Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Stranger

She is sitting for her usual cup of coffee in the evening, at the usual place; B____'s; and at the usual time 6pm sharp. However there is something different about her usual place: the desolate corner she is used to occupying is filled with a strangers presence on the adjacent booth. He is a an...unusual man. She watches his face hungrily, surreptitiously, furtively, but she struggles to remember details of what he LOOKS like. She sees the sharply angular, high cheek-boned face and the angular jaw. She thinks he is all angles and edges. Then she sees his eyes. She remembered very little about them afterwards. Almost nothing except that they hold her gaze for an infinitesimal shard of eternity. It is an instant that spells oblivion. He gets up, wipes his mouth with his napkin and walks off. He is unaware of what he has caused.

She finishes her coffee and for the first time, in the strict routine she has followed for the past 5 years, she sits idly in the coffee booth with her empty cup for company. She returns home at last dragging her weary body up the two flights of stairs of her small apartment. Once there she falls on to her bed and falls instantly asleep.

That day onwards her life has changed much. She now eats only enough to survive, nor can she sleep without the memory of his gaze: holding her, binding her to itself. She changes: becomes more indifferent, more insular. Her analytical abilities are not affected she works more brilliantly than ever, but she knows that her time is running out. She searches for him, sitting for hours at that booth but to no end. At last at the end of her limits of physical endurance, on the last day she will live, exactly one year after she met the stranger in that very place, she struggles to that booth, alone. And he is there, he is waiting for her. He smiles at her now and she sees that his eyes are grey like winter rain, like the sea before the storm, like the cloak of Hades... he is fading, all she remembers is a grey blur, she realises, just before all fades completely, that he is bending to kiss her.

4 comments:

I am said...

i am being compelled by some unusual force to believe that probably a little-minuscule part of this obviously great entry..which left me smiling ear to ear- is a reflection of the a close being..may be..even you...but its just my thought...it perhaps, is, just pure fiction...

Aarushi said...

Was reading it again. Noticed something........

"more indifferent, more insular"

kanika said...

I really really love this one.
Macabre in a subtle way, I feel. Though I am a fan of explicitly happy endings, this one somehow fit right in.
You write really really really well, Sayan.
:)

barniacle said...

what if the man never came ..... would her life continue mechanically ...... as sad ominous and uneventful as it was ......... would a pain and longing wherein the only consolation was a remembrance ever tormenting, worth it .............would nothingness and emptiness be better bargain ...... but sayan mast likha hai .......... GHAUW ......