, they argued about the controversial restoration of Sistine Chapel ceiling that removed the drapes and loin clothes painted under Pope Pius IV from the original Michelangelo’s nudes. And sometimes, they used to visit art galleries and museums, decoding the hidden meanings behind the paintings and sculptures by masters of old times.

While the tides of past were slamming against the walls of his memories, he heard her voice on the other side of the door.

“Come outside…. here’s some coffee and sandwich.”

But his clothes were all wet and even more so, he was all too scared to go outside. “What have I done?” he mumbled to himself running his fingers through his hair. Too confused to do anything, he decided against going out into the room. His mind was stormed with anxiety, uncertainty and nervousness. The fear of what would happen next stung him bitter and he started to feel nauseous.

He traversed in his mind to the time when they laid under the stars waiting for a falling star to make a wish. He was 17 back then and Nola was 16. He asked her what she would wish for if they saw a falling star to which she replied, “You. For you to be with me forever.”

“But forever is so long. How many years is forever to you?”

“Till the day I am too old and my eyes are so weak that I can’t see a falling star to make the same wish again.”

“So, you are going to make the same wish every time you see a falling star?” he mocked.


Nola knocked twice and then entered into the bathroom without thinking too much. She knew what she was doing and she was not even a bit surprised to find him under the shower with his clothes on trying to escape his heart-ache. She took a towel routinely from the shelf and without saying anything, turned the shower off. She moved quickly but with precision around the bathroom as if she knew this was going to happen and had calculated her moves beforehand. She started drying him off gently with the towel. Nola pulled him by his hand into the room and tossed him a pair of dry pants. Millions of thoughts started blazing out of his mind like wildfire but all of them died out as soon as they reached the edge of his lips. She stared outside the window with her back towards him while he changed his clothes in awkward silence.

“We have been friends since a very long time.” she broke the awkward silence without turning back. “You have always been there for me and I never needed anyone else. How I hoped things would never change! Do you remember the time when you told me that you were in love with that girl you met in the gallery? I felt miserable but I also knew that you would come back one day.”

Aiden knew that she was talking about Lissy. She, an avid art lover, was a wonderful company to talk about fine arts, marvelous craftsmanship on the churches and chapels, and the creativity of imagination. She had blonde hair and a large frame that looked dominating. She had sharp eyes and an impeccable taste for fine arts. They had planned to go to Rome someday and roam round the streets of the vintage city. All of their plans went down the drain when Lissy demanded Aiden to end his friendship with Nola if he were to be with her. She could have asked for anything and he would have gladly turned his life upside down for her. But she asked for Nola- how could she?

His memory started flooding with every word that she had said and every unspoken word that had longed for his voice. Aiden had a very sensitive heart and felt deeply but he could never express himself in front of others. His thoughts rarely made it through the knot in his throat into the real world. He was an introvert, and in this case an ignorant too, which made it even harder for him to confess his love. Nola had hinted him several times of the dire love she had for him but he had failed to hear. Her words came to him like a blaze and he screamed silently within himself- I love Nola! His silent words echoed within the walls of his heart and his chest ached with desperation. Maybe I realized it too late, he thought.

Meanwhile he was gasping for a breathe under the burden of lost memories, Nola turned around and walked towards him with a grace that he had never seen before, sat beside him on the edge of his bed and leaned her head lightly on his shoulders. She pressed his hands softly and said “I just had the best dance of my life.”

Nola had unlocked the chains that had been suffocating Aiden for what it seemed like eternity to him. He didn’t feel like he was drowning anymore but he felt like a fish in the vast sea, a bird in the open air, a butterfly in the garden. If only words could describe how he felt, he would have written a book filled with poems of love and profound joy. The destiny had spilled its magic beans- he was not the only one who had fallen in love! He jumped and danced with joy silently in his mind like he always did. He saw the same unbounded joy welling up in her eyes that was flowing down  his cheeks. Before they knew what took over, Aiden grabbed her by the waist, leaned over her, cupped her face in his hands and kissed her passionately, if not fiercely. It was not just a kiss; it was an unbounded happiness of finding your soulmate, it was a relief of holding onto your last chance at love; it was a desperation of unspoken love that found its tongue!

“I love you too.” she whispered at the back of his ear.

Finally, he asked, “Will you still wish for me if you see a falling star?”

“Till the day I am too old and my eyes are so weak that I can’t see a falling star to make the same wish again.”



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sunil Shrestha says:

    Well worthy reading, poetic and precisely put together. Now craving for more. I really like it and want more of it………….!


    1. Thank you. Means a lot 🙂


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