“The last time I saw you was a year ago, when I left. And now I’m looking at, and you’re as beautiful as ever. Nothing could ever dull it. Even though I’m only looking at your back in this hotel bar, I can’t stop thinking about you and me, as we were a year ago. Always in love. Always with each other in the backseat of your car. Pulling each other closer, never letting go. And I’m here thinking, if we could do it once more. To pull each other closer in the backseat of your car. To re-live our moments together, fall in love again. I’m here thinking whether it would be the right thing to do. How can I know? I never once checked up on you or how you were holding up, or how my going away impacted you, or anyone else for that matter. I’m here waiting for you to maybe turn around and see me once. If in your eyes I see what I’ve been looking for, I’ll stand here like a rock. But if not I’ll leave the very next second. You’ll think you saw me, and then smile and realise your mind was playing tricks on you and I’ll leave you forever. But I can’t think whether this is right or wrong, and then, all of a sudden, you turn around.”
“I saw you, standing there frozen; like the ghosts of you I’ve always imagined. I didn’t blink all of a sudden, because I knew if I blinked, you would vanish. There was so much distance between us; which I think was the metaphor for the distance between us now. I thought if walking to you and holding you the way I always held you, and pull both of us closer. It’s a hotel bar, so nobody would mind or even notice. But I know you’re waiting for something. You’re looking for something, which you don’t know if you’ve found. Just like when you went away a year ago. You wanted to find something which you felt you had to find. Looking into your unblinking eyes with mine, I don’t know how successful you were.”
They looked into each other’s eyes. It was only for a few second to the world before he moved. But to them, it was a year full of things they didn’t get to tell each other, and questions about so many things in that year.
“I don’t know why, but this feels only a bit right. Not fully. In the moment, I want to approach you. But the points after the moment scare me. What I set out to do one year ago, did I achieve it? Even if I did, would we end up like old times, or maybe worse? Or maybe even better. It feels as though the entire world is revolving at highs speeds and the path to you is the only one stationary. As though only I, me walking to you and you are the only things which make sense.”
“You’re halfway there and my heartbeat has gone haywire. Your eyes are full of doubts, I know that, but there is newfound grace and confidence with it. I guess you were successful. And as you come closer, I can feel the change in you. Have I changed in the previous year in a way which can be felt by you? But before I can see you feeling it, you put your arm around my waist and pull me closer, look into my eyes, and then we kiss.”
They kissed in the hotel bar. Since it was a hotel bar, nobody noticed. It had been less than a minute since they saw each other again, but the way they looked at each other and kissed, you couldn’t have known. They stopped for a moment and looked into each other’s eyes. There was a smile on both their faces. For a moment there, it felt serene to view them as the only people in the universe who mattered. He was an inch taller than her. He had both his arms around her waist, her waist close to his. She bent her back a bit, falling in his arms, her arms around his shoulders, both of them looking into each other’s eyes.
She brought her face to his and kissed him again for a second before she broke her hand off his shoulder and clutched his right palm with her left and led the way, grabbing her purse on the way with her left.
“I wish the Earth turned slowly when I’m with you. That way I can be with you longer, and make up for all the moments I wasn’t with you.”
“I can’t tell you how much I’ve thought of this moment in my head. All the words I want to tell you, while pulling you closer in the backseat of my car. Just like always.”
It was almost a year to this day when he left. When he woke up in his house in the morning; his head hurting from thinking too much in his sleep. He felt something amiss. Something he couldn’t quite put a finger on. As though a bad thing which happened but couldn’t remember. He pressed hard, but couldn’t come up with anything.
He threw himself back on his bed and searched his contact list to call up a friend. Then it dawned on him: All his friends, including his girlfriend had changed so much. There were all doing something they loved. A passion which engulfed them entirely. They seemed so complete. Happy in a way which he didn’t know, but wanted to.
In front of that, he felt hollow. As though he didn’t do anything in life worth doing wasting it all away in moments he could barely remember.
He got up, walked around his room and decided he had to do something. Prove to himself, something he had to find, which the universe hid conveniently from him and he never bothered seeking either.
He left a note at her door and went away, to somewhere. That was the last he was seen by anybody who knew him; till an accidental meeting in a hotel bar.
“I still remember that note of yours. Now when I look back at it, I usually laugh. You quoted Linkin Park lyrics. You wrote such an important piece of English and you quoted Linkin Park.”
“Hahahahahaha. It wasn’t funny. It was meant to be poignant. I told you to forget the wrong that I’d done; and to everyone, to forgive me, hopefully. Because I had to do this.”
“It felt weird even then, but we were too outraged to notice.”
“I’m nodding my head at all of you in disapproval. They were words from my hear which you all deemed stupid.”
“It was funny. It still is. I know that look on your face, you know it’s funny too. Do you want to read it?”
“You still have it?”
“Yup. Right here, under the backseat. I always keep it with me. It feels right.”
There was only their car in the dark parking lot, the backseat lights on; them reading and talking and laughing, hand in hand, pulling each other closer, looking at the car roof as though it didn’t exist ad they were looking at the sky, their fantasies playing out there, knowing it was the right thing which happened.
I wrote this piece after a burst of inspiration by the new Closer/Kabira mash up followed a dose of Leave out all the Rest by LP!