What was left of the day was just a heady gust of wind which made her hair frizzy. She very plainly blamed him for not getting a scarf for her. That he had asked her many times to buy one didn’t matter to him. He was ready to take the blame for all her life’s problems if the need ever arose. It had been a great day.
It has been great from the moment he had woken up. He went on a rather fruitless trip to the railway station to pick her up and drop her to a waiting taxi. She looked different in her glasses and and unkempt hair. Pretty actually but he didn’t say it because he knew she won’t understand. He hugged her. For no more a reason than he wanted to. He didn’t know if she approved of it. Or liked it. And he didn’t care. It didn’t seem to make sense why he did it but it didn’t feel odd. Or fruitless. It felt good. These things have a way of making one feel that can’t be explained. Back at his pad catching up on the lost sleep, he was wondering – What the hell am I doing? And the age old predicament – Why is this a problem? Completely lost for answers, he fell into a light, dreamy sleep.
The sun was shining bright when he saw her next. This wasn’t the same girl. Was she? Italian lunch does get you confused sometimes. What next? The question loomed large. Big bad city and nowhere to go. Too sunny. Too dusty. Too public. Too many problems. Two wheels to the rescue. They rode away into another city. His antics won’t stop. Secretly, he was hoping she wouldn’t consider them antics but he knew better. The questions wouldn’t cease. No different from another big bad city. So they rode again. Headlong into the strong wind pushing them to go slow. Challenging their being together. Challenging her hand on his shoulder. Challenging his resolve to go faster than they had ever been together. Not a word was exchanged. There was no need. The wind did all the talking. Music to the ears.
When they turned around, the wind gave up. They had won. The rush of being close overcame the thrill of speed. The distances vanished and the journey back seemed too short even though it lasted four times longer. For him, her life was like a book he wants to read all the time but never wants to finish. He was doing well till now. There was a time it was taken away from him but he doesn’t want to think about it anymore. It was too nice to waste. So when the chilled coffee arrived, all he cared about was the fact that she was sitting in front of him. She had her reservations and he understood. He wasn’t looking for closure.
As they thumbed through her photographs, he couldn’t help but notice that he likes her the way she doesn’t like herself. He brushed away thoughts of whether that was strange. It was his mind and he was free to like her the way he felt like. The sun was still up and they had an evening to spend together. And being close mattered the most. Well, to him atleast. So they went back. To the road. To the breeze. To the sun. To the headlong rush. They didn’t want it to end. Their conversation veered to things so close to the heart, they can’t be said in the still air. Can’t leave such things hanging for others, she would have said. Why me, he asked. Why not, she answered. She has her way of answering questions with questions. It made his life hell but somehow also answered all the questions. He never really understood why. As they sat by the side of the road smoking a cigarette, that thought was miles away from his heart. The picture of them sitting and watching the sun go down was too good to miss over silly thoughts. She didn’t want to leave. She said otherwise but he knew better. She said thanks. He squeezed her hand and said he will always be there.
Life has an uncanny ability of putting you in a spot where your way out goes diametrically opposite the way out of the person you want to get out with. Some people can choose rather quickly. Some people take some time. He could never do that. He tended to show that he could but he knew better than most that it was just his world of make believe. He would never get over her.