The One Night Stand

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The room was silent and dark. He could hear the occasional whirring sound of a vehicle passing by outside on the road. Moonlight entered through a small high window and illuminated her face. He looked at her by his side, his arm her pillow, and her peacefully sleeping face brought a smile to his face and calmness to the turmoil in his head. He lovingly stroked her cheek and lips with his thumb and she snuggled deeper into his shoulder. He wanted to kiss her, hug her tighter, change the posture a bit, but afraid that she will fall out of these stealthily snatched moments of peace, he kept still. Sleep had evaded her for the past couple of nights and he would do everything in his power to give her that time even if it meant losing the limited hours they had together. She was sleeping in his arms and yet her thoughts were keeping him from sleep. His lips were dry and throat parched, but getting up for water was out of question. The warmth of her body was all that kept him from shivering with the cold seeping into him through the wall that was touching his other arm. Events of the past few hours kept forming a kaleidoscope of images in his head. Her hair falling to his face when she sat upon him, the soft feel of their skin touching, the way she squirmed and the stinging sensation that he could still feel somewhere near his throat.

He saw moonlight reflecting from her soft angular face. That sight awakened in him feelings that should have stayed asleep. Like a cord tightly wound was suddenly unstrung and released all the coiled up tension in his body. He tried to think straight, “How is it even possible ?” They were two very different people leading different lives which were not even heading into a remotely similar direction. There has to be some common ground between two people before you begin to feel this way.

Somewhere outside rang a shrill bell which woke her up with a start. Her tired eyes opened suddenly and with an elevated heart beat she looked around to find the source of the noise. Sensing her discomfort he tried to calm her down, “It was nothing” and using his palms to close her eyelids tried to put her back to sleep. He realized how afraid she was of being ‘found out’. It wasn’t something she would normally do. How they both ended up like this was something very difficult to explain by either of them. Especially after what happened the previous night, how can there be so extreme highs and lows in less than twenty-four hours? Was this even statistically possible?

Moments from the passing night started coming back to him; when he sensed her hesitations, her fears and how she had let her mind reluctantly give in at last even though the rest of her wanted to flow freely. She was too troubled and occupied with things already out of her control that and she obviously didn’t want another string attached. Outside of that room, both of them had a life that was waiting for them, a life they had planned and executed logically till now. So what was this obtrusion that had suddenly come their way pulling them in a vortex of cold confusion? It all seemed so illogical, yet the pieces began to fall completely into place. But how to explain it all to her? He knew her enough to know that she would never fall for this. And definitely not like this, thoughts after a night of passion. It has to be more logical, more sustainable, a more drawn out process. Not like this. And besides, she told him that she valued her freedom far more than anything else in the wide world right now. And something like this, according to her would tie her up. He Let those thoughts slip away from him. Maybe in another time. Life is long and the world is getting smaller.

He definitely did not want the night to end and he was hoping her sleeping mind also wanted to prolong their stay, but the silent rays of warm creeping light and the distant tick-tock of some distant clock were like thunder and lightning to his senses; cold, wet and frightening. He tarried for as long as he could, inhaling the last notes of her perfume and committing it to memory. Ultimately when he could delay the moment no longer, with a heart heavier than the weight on atlas’s shoulders, he quietly whispered in her ear, “Wake up, Good morning”.

She was up in no time and they silently and slowly went through the rituals of the morning and packed their stuff. And then it was time to leave. Suddenly as if everything that was and all that had happened had all collapsed and was now hanging on to this very moment. He looked at her as she finished packing her things and looked around the four walls knowing that it had been a different world in there, a world apart from the worlds they both inhabited, a world where they got to be together beyond the ideas of right and wrong. She hugged him and kissed him for the last time, “it would have been incomplete otherwise”, she later told him, and they both exited that place to silently greet the growing cacophony on the streets that would take them both their separate ways.

“Out there, far away from the ideas of right and wrong, there is a field, I will meet you there.” ~ Rumi

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