He came to her in the middle of the night when she least expected.
And then the sky darkened, and rain fell, and they twisted in the middle of the big bed, clawing and fighting with each other, hurting each other and marvelling at the extent they could hurt if they really tried. They tore off their clothes, they did not care what went first, as long as they did. And then they were pushing each other, straining and restraining to prolong the contact, as if this was the last time they would. And he entered her and they shook and trembled at the intensity and friction... and then the short climb to ecstasy began, but it was more than that, it was a beginning and an end, and she could not stop her tears as he buried his face against her neck and trembles with the bliss and the joy. She mouthed the three words over and over and over again as he poured inside her the fruits of their passion, her legs spread obscenely wide in acceptance.
And then all stilled and she could feel the cold air hit her wet ears. She was so tired. So was he. They fell asleep. locked in the embrace as primitive as life itself, and when the morning came, he was gone.
* * *
Even before she opened her eyes, she knew he was gone.... there was just an emptiness beside her, a place was barren where her heart had placed him. It was strangely numb------ this feeling of loss. She could not really believe it was there at first, but then it hit her ------------- the cold. It struck her smack in the chest and she gasped pitifully and scoured her head to dredge up the thought of what to do next.
She was so tired.... she did not even know if she could open her eyes and face the day again. She just wanted to shut out the world and all and forget herself in sleep.
But at that moment, betrayal struck. Sleep eluded her. She tossed and turned, but the cold that had spread inside her refused her the warm safety of slumber. It denied her the only escape she would have had. She stared at the ceiling and counted away the whirling time, as the morning passed to day and moved towards the afternoon, and she twisted her fingers and contemplated her loss. Soon she began to shake silently, that turned into a gentle sway------ to and fro----- to and fro------ as she came apart in her knowledge.
He was gone.
He was not going to come back.
And the tears did not fall. What fell so easily last night at the beauty did not fall in grief. She started to whimper but the tears did not fall. Soon she realized that there were no moisture seeping from her eyes.
It enraged her. It made her so angry that she began to scream ------ short, staccatto bursts erupted from her throat that changed quickly into high-pitched wails and shrieks of disbelief and denial.
Where were the tears? Why could she not cry? Why? Why why why?
She clutched the pillow and bunched it against her chest, bringing her knees up together as she lay on her side, her long hair spread on the pillow, her eyes widely open. She breathed rapidly, in short gulps she inhaled and released the air just as quickly. She was bewildered and angry. Where had all the tears gone? Why could she not cry it out? What was wrong?
And she heard the lady downstairs play on her ancient cassette player something familiar. Something that she had once listened to as a child-------- when her parents used to look at one another with a smile on their face, but refused to share the joke--------- and the shadows fell across the room from the window, making patterns on the tiles as the sun began to set.
"Maine poochha chaand se,
Ke dekha hai kahin
Mere Yaar sa Haseen.
Chaand ne kaha,
Chandni ki kasam,
Nahin, nahin, nahin.
The room was a mess. The books had fallen from her bed, clothes were randomly spilled in colourful puddles on the floor, dust had settled on her shelves, and an empty cup graced the nightstand. She got up, rubbed her eyes with the back of her left palm and yawned. Then she began to pick up the clothes and fold them into a neat pile. The song went on outside. She pushed aside the falling fringes of her hair as she worked, and slowly began to hum the tune.