Zombie | #AtoZChallenge

You are recounting more tales of your philandering. I stop listening after story number three. You are oblivious to the fact that I am hurting. That I still think of you and me as us, in spite of what I did, and in spite of all the evidence to the contrary you’re serving, story by story. Are you being deliberately hurtful, or just painfully insensitive?

*

It was our first official date. We were still tiptoeing around each other, like it was a dance, anticipating the other’s move, responding accordingly. At one point, you turned away. I leaned back, slightly tipsy, and I touched your elbow. And just like I knew you would, you kissed me. That was our first kiss.

*

After our first fight, we couldn’t stay angry at each other.  We kept apologizing, the argument then turning to how it was not the other person’s fault. Then we laughed with relief and fell silent. Until, we were both conscious of how heavy it was. It doesn’t matter if it was you who leaned in first or I. But I think of that too as a first kiss – a second first kiss.

*

It is different now. I’ve stopped listening, but I’m searching. Searching for a sign of that love in your eyes. I find a graveyard there – dead love, dead dreams. The words were yours; the crown of glory you were placing on your head with these shallow tales was yours. But the life, the joy you pretended to have was not.

We decide to take a walk. Through the old lanes, where each corner held something of us, the place I refused to return to after what happened. You point out familiar landmarks, as the fallen leaves get crushed under my shoes. We reach the spot where you park your car and I look in; there’s a flask on the dashboard. You’ve changed the brand of car freshener you use. I don’t know what your car smells like now. The passenger seat will always be filled by someone who isn’t me.

You ask if I have to leave in a tone that suggests you want me to stay.

I look up, taken aback, gauging the amount of sincerity in your question, and finding none. You misread my silence, and lean in before I can stop you. I realize even in that moment how forced it felt from your part, like you were fulfilling something. But I don’t realize it until you move away that I didn’t return your kiss. I don’t realize it until then that only half of me is present, the rest is numb.

Maybe we did this to each other. And maybe there won’t be any more first kisses for us. Because this feels like the last one.

 


 

Hi everyone! This is the last installment of the minimalist fiction project I’ve been working on all this month during the #AtoZChallenge. The story was shared in snippets, and the events occurred non-sequentially. I’m grateful to you for staying with me from A to Z. If you’ve missed any posts, you can find them all here

Z

Moth to a Flame

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There’s no silence to be had
Between us, or so my instincts claim.
You rarely let me in even so,
Should I then try again?

Your glass is full of stories
Of your friends and your fame.
I’ve tried to wade in twice or more,
Gone against the grain.

Standoffish are you, or merely quiet?
Indifference, or am I a reminder of an old pain?
A puzzle, a mystery, so enticing.
So tell me, do I dare try again?

Linking to dVerse Poets OLN

This poem earned me the title of Blogstar on BlogChatter!

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Do You Still Come Here?

petrichor-and-clouds-sreesha-divakaran-poetry

This will not be a poem
I will tell you now
There are so many questions
You can answer; I need to know.

Do you still come here? Looking
For clues I still hide?
For whether you do or not,
They still here reside.

The other day, I
Saw your footprints outside my door
And I followed you home,
Only to realize, “home” was a dream long gone.

Do you still come here?
Tell me if you can
Why did you leave without a knock
When my arms are still open to welcome you back.

 

 

 

Carrot Cake and Hot Chocolate 

New Year celebrations don’t always mean you have to expend the energy you don’t have reserves of. Not physically, but mentally, what with being an introvert and all that – the kind that secretly hopes plans get cancelled no matter how much she loves her friends. Sometimes you celebrate the beginning of a new year by taking a stroll. 

For me, 2016 began with one such stroll. It was dusk. I was in the quaint fairy tale town, Kodaikanal. With all its hills and valleys. During the day it wasn’t as cold as it once used to be. But after 4 pm, the place would be blanketed with mist. 

Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of winters. I associate it with layers of sweaters, restricting movement and making me look like a porky comic character. Teeth chattering, despite this (and for some reason my teeth chattered more enthusiastically than those around me, like I was a possessed skeleton). A complete unwillingness to get out of bed. An inability to see buildings and sometimes even your own hand.

But lately, I’ve begun to miss the chill. Maybe because I don’t get it once a year anymore. Maybe I’ve added winter to the pile of things I had to let go from childhood. 

The celebratory stroll (not intended as such, but I like to think of it that way) was thus, in equal parts, memorable and nostalgic. 

We came by a little cafe on PT Road. Everything in Kodaikanal looks little and cozy. Tiny Christmas trees decorated all the shops and restaurants. This cafe was no different. Looking in, I felt a bit like the little match girl. The incandescent lighting in contrast to the cold blue dusk outside, the twinkling of the Christmas lights, the round wooden tables and the comfortable looking chairs. 

The cherry on this cozy cake of a setting was the hot chocolate and carrot cake that we ordered. You take off your gloves and hold that cup of hot chocolate in your hands and what happens is pretty magical. 

You become friendlier to those around you. 

A few years ago, I read somewhere that if you smile to a stranger, you both end up having a good day. That day in the cafe, for a change I was not just on the receiving end, but the one that smiled first. Perhaps if dignitaries from warring countries were meeting one another, putting some of the carrot cake from this cafe would be a good idea. With some hot chocolate of course. Is it possible to go on being pissed with so much warm fuzziness in your mouth? 

I just discovered how to go about achieving world peace, I think. 

From The Ruins

The spot. Everyone has one. Unnoticed, but special. Never thought of, but never forgotten. That spot in the corner of your city, a building, or a park, quiet, ordinary, unimportant to all eyes, even yours. Until…

You will cross that spot some day, when life has forced you to change the lanes you take. You will find, what stood there has been razed to the ground. The fence still stands. There are people sitting on the fence, laughing, talking, as people always have. Strangers. You search for familiar faces – you had lost this habit of seeking them out in crowds, but the familiarity of the very air causes it all to rush back. The memories of you dreaming your unfulfilled dreams, the memories of that unrequited love, the memories of shared secrets while sitting on that same fence – the only relic still standing from a time pushed back, only to resurface now, like ghosts from an old well. A silent grey fence, guarding the stubs of a dead building, a spot you would not glance twice at, except that it has heard your whispers. It has known you like it was your diary. And until it’s torn down, unnoticed is what it remains. Then you suddenly see it, as if for the first time; you remember it. It reminds you.

It wishes to tell you, something new is going to grow here, and before that happens, it wishes to return your belongings. Something will grow on the ashes of the keeper of your stories, your secrets. And taking your belongings back will teach you to regrow.

Moments With A Stranger

Stranger,
Let me love you but don’t fall for me,
I am no calm sea, but the jolt of electricity,
That’ll kill you when you’re asleep.

Stranger,
What is this urge so deep,
Every vein throbs with my need for you to claim me, own me,
And when you’re with me, you find it hard to breathe,

Stranger,
On my skin, write a lyrical symphony,
Don’t kiss me, but still my quivering lip not quietly
Your scent is heady like good poetry and a dirty dream.

Stranger,
As these dew drops roll down the rosebuds slowly
Tresses wild as these, let them wrap your neck in glee,
Hold my gaze and with it bind me to set me free.

Stranger,
My name you ask, I do believe,
But don’t let names corrupt the whispers around you and me,
Let me hold you, bestow endearments sweet.

Stranger,
Perfect moments come but rarely,
As these, with you entwined with me
But don’t fall for me, moments are perfect for they fleet.

 

Image Source: Pinterest
Image Source: Pinterest

The Defenses Around My Heart


Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers


It was a crowded dance floor,
The lights were turned low.
There were ribbons of fireflies in all colors,
Casting neon glows.
There were over a hundred men and women,
Letting go of their worries then.
No sound save for the loud music,
Could be heard in that loud den.

And in that chaos where our troubles went to sleep,
I caught him looking at me
I do not know what it meant
I don’t think his expression I could read.
I stepped off the dance floor
I stepped away from the noise and the chaos
And sure as I knew I would,
Searching for me he was!

He caught me staring back,
Asked me why I wouldn’t dance.
There were butterflies in my stomach.
I could feel the stopping of the clock’s hands.

I hated it that out of nowhere he came in,
And began crushing the defenses around my heart, that I had taken years to build.
I hated it that while every carefully constructed defense is crumbling, 

I am letting him into my heart, bit by a little bit…

And I hated it too when I realized… 

That I was secretly waiting for that last wall to come crashing down!

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.