I looked at her again.
She was sitting with her eyes upon me. Her gaze light and dreamy, soft as the touch of the first flake of the winter snow on the earth. Feathery, gentle, intoxicating, her eyes were binding me in a strange way that made me feel as if time had stopped. A moment frozen in time. Trapping me, her and this summer evening of orange sky and gentle breeze, forever. Neverending.
Then just when I started believing in the eternity of this moment. That I could live on and on like this, forever, she threw her head back. Sideways to her left. Her swift motion making a strand of hair in front of her face swing wildly, making a full swoop before returning to its original position.
She sat in that stance for a few moments, nothing moving. Everything still. Just that strand of hair slowly catching the summer air, floating a little, before settling into its natural position.
Staring into an empty space in the air, she provided me a look of her finely shaped ear. Small and delicately formed. Its edges smooth as if carved by a master craftsman. A specimen of an immense rarity. An artifact to be preserved.
A few moments passed like this. In the silence surrounding her. And enveloping us in this moment.
Then, she returned her face towards me, this time slowly and gently, before resting her gaze on me once again. “Why? What are you looking at?’’ she asked, a hint of excitement in her voice. Her words dancing in the air, rising and falling gracefully as the arc of a perfectly formed rainbow.
And then immediately, as if she knew the answer to her question. The answer to why I can’t stop looking at her, why I can’t ever get enough of her, her face broke into a shy smile, and she looked away.
I was never supposed to meet her like this. Never supposed to fall in love with her. Being arranged for marriage to a girl who was her distant friend we would have ended up as an acquaintance. A friend of a friend. Our lives on different journeys altogether. The journeys mounted on arrows of destiny moving in different directions. To cross each other once, only once, and then never to meet again. Never.
But then the arranged thing with that girl never happened. And I ended up meeting her.
When we started talking I never imagined that we would work out. Never hoped either. For we were from different places altogether. Different lives living in different worlds. Never thought we could move farther than a couple of meetings or a few Whatsapp chats. But we did. We survived those first few critical moments where we could have ended up so differently than what we ended up becoming.
We survived. We continued. We connected.
And boy we connected the way I had never connected with anyone else in my life. Ever.
We connected as if we were two halves of a whole puzzle. Complete in their own half-ways, with their own half-lives and a half-set of friends in a half-world. And, the jagged part of us longed for the other half. Pining for that someone to come and complete us. Make us whole. Make us complete.