There’s a steady drip from the tap, dancing on the steel utensils in the sink. The sun is fast asleep, perhaps just fretting about a little before it wakes up. I switch on the lights, squinting to not startle the sleep I already broke. I gently shut the door behind me as I walk in, scanning the kitchen to locate the shelves I need. I glance to my left, at the daisy clock he’s put up. It was a Saturday afternoon, and I remember telling him about the geyser being left a few minutes too long, as I stirred the tea leaves, in the morning while I got busy in the kitchen. All he said was “Hm.” as he passed me the cup of milk. I’m not sure when he got the clock but I stepped in the next morning to find the daisy hanging on the wall.
It’s a quarter to six and you can see the winter nudging your sleeves as the wind picks up. You can see the pavements light up with their enlarged fairy lights and a lazy rush flood in. I glance at my ten year old watch as the signal still speaks red. Ten minutes to six. It’s an odd hour to hear Kishore on the stereo but I’m the last to complain. That’s if you ask me to at gunpoint. The road starts to clear and Kishore and I make our way back to the house by the time the clock strikes six. I’ve walked up to the front door but I can’t seem to look at it with its carved roses and clear glass that bends the light in the most magical way. I can hear the blood gushing through my ears ferociously as though it pumps right there. I place my left palm on the door, letting my skin recognize warmth on its cold surface. There isn’t any noise in this part of the city. You have the silence and the waves to keep you company. And my uneven breaths.
It’s a quarter to one and my eyes are yawning lazy in the summer noon. I’ve left my right foot a foot above the ground, swinging carelessly as my left foot stays tucked under the right knee where my right fingers are humming a tune whose lyrics I’ve forgotten. I fidget a little with the hems of my skirt, occasionally with my hair that the humidity has curled in ways no curler can. It’s a quarter past one now, and I browse through my chats on social media, hovering over yours just for a second longer. You’ve thanked me for something I don’t seem to recall. I hover for another four seconds before opening our conversation.
You’ve left your black slippers beside the shoe-rack; ready to tuck your feet into them when you’re back from work. There aren’t any bright shades that blind the eye, just the warm browns, reds and a streak of golden here and there. I see you’ve hanged a family portrait above the sofa and I can tell, it’s what catches the guest’s eyes first; what you want their eyes to catch first. I lightly trace the walls with the tips of my fingers as I walk deeper into the apartment, waiting at the doorway of the kitchen long enough to catch last night’s dishes sitting quietly in the sink. I don’t need to look too hard to be able to find where you’ve kept the detergent; it’s where you’d always keep them – in the cabinet below the sink, on the left, in a margarine case. You’ve left the kitchen monochrome, with the only pop colour being the crimson utensils’ basket.
The room smells of dust and memories. Looking at it through its eight feet entrance, I try remembering home in it. Purple curtains and the table by its side. Walls with posters; walls with paintings. I lightly swing my torso backwards, resting pale knuckles with a single ring on the mahogany frame as I see the reflection of emptiness echoing back at me. I’m not sure if it’s the silence that makes my heartbeat so audible or the silence within. Leaving my imprint on the door, I walk in with the company of wheels rolling by my side. The fans wake up with a creaking I’m glad to hear. I sit down cross legged on the unfamiliar mattress with the familiar bed sheet of pearl with red roses. Pulling my knees close to my chest, I close my eyes and try to focus on my breathing only to juggle chirping, creaking and dry gulps. There’s a buzz that breaks me from the silent chaos as I’m notified of a message.
The flight’s landed twenty minutes prior to its promise and I can smell last night’s forecast lazing around in the air as I wake up from my much needed, eight o’clock nap. I still don’t care much about how my hair looks after the heavenly slumber treat and trust my French braid to make me look stylish enough to pass off as today’s fashion. But, I subconsciously carry a comb in my bag because Ma liked to redo my hair and part it on the left as, I swung my legs three inches above the floor. I can feel a sting even today just at the memory. Especially today.
There’s a delivery package on my table that I haven’t had the heart to open yet. It’s half past five and I’m still dressed in my black sweater and black jeans. I’m tired enough to hang my feet a few centimeters above the floor with the black socks still hugging them as I’ve stretched my body diagonally on the bed but not tired enough to not remove the black watch that lies gracefully on the study table with a white table clock, monochrome calendar and, a black pencil stand that has nothing but blue pens and black, and one bright pink pencil. My stomach’s rumbling and shooting me sharp punches to remind me of the two days I haven’t visited the dining table. But I’m trying to focus on the playlist playing into my ears that I was humming to on my way back but can’t seem to pay attention to now. My head’s spinning and I close my eyes shut; maybe it’ll help. But I’m sucked into a spiraling downfall and I don’t know if I should open my eyes or not. My feet are getting choked in the embrace and I chose to free them from the bondage. And now I’m sitting crossed legged on the mosaic floor with a rolled up black sock in my left hand, choked throat and welled up eyes.
I’ve been staring at the canvas with the steak of red and brown for the last fifteen minutes. The limelight wraps it in an air of importance I’m unable to give it. It’s the maze that traps me at lunch and, again at midnight when I’ve fluffed the pillow thrice, or anytime between, before or after.
Orange flavoured candy
In a transparent wrapper
With white frills
You didn’t see,
Her eyes that were
Lined with cries
And sleepless tossing;