Until Next Time

byeHe ran two steps at a time to reach the balcony. If he was late, he will miss her altogether. His day was going already bad. He didn’t want to miss her too and be miserable for the whole weekend.

He reached the opening and rushed to the railings and looked down. The porch was swarming with people saying friday goodbyes or making plans for the next two days. Laughter was flowing easily, friendly swearing and lot of warmth filled the evening air, giving it a festive mood. He searched for her in the glare of the evening sun and riot of colours below.

There she was. As bright and blazing as the sunset. She didnt do things in half measures. Dressed in violent colors, she was laughing outrageously. Her loud mouth and piercing eyes. All these characteristics in her annoyed a lot of people. But not him. He loved for for these very same reasons.

He saw her beyond her facade. The serenity she behind those dark colours. Her open throat laugh; as if she is collecting all the laughter and hiding it in her belly. Her plain eyes behind all that eye liner and shades and what not. He saw the walls she built around herself with these things. And he wanted to be the dark knight who cross all the perils and the high walls and kiss the princess.

The classes will get over in another two months. Then… Then what? Nothing. “You will go your way and I will go mine,” he told aloud. There was nobody to hear him so he continued looking at her. “You deserve much more. And I’ll always love you more. More than you would ever know.” She was getting into the car.

But she looked back. All smiles… “Did she smile at me?” he thought.

Until next time baby…

She searched for him everywhere. Maybe he was late after class. Maybe he went to library. Or he went home early. No. He has never done that before. He wouldn’t go before seeing her off on a friday. It was their ritual. The unspoken farewell. The silent promise to look out for each other the next day. She came out of the porch and went to stand by the car with her friends.

She responded without really thinking about the answer. She laughed at their jokes without really hearing what they said. She knew she was too loud. But its become a rather convenient habit and a part of her personality. People tend to ask less questions and intrude less into her privacy when she appeard loud and boistrous and bold. Inbetween all this chaos, she kept an eye out for him. She wanted to see him. Before she left the town for the weekend.

She was grateful for her friends. All good hearted and friendly people, who lived on good clothes and makeup and shoes and boys. That was the beginning and the end of their world. They seldom talked about anything else. They seldom wanted anything else. But she, wanted something else, beyond these ordinary things. She seeked contentment, satisfaction. It was like, she was constantly running to reach somewhere. And she wanted to reach there and end the race. She didnt want to run anymore.

Its not that there were a lot of tragedies in her life. It was not that there was a lot of things to be depressed in her life. She was blessed in many ways. Yet, she was not satisfied. She had everything, Yet she longed for something. She didnt know the name of what she wanted. But she knew she would know it the moment she found it. And whenever she saw him, it felt like he was the the destination she was searching for.

Its been almost a year now since he started being with her, without being with her. She felt his presence. She knew his eyes followed him. She enjoyed the way he looked at her. With a craving and yet with respect. As though worshipping, as if adoring and if healing her with pure affection. She laughed aloud. Laughed at herself and at the absurdity of her thoughts. And then she saw him. There on the balcony. Looking down at her.

An oddly comforting warmth spread throughout her body and filled her heart. In front of him, she did not feel the need to impress. She could as well have two horns and burns and scars, and he would see through her and adore her all the same. She knew she was nothing special. But for him, she was extraordinary. What he saw in her was a mystery to her. But she revelled in that attention and loyalty.

Did he say something to her? She looked up. He looked serious. It was time for her to go. Or she would be late to reach her home in the outskirts of the city. And suddenly she realized, there was only two more months for the college days to end. And then, her guardian angel would go and she will have to fend for herself. Was she brave enough for that? Did she have the strength for that?

She wanted more. More time with him. She just wanted him. He never crossed the distance and walked over to her to talk. She did not understand that either. Why? But, then… “why didn’t I talk to him?” she wondered.

Suddenly she realized that she could. Or rather, she will. If she had only two months before he disappears, she would make the most out of it. Who knows… maybe more than two months… two years… two lifetimes… She smiled at that thought and got into the car.

So many hearts that are close do not love each other. Even though he is far, she knew that this heart would take care of her. And she wanted to take care of that heart. “I dont want to let this go. It already late. Not anymore. I’ll see you soon. And I am not leaving. Did u hear that? I am not leaving you ever.”

Until next time.

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