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.
Say, have you looked up at the sky tonight?
The stars are bright and,
The moon is new.
The five o’clock twilight is right around the corner. You can see it painting the white dining table in hues as though the sun’s hiding behind the black trench coat in the corner of the room like a child with a missing milk tooth. The room smells of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. It’s been two years since I’ve been here and, I never realized how much I missed this place till she opened the mahogany door. Her smile is still the same. It’s just that there’s a few more grey strands and the wrinkles have grown deeper. But the smile is still the same. And she still wears the same shade of red, lined with a subtle maroon, highlighting her cupid’s bow in the most powerful way possible. You’d think she’d be delicate but her hugs embrace you with warmth and firmness. Do you know those hugs that are like a safe haven? The ones that make you feel safe? Like nothing could go wrong? Her hugs were like that; joining every broken fragment within you together.
This is where you left.
An alley behind the quarters; a place away from the crowd. Overgrown gardens and homely vehicles.
Red lipstick of the fiercest shade.
Winged eyeliner that was perfect to the ‘T’.
She brushed through her waist length wavy hair, lightly teasing her earrings as her bangles fell against each other, creating soft music with their delicate selves around her delicate wrist.
She walked to her cupboard, as the silver anklets around her ankles sang with every step she took. Her eyes searched for his favourite colour. They finally lit up as they fell on the pink saree. Draping the synthetic cloth with works of sequins around herself, she looked into the antique mirror. She look like the goddess of beauty had been captured within the wooden frames of the mirror, spreading her aura all over the dimly lit room that smelt of lavenders.
But then something was wrong.
They say that to be in love is as good as being in heaven. The most beautiful feeling ever. Making someone your life. Smiling away in their happiness despite your despair; your sorrow. To bring a smile on their face. To make them forget their tensions. Their grieves. To give them those few endless moments of extreme happiness. Is to be in love. When you become all dramatic and conclude to say that your heart is no longer yours, it’s been handed over to someone else. Like a gift neatly wrapped to be kept. To be taken care. To be loved. Forever and after.
Some say love is all about gifts. Expensive ones. Dates in fancy restaurants. Extravagant surprises. The more the merrier?