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 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.
Buried in souls
Filling gold in cracks
I’m wearing the maroon pullover
You gave me on our fifth anniversary.
It’s come straight from the dry cleaner’s
And it smells of rose
Instead of sandalwood.
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.
My hair’s drenched,
Cleansed with the scents of lavender
Dripping off, lining my nape with rainbows
As the two o’clock sun dances with it.
The blow dryer does a decent job but,
Nothing dries my rebellious curls
Better than you
Continue reading Daddy’s Little Girl
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.