” And that night when I opened my eyes, I saw nothing but the pool of nocturnal sky, for I was lying on my back with outstretched arms, face to face with that hatchery of stars. Only half awake, still unaware that those depths were sky, having no roof between those depths and me, no branches to screen them, no root to cling to, I was seized with vertigo and felt myself as if flung forth and plunging downward like a diver. But I did not fall. From nape to heel I discovered myself bound to earth. I felt a sort of appeasement in surrendering to it my weight. Gravitation had become as sovereign as love. The earth, I felt, was supporting my back, sustaining me, lifting me up, transporting me through the immense void of night..”
My eyes felt heavier with each transient second and as I stared outside the balcony, I could only see the enormous sky full of cosmic dust and stars. The wind boasted of its influence by blowing the curtains gently every now and then. Out of a sudden my gaze turned towards the sapling which I and she had planted some months back. It was drenched in the beautiful moonlight and as I noticed its leaves being tamed by the wind; I realized how the plant had ceased to grow the moment she left the world. Everything about it was the same…every day! My eyelids were in a constant struggle with my conscience but slowly, very slowly the fight seemed to end and I was reborn in a new world.
And then it happened…
The pasture beneath me felt delicate and its aroma too powerful to wake me up and make me inquisitive about my surroundings. I looked up, the bluish red sky stood as a witness that wherever I was, it was twilight. Birds chirped as I tried to sit; welcoming me to their humble abode. A zephyr of wind flew across the vast land to which I was a part of now. It hit my face with a strange delicateness and in that very moment I could smell the marvelous scents of rich flowers that were spread across the field and as I justified my presence by moving my hands on the deep grass, I felt myself filling up with bliss. It was at that very moment when I realized that I was not the only one in the meadow. Some meters away from me someone stood and looked down the cliff. She wore a backless sapphire gown and her back was towards me. The leftover sunlight made her dress shimmer and she looked beautiful in her apparel. For a moment I was tempted to find out what was down the cliff! I wanted to know what was it that attracted her so much that she was unaware of my presence and as my eyes were fixed on her and my mind curious about the cause of her stillness, I stood up and walked towards her. The land beneath me felt delicate and soft. Somewhere deep down I felt something, a feeling that I knew this girl already.
‘You’re awake!’ said the girl and as soon as she spoke these words my steps halted and heart raced. Suddenly the chirping and the scents of flowers mattered no more. The expressions on my face turned into pain and as I fell to my knees with tears readying to roll down the eyes; she turned and looked me in the eye.
‘Stuti’ the word came out of my mouth like a whisper. My eyes became moist and I couldn’t speak anything else. I gulped down. She sensed everything..every single emotion like she always did.She spread her arms and rushed to me. I couldn’t believe it. I used to tell others that my life’s a country song..its been the words when I couldn’t find them,a friend when I’ve been alone,its been the strength for moving on. But her memories,her presence made me forget everything and like a 5 year old I cried. She felt warm as she draped her arms around me. Her chin rested on my shoulders and as she seized me tight while caressing my hair;she held back a sob.
‘Hey baby…’ her voice trembled as she spoke. I stayed in her arms for what felt like eternity.
‘You were gone. I..’ before I could say anything else, she leaned forward and our lips met after so long. They curved in unison and the winds came at us faster. I closed my eyes. Every flick,every touch seduced us into a deeper ecstasy.The moments stood as a proof that the Infinity which we created had never stopped breathing bliss even after all this time. I felt connected with her..it felt like the entire place existed for this one reason. Our kiss.
‘Sometimes..’ she began to speak holding my hands.
‘Sometimes you have to be apart from people you love, but that doesn’t mean you love them any less. Sometimes you love them more..’ said she tilting her head to one side and smiled faintly.
‘I thought I lost you forever..I thought I wont see you again’ I said holding back the tears. It was true, for months I stood in the wake of devastation waiting for the darkness to consume me and turn me into nothing.
‘You can’t ever lose me sweetheart..You see what we have..is different..I keep on living in you because you never lost faith in me..in US and I am thankful to you..’ I kept on listening to her while she continued …
‘I was afraid you’d hate me once I was gone but you believed in what we had; you held on to me in my sickness and its because of that I can now say that I have lived a beautiful life..’ she said and put her hand on my cheeks. I moved in closer.
‘I wont let you go now..not this time..I am weaker,vulnerable without you..I crave for you..i crave you in ways where I just want to be next to you and nothing more or less’ I replied and caught her stare.
‘You already have me. Pages between us are written with no end and after all a part of me is always going to live in you.’
‘But..’ she cut me in between and said ‘Walk with me?’
I did so.. we walked and I realized that the place I was at right now took on a new form. The trees appeared pitch black,as did the horizon. The sky seemed to be sprayed with silver paint and the pole star could be easily identified up above along with the other cluster of stars. We reached the end of the cliff and stood there for some time in silence with no sound apart from splashing of the waves. It seemed perfect, I could see white streaks where the waves broke due to the phosphorescence and the moonlight.
‘Look at the gazillion stars above’ she said. I turned back my gaze up to the sky. She held my hand once again.
‘Everytime I hold your hands and look at these stars, I remember the fact that it is millions of light years away from us,we are looking at its past and it doesn’t exist anymore and I always end up feeling; what if we are made up of the same star we are staring at..?’ she said. We looked at each other and smiled. The stars twinkled above us.
‘Stardust?’ I asked playing with her fingers. She looked at me and replied ‘Stardust..yes’.
‘Promise me one thing..’ she turned to me.
‘Promise me that you will hold on to our memories and will never let us fall part..that you will never lose yourselves into an abyss and will always have faith in us..?’
I nodded and took her in my arms.. whispering in her ears ‘ I’ll always hold on’.. As soon as I said these words, she started glowing. I tried to hold her hands as firmly as I could but I couldn’t.
‘I love you..Be brave! Be strong..I am right beside you. You are and will always be the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me’
A sense of insecurity ran through me.. a wave of fear.
‘Why do I feel that you are saying goodbye?’ I asked her.Her body started turning pale and she kept on glowing every single second.
‘Lights will guide you home and ignite your love for us. Remember..you are not alone’ said she.
‘No..wait..Dont!’ said I. She held out her hands and with every strength in my body,I tried to reach for it. But…Everything blacked out!
The curtains before me were still. The winds had dropped and my heart felt heavier. The pole star twinkled in the sky. My eyes followed the sapling kept in the balcony..blessed by the moonlight.
A green leaf had emerged from it and it stood magistically on the plant..
“I slept under the moonlight and set my soul free, caged within jars like fireflies.”