February 28

It was in the wee hours of the morning and I was just getting done with my latest book when my phone rang. It was loud and the entire city was asleep. Not wanting to wake the morning sun up, I jumped onto it and answered the phone.

“Hello?” I said trying not to sound irritable.

“Hello! I’m not going to apologise for calling you at this ungodly hour,” he assured me.

I let out a smile. I knew that voice. I somehow always knew that I couldn’t fail to recognise that voice even in my grave.

“Is everything okay?” I enquired. I was concerned beyond our relationship would permit.

“I don’t know. I feel unstable. My thoughts are swinging like a pendulum. I haven’t been thinking straight. There’s a strange feeling that is taking over me and I’m tempted to only explore it and not shun it,” he confessed.

“Strange? What do you mean?” I asked.

“Are you sure you want to know?” he asked.

“Well, you’ve not been apologetic about calling me at this hour, so you might as well spill the beans,” I joked.

“Are you sure you want to know?” he sounded stern this time.

“Yes, yes, I do want to know!” I assured him.

“I’ve become more sensual… err… sexual, umm… extremely erotic,” he stumbled on his words.

“How is that bad?” I countered.

He took a deep breath and answered, “I don’t think people would perceive it as ‘normal’. Would they? Would you?”

“I think it is normal because it is just a creative version of one of man’s basic instinct—sex,” I affirmed.

“True. I have come to realise that it has more of artistic attributes than anything else. I don’t know how this has gotten into me. But I have begun to learn to mould it and give it shape. I’m completely engulfed by this feeling. And…,” he trailed.

“And?” I nudged him.

“And, I want to explore the nuances of this feeling. I want to write about it. With someone,” he gushed.

“In fact, I have scribbled my thoughts down before I gave you a call,” he informed.

“Do you want to read it out to me?” I asked.

“Oh, sure,” he said as I heard him scurrying to find his notebook or scribbled notes. A few seconds later I heard him pick the phone and clear his throat. “That intense urge, an uncontrollable rush from within…those moments when you cross your legs for you can do nothing about the desire that steadily rises to your chest but wonder about the whispers in your ear, the soft blow of her breath against your neck, the piercing look into your eyes, as she leaves impressions of her lips over you…And that’s when you drag her close in a sudden grasp and the push her against the wall and raise her dress and her waist…When she gasps, looking for support to hold onto…” he stopped himself abruptly and insisted, “No, this is not a well-formed thought. It’s just a scribble!”

As I listened to him, he continued, “I’ve been having these humongous thoughts. I need to write them down. But they can’t be well-formed.”

“Because this is not a solo act!” I completed.

“Yes!” he affirmed.

The conversation was left hanging like clouds of smoke that float in a closed room. We could not break away from it nor could we take the conversation forward for we knew what consequences would bear heavily on our relationship. So we waited until the smoke faded away, said goodbye, and hung up the phone.

 

 

February 27

I have held it inside for too long, those memories of you and me on nights when you never interested me in sweet nothings and soft caresses but in art where my skin was your canvas and colour flowed from your fingers. Come, let’s recount them on newer nights.

February 26

Have you ever heard of the legend of Mira? People usually dismiss it as a folklore from the village by the mountains. Listen close as I tell you of her.

There was once a girl who loved human presence. She could never imagine a world extinct of the human race. She always believed that there was good in the heart of man for man was made in the likeness of the gods. There was always a divine radiance that she carried in her heart and to each man, woman, or child she met she gave away some. There was magic in her smile. She lighted up the streets she passed by. She was beauty personified, every man’s desire.

One day, she met a man passing by her village who was a bearer of melancholy. It was so strange to her that she was charmed by it, by him. She began to follow him down the steep valley behind the village. She did not contemplate the consequences of chasing this new feeling she began to feel in her heart. It resembled the feeling of love that she was so familiar with yet it was different. She knew that she wanted to be with him and learn of that feeling he carried in his heart. She didn’t care that she might have to go against the world to be with him.

The man allowed her to walk beside him for his melancholy had found company. One of the two was going to drag the other into their world but nobody knew who. As they walked in silence, their hearts grew closer so did their bodies. She opened up to him layer by layer like a flower than blossoms to the rays of the moonlight. She offered up herself like a lamb at the altar of love. When they reached the end of the valley, he told her that she couldn’t follow him anymore. At the sound of those words, she fell to the ground like a wounded animal and the night heard a loud scream for she felt a sharp pain as though someone had stuck their hand inside her and tore her heart.

The man pulled his cloak over his head and walked his way without turning to look back at her. Her heart began to be filled with that which she felt charmed by—melancholy. She could no longer go back to the village. She fled the valley and ran into the cold mountains. Time went by, the sun had witnessed many winters. Familiars faded behind the veils of memory. She had withdrawn herself from the world, from everything starry and light. Nobody knew what happened to Mira in the deep woods that covered the mountains. It is believed that the villagers still hear a sharp cry on the coldest winter when the moon is at its fullest. Some believe that it is Achlys, the goddess of misery and sadness, who took the form of a man and lead the girl to her doom for she despised the gift of happiness that Mira carried in her heart.

February 25

We sat at the corner most table of the nearly-deserted restaurant. You handed me a small gift wrapped box and I asked if I could open it. You said, “yes”. I opened it to find a handcrafted silver bracelet. It was your way of mending our tattered hearts. I was surprised and slipped it on my hand and showed it to you. I didn’t know which was more beautiful—the bracelet or the gesture. We spoke a little and for the most part of the conversation my eyes hovered over your lips and my mind was in a frenzy.

We were apart for over eight weeks and I was afraid I wouldn’t recognise you or find the right words to say to you. You were giving me a fractured account of your work life that I wasn’t interested in. I wanted to know if you missed me in your waking hours, when you step into the bathroom every morning to brush your teeth and find my toothbrush next to yours, when you reach for your shampoo bottle and end up using mine, when you pull out your phone to check for a message from me, when you are picking out a tie and want an opinion, when you brush your hair a little too much to the left and remember how I would frown at that, when someone casually mentions me and it tears your heart that you couldn’t call me, when you get off work and know that the next stop would be in my arms, when you look for a shirt but find one of my clothes instead. I wanted to know if you made up for all of this when you dreamed of me and slumbered in thoughts of me. Because I did. I searched for you in the crowds, for my favourite star in the galaxies. There was a flood of overwhelming emotions flowing beneath my skin and lips.

And then, you asked if we could give this another chance. I knew I could never stop at taking my chances with you. How could I? And in a whisper, I answered, “I’ve missed you”.

 

 

February 24

There hung an old full length mirror on the yellow wall. And I stood in front of it, looking at myself. My hair was showing silver streaks, fine lines were being drawn at the corner of the mouth, the round of my eyes were turning glassy—they were signs of having existed for 30 years, 10 of which were spent loving you. 

I looked at my hands and it seemed like it was just yesterday that I held you in an embrace. I distinctly remember your sweet scent that would leave traces of you on my skin when you left for work. Sometimes, you would startle me from behind, right when I would be standing in front of this mirror examining myself just like I’m doing today. You would slip your arms around my waist, rest your face on my left shoulder and look at me in the mirror. You would smile and sway like a happy leaf dancing to the music of the summer breeze. Today, your absence embraces me in your stead.

Sometimes, you would watch me from the bed across the mirror. You would stretch your legs out, resting your back against the headboard. I would pretend to have not noticed you but you would watch while you patiently waited for me to join you in bed. We both knew that all those layers of the night gown would soon be lying crumpled on the floor and the night would be spent in conversation between our skin. Today, I only see an empty space watching me and this time I do not pretend to not notice it. 

As I stand in front of the mirror that has known and seen so much of us, I realise that life is too short to wasted on distances and silences. What wouldn’t I give to have you back in my arms, to drown you in kisses, to tell you that I’ve missed you, that your absence has left a deep hole in my heart, and that our love is enough? What wouldn’t I give? Tell me, darling?

February 23

“How do you know if a writer is in love with you?” I hurried.

“It’s easy,” he waved the question away.

“Tell me!” I insisted. It was almost a scream.

“Read what she writes,” he said.

“She writes stories. How does that tell me anything?” I retorted.

“A writer crafts her stories inspired by the things and people around her, by the things and people she loves. And when she loves you, she cannot see a picture, a scene, a moment without you. She will find a way to give you a place in every story she scripts, even if it were as small a place as a single word. In her stories, you may not always be the hero who saves the day. You may be a moment you two shared, a place you two visited, a memory you two recount often, your passion, your favourite drink, your moods, your temper, your hatred, your love—it may be anything that is you. If you look close enough, everything she writes will have a hidden imprint of you, like a secret code that only you can decrypt. And knowing those parts of her writing is the way to appreciate it, to know that you are loved enough to be perennially in the thoughts of someone who confesses her love in ink,” he finished.

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February 22

Ever had a favourite song that you loved too much? The one that pleased your senses the very first time you heard it. The one that you’d play everywhere you go, sing it whenever you feel low, show it to everyone you know. The one that plays at the back of your mind when you’re talking to someone or reading a book. The one that is the last thing you listen to and the first. The one that feels like it is coursing through your veins, being pumped from your heart, making imprints on your bones. He was like that song. And, people in my side of the world called it heartbeat.