Those nights were sinfully cold and windy, when I sat there on the stone bench picturing the arrival of my mystery man. My mystery man who had made a slave out of the blowing wind. Around him, the wind, took its submissive being, and followed along his orders with a sense of urgency and fear. I imagined my man, his face- pale and wrinkled, yet helplessly charming, emerging from a distance smoking a thick puff of smoke around him . The wind, his partner in crime, promptly carried the pungent odour away from him in a matter of seconds and brought them to me declaring his arrival. He looks several years younger than his age, thanks to his lean frame and impeccable taste in stacking the wardrobe with the right clothes. The aura around him was devastatingly unreal and he kept me on the edge every single time we met .This man, who I knew nothing about was effortlessly driving me insane and intrigued, inch by inch. I watched the kids around me play with their battered yet colored balls of red, white and blue.The honking and beeps of vehicles at a distance reached my ears as subtle tunes of a soft, mystical symphony.
Several nights had passed now, where me and him, would just walk along dusty empty walkways and argue on our takes on the world’s most pointless matters. Every night after on our return, we promise to never take another road together again. But, he would just turn up every next day as if this had become one of his habits. And I waited here day after day, as if this was my only reason for living. I wish I could romanticize the whole situation some more with descriptions of birds and tress and flowers which didnt exist to picture things perfect. But even in the obvious absence of any natural or unnatural hyperbole, the night couldn’t have been any less beautiful. The stone seats in the park I sat on, absorbed every bit of degree celcius’s it could from me, in return spreading its chill unevenly throughout the length of my body. In a few minutes I had my legs curled up under my skirt and my hands had found a safe place in the deep pockets of my sweatshirt. I didn’t cover my face, I let the wind have its way, blowing past my hair,and slowly, sabotaging my minutes of effort to make them line the contours of my face exactly the way I wanted him to see it. My eyelids hugged each other for a split second or a little longer, but before I knew it, I was falling slowly, but steadily into the surreal world which worked in strange ways. My wind, mischievously crawled into my dreams and continued to blow in there as well.
“He is here!”, announced the wind forcing a stint of his manly odour into my nose as if to bring me back to reality.
I was grinding my teeth tightly now, no more able to bypass the intensity of the moment. The wind – flowing past me in an urgency to welcome its master, was touching and teasing me in more ways than one. This man, whose very thought triggers my wildest fantasy, whose presence makes me aware of the blood gushing through my veins was finally here. I do not know if it was the night or the wind or just the thought of his usual being, I was strangely aroused, so much that I gulped down my growing urge to run back to my house, away from his haunt. I felt a small tap on my shoulder. My shoulder almost entirely covered by the grey pullover and the black tee inside it. But I am certain that I felt a tip of his index finger touch the thin lining of the exposed skin in the valley down my neck towards my arms.I stood up and smiled at his empty face trying to pacify my heart beat which had began to rise to a palpable rhythm.
He didn’t smile back at me.
Or maybe he did.
It had always been difficult to read his face. In the years, he had mastered the art of deception pretty well. He concealed his deepest desires and fears locked up in some remote chamber of his heart, away from my probing eyes. I knew that it was ages before he would actually let me into his lonely red island. The wind still blowing, caressing me and him together now, pulling the ends of my hair to catch upto his bearded face. He didn’t push them away, the strands of my messy hair now struggling its way to reach for his neck and then sliding their way higher up.
“My wind! Playing naughty games with me again, are you?”, I think.
My eyes were stuck on him – wandering deep into his thoughts , trying to make sense of this man who always made me a restless, impatient and curious woman. He joined my gaze for a few seconds, reading my apparent turmoil before he convineantly looked back to the road ahead of us. I resisted my urge to cup his face in my hands to not let him escape my gaze anymore.
“Shall we go for a walk?”, he said finally standing up and shaking off our extremely dangerous and potentially risky eye contact.
“This way”, he pointed. “Against the blowing wind”, he added.
“He walks not by you, but against you! And yet, you seem to be in favour of his evil charm, my wind?”, I think.
I suppressed a smile inside to look at my mystery man – ever the unflinching rebel. His messy hair, wanton nature and gentle words. He was a strange strange combination, of morning sunshine and midnight black. It was his very native rebellious being, that draws me to it fiercly day by day. Every part of his being, intrigued me, excited me, fascinated me, aroused me furthur. He was so much like my wind. Gentle, yet brutal. Powerful yet weak. Humble yet defiant. I didn’t make an effort to hide my desires from him.While I was making these mental notes, his eyes came wandering back to mine.
We start to walk. We took short measured steps forward through the pebbled pathway. My wind, flowing gently against me in caution, as if trying to stop me, warn me . I see him light his cigar again. I pull it out of his mouth and throw it down in the trash. He is angry now, he grabs the top my arm in a quick movement, then lets me go before turning back to walk again.But he did not light another one. I smile. I steal his hand and wrap it with mine to ease his temper. The kids in the park were throwing tiny smiles at us. Even the uncles hurrying on their way resolute in burning every bit of extra calourie they didnt need, shot mischievous glances at us.
” What must they be thinking? Do they take us for lovers? “
What do they see when they look at him, the uncles and the kids ?
What do I see when I look at him?
I see PAIN. Nothing but pain in his eyes and the void in his heart .
While my mind cruised along the horizons of possibilities of facts and figments around him, I felt his hands shake my shoulders again.My wind had started to follow us back , now blowing unevenly- smooth and hoarse, over and over. I was cold now, and hot, and my muscles started to tense. I feared the tips of my fairly concealed assets starting to peak out to give him a show of my wandering mind. I pulled the sweatshirt closer to me, still determined to walk forward against my wind and its wrath today.
With him, I was shades of multiple beings. I had alters, the shy one, the shameless one, the needy one and the childish one. As if in realization, he started speaking to me. My brain refused to keep records of his blunt revelations. He didn’t need a companion. He wanted to be the lonely man in the maddening crowd. He just didn’t need me. But I knew I was determined to give him everything he didn’t want. I didn’t dream of an exquisite wedding or of having two notorious masterminds to inherit his name. In my dreams there were no mansions or churches. There were roads, long and narrow and unpredictable. All I ever wanted was to walk with you. And to lay awake in the nights , not naked yet spent , of our intense undying conversations. My wind was growing hoarse and wild now, angry that I ignored its insistent premonitions. My mystery man, for once, held me close to him tight and wrapped his hands around me before my wind altered into his thirsty cousin-the storm.