The treasures of my cupboard are sprawled around me as I sit cross legged in between them all, rummaging fondly through the old box of black with patterns of bronze. It’s a typical summer afternoon along the coast with the humidity dripping along the tattooed nape of my neck as the chocolate fan tries flirting with my chocolate curls tied up in a messy bun with some of the shorter ones spilling loose from the bondage. I come across a string of pearls in a transparent packet that I never wore; something that I always wanted adorn my collarbones with. The string of pearls you’d gifted me. I take it out of its wrapping, gently wrapping it around my fingers as the reds of my nails bring out their white. It’s funny how it still manages to tint my cheeks with the shy pink, the same way it did that day as you took it out from the depths of your beige pockets and slid it along the green bench towards me. My heart still remembers the surprise it felt as it flutters even today, making me smile at the string of memories that flow in. Someone once rightly said that memories are like a box of sweets; you can’t just stop at one.
And so here I am, sitting with my box of memories as the Swiss clock ticks away. Walks, talks, dinners, fights and dreams. Dreams – I remember how your eyes would always light up as you narrated your dreams, and how you’d listen to me intently as I whispered mine; I remember how we dreamed of something with our individual dreams stitched as one, each complimenting the other. I remember how neither the dreams are together anymore nor us. My heart involuntarily sighs sadly as the reminder of those cold nights make me hold my sacred string of pearls closer. It’s been a while but, it still pricks the soul how we chose to walk down the mountain towards the valley in our two mountains to every valley. We were so young; you with your big dreams and cargo shorts and, me with my wild curls and rebellious pen. We were in love and young; too young perhaps. For while one night you were gushing about telling your friends about me, on another night, you fretted about making me a part of you while you still questioned your independency. For while I’d patiently sit and smoothen the wrinkles of your fears, I’d stay up in the night battling mine. We were young, and on our way to create our own place in this world. We were young, and scared. I can feel the sting of the tears that I’d shed, burning my cheekbones, as our fears – as your fears – caught up and you walked away from our young love, as the mature insecurities declared war on our naive love; a war which ended with it winning. My clear eyes still grow foggy as I wonder about you; about how you’re doing now and everything in between. There’s a picture of us with battered boundaries; a picture that smiles at me, giggling about good times and it’s impossible for me to not smile back at those faces. The black tea beautifying the clear cup has grown cold as I warmed my soul with heat of memories. And my soul devours another memory of how I picked up that cup of tea to give you company and haven’t left it till date even though you’re no longer there to join me.
And perhaps someday, we’ll be laughing awkwardly over an earthen cup of cutting tea in one of those roadside stalls; you with your bigger dreams and suit and, me with my tame curls laced with wildness and rebellious pen. And as the shades on my lips become bolder, maybe they’ll slip the thought of how your haircut suits you. And maybe the hazels of my eyes will still disapprove of your green checks and beige pants, while the black beads of your eyes will still prefer the curls falling loosely around my collarbones. Perhaps someday, somewhere down the lane, we’ll be going through our box of memories, together, when we’ve created our place in this world; when we’re no longer too young, as we’ll choose to walk down the lane that we’d sworn to never tread on again. And maybe somewhere down the lane, our paths might meet again.