Sunday, February 7, 2010

Time Stopped By

Time stopped by today, and stayed for a snuggle. It had been a while since I met him. He was in the neighbourhood, he said, and could not resist dropping in. I am glad he did.

I was in the middle of a call when he rang the bell, hesitatingly first, and then, loudly and insistently. I used to love unannounced, surprise visitors earlier, but not any more. I had half a thought to ignore the bell. Whoever it is, if he/she does not have the courtesy to plan beforehand, perhaps I should give them a miss, I thought, but my old self kicked in, and made me relent.

He came in, looking different that what I remember him. He used to have a lazy, langrous, dreamy look about him, with eyes that smiled and loved. He now looked anxious, almost feverish, his teeth clamped under a determined jaw, and I almost did not recognize him. Just then he smiled my name, and it came back - the redolent look - and blood coursed through me, reigniting the love and fierce protection I had always felt for him. I found myself smiling back, forgetting the call I had put on hold, as I took him by his hands, and sat us down on our favourite love seat by the French window, our breaths mingling, hands barely touching.

“How have you been?”, he asked.

“Er… I have been ok, I guess. “, I quivered, as I devoured the familiar look about his eyes. I wondered if he knew that my knees had turned to water.

He looked long at me, his eyes touching every corner of me. I felt myself blossoming under his eyes, and sighing, stretched out on the couch, enchanted by his presence alone.

“You look weary.” he said, looking me deep in the eyes.

“Ah, yes, perhaps I am. You are not with me much anymore these days”, I had to tell him I missed him so.

“You wanted more of me?” he retorted, his gaze now caressing my lips. “For what? Haven’t you used me enough?”

“Used you?”

“What else would you call doing what you do? Running from one place to other, making money, making investments, smiling at strangers, talking to crowds..”, he accused, his eyes still riveted on my lips, making them burn with longing.

I snuggled closer to him. And ran my fingers through his hair – they felt the same. Curly, thick. I could spend hours like this, I thought.

“Be with me tonight.” I whispered, dropping my head on his shoulders, suddenly aching for him inside.

“I am with you now, just as I have been before. You just stopped noticing me’. His voice smelt of unshed tears, smoked dreams and half-forgotten desires. “But I am going away soon. That’s what I came to tell you. I am running out.” he blurted out in one breath.

“Running out?”

“Yes. There will be fewer tomorrows than yesterdays”, he whispered, his eyes now on mine, soft and luminous, my face reflected back in them. “Do me a favour, will you? Do what you really want with me. And be quick.”

With that, he yanked his eyes away, and in one swift movement, got up from the love seat, wore his anxious look again, and before I could assemble my feet to entreat him, opened the door and walked out.

I continued sitting on the love seat, dazed with what he had said, still feeling his presence warm next to me, as waves of regret washed over me. He had to run out, I knew that, but how did I know that it would happen so soon?

I am glad Time stopped by today. I managed a small snuggle – it is not much, but it is something.