October

Detour

When past makes a detour, it’s almost as if we’re not ready. We’ve tried to let go of things—no matter how pretty, how beautiful–and it’s been excruciating. They sting—reminding us of what are made of: shy smiles, coconut flavored candies, board games, anxiety attacks, pure glee.

For some it wanders—the past. For others, it comes back, like it’s written to connect the dots that we didn’t understand as kids. Things we had to let go but weren’t ready to do so. So past makes a comeback. For closure. Only, past is not as we’ve always imagined, not as we have lived. Is it playing with us? Are we hallucinating? It’s an old trick. Only Past would know.

Past has gotten old, just like we have. Twelve years older. But past is happy. Proud. Past is proud that we had to go through him, and just when we were getting used to his presence, he had to leave. But Past is back now. To commend, to applaud, to tell us that he would not desert us again. Past now has wrinkles, instead of worries, all at their perfect places. Past has learnt to smile more, to tell more and is more eager to listen to what we have to say. It’s been more than a decade since we lost contact—or since he decided to flee—but he is not here to stay either. Past promises to visit again, with more surprises—but this time with future. Soon past would become our future.

Things would change. No more chasing little girls playing, no more nursery rhymes or hide and seek in the shades of trees, no more peeking from windows too tall for our height. When past decides to bring in future, all the leaves would have shed, October gone, welcoming the onslaught of early snow and December. Future-past would bring campfire and melted snow, grown up kids, their eyes filled with amber and glow.

Past has promised that things would change, because once again we’ve opened the Pandora box that we had buried under heaps of sand.

But this time, things would change. We would keep our hopes but we won’t let past dictate our show. Past has the choice to come but we won’t mind if it decides to change its home.

 

 

 

Dream in a dream

I think it was a dream. But then I could not be so sure. Because one moment it felt like a dream, from someone else’s perspective and the next moment, I was there getting out of my warm car and into the cold winter night.

It was cold, almost 5 degree Celsius but there I was, walking into a fancy Halloween party. The ones that you could see from outside through windows, with shimmery lights fading into the dark. So technically, it must have been October. I strode towards the house and climbed up the front stairs.

Now that I recall, I don’t know whose house was it or who invited me for the party.

I was only wearing a plain black suit but I could see Gandalfs and Batmen and Jasmines, a Dumbledore, a Harry Potter and a fat little dwarf among others. There was Chucky with his knife—a little taller than the actual—and Annabelle, a recent addition to horror tales. For a moment I could not decide where I belonged and so I lingered in the hallway. But then I turned to a corner where I had spotted Bellitrix Lestrange in the bluish darkness. Now, in reality I hate the existence of Belitrix but the fact that I decided to move towards her and not Hermoine (in the far end of the room, also by her own) tells me that this could not be real.

Bellitrix was, Bellitrix. There is no other way to explain it. But she was gentle. Although she did not smile while we talked, she never made me feel intimidated. But she kept hidden in shadows. This concerned me. I feel stupid right now but I tried really hard to make her smile. Maybe I wanted to see whether she her soul too was Bellitrix or not. It’s very hard to understand I know, so I won’t try to explain. It was one of those moments when the lights were changing and I was trying to crack lame jokes that she laughed—a heartless Bellitrix laugh. I swear I heard my heart tremble. I wish I could see her face and not her silhouette then—see whether her laugh reached her eyes. But by the time the lights made their way back, the laugh was gone and so were her expressions—if there were any. She was back to being dry and gentle.

We had drinks soon. As I followed her down the hallway I could faintly smell her—raspberry, herbs and perhaps, burnt wood. I liked thinking of burnt wood then. The drinks were in blue and red. I had never tasted those before. She held a paper cup for me while took a sip from the other. I did not like my blood-red drink but gladly finished it because well—because I was having a drink with her!

I think she read my mind because she smiled at me for the first time without hiding herself behind the dark shadows. And I swear I saw two black teeth between her smile. I needed to know if they were fake and unreal just like her costume or was that really her—the dry-laughed, black toothed Bellitrix. I needed the answers but I couldn’t dare to ask. And so I tried to run away.

She said she would come see me off. I almost did not hear. But she followed anyway. When we came out of the house into the silence, it was snowing—in October. I must be losing myself completely.

She looked at me and then up at the sky for a few seconds before she looked at me again. ‘Amazing isn’t it? What’s been happening tonight?’ She smiled at me. Her teeth didn’t show.

I didn’t know what she had been hinting at. ‘I think I’m just tired tonight. So I’ll go. It was nice meeting you.’ I could only manage.

‘I’ll see you around I guess.’ She said and went back to the illuminated house.

I did not wait to look at her back. And I don’t remember what happened next. I had begun to imagine that it must have been a dream after all

But when I was shopping today for the weekly groceries, days after the Halloween incident, she appeared in my aisle (which was deserted except of course myself), at the far end—I cannot imagine how that might have been—and said, ‘Hi’. She was still dressed as Bellitrix, her hair was as messy as you could imagine. Only she was more cheerful.

I could make up my words together to say hi back. I was struck, dumbfounded.

‘I told you I’ll see you around, didn’t I?’ She said nonchalantly. ‘And oh, by the way, those teeth were fake.’ She smiled her brilliant smile so that all her white teeth showed in the bright light.

I have been trying to remember what happened next.