‘Get up, son,’ my mother shakes me. I open me eyes and after a few minutes I get up, ready to tackle the day ahead. But then I feel like there’s something I’ve forgotten. I am suddenly feeling glum and I don’t know why. Something had happened that I can’t remember.
Then it clicks. Wasn’t I crying? Yes, I was! I check my eyes and cheekbones for any signs of tears, but there are none.
Oh! It was a dream!
A bloody dream! Now my sadness turns into fury. I thought I’d vented out my emotions through the tears some time ago but no! I haven’t cried for almost a decade now and the streak won’t break so early so easily. I shake my head and move on to brush my teeth.
I generally completely forget my dreams the second I wake up; I doubt if I even have dreams every night, but not in this case. There are some dreams, however, that I at least do remember having. This is one of those very few, and as closely related to reality as it could be. Even if one remembers, dreams aren’t supposed to make sense after you snap out of it.
I can’t get over it even after a few hours. I try to remember whatever I can; I close my eyes, trying to live it one more time.
I walk through the dark, almost empty street. The street is new to me. Two-storied apartment buildings and shops stand tall on both sides. It’s been hours since night has fallen. Most of the shops have closed already and the residents in the area are asleep. Too early for bed, I think. A couple of apartment windows are still lit, though, like stars in a vertical sky. The climate is pleasant, the air cold. I don’t know what’s going to happen now or where I’m gonna spend the cold night, but I know that I came here for a reason and I’m not leaving this place till I complete what I set out to do.
Then I see her. She, who is the reason I’ve travelled to this place, who I’ve followed here and promise to keep following if she wants me to. She’s sitting at one of the still-lit windows, reading a book, dangerously beautiful. She affects me in ways no one else can imagine and to an extent I can’t bear. I’m in love with this girl, head over heels. Maybe she has feelings for me, too, and somewhere in her mind she wants me to be with her. Unlikely, though, because I don’t deserve someone like her and she probably knows she deserves better. The universe is cruel, though. It had to make our paths cross and I had to fall for someone who, it seems, doesn’t give a damn.
Another cold night with a romantic climate. I guess every type of climate’s romantic when you are. Tonight I see that the benches are not empty. Maybe the climate really is pleasant. I find an empty bench in facing her apartment.
Is this all there is for me?
Am I some kind of a stalker?
I chuckle. I actually am, aren’t I? Love makes you do silly things. I don’t really know why I haven’t met her yet. How times change! From conversations lasting hours, I’ve come to a point where one ‘Hello’ from her could make me weak.
She’s not at the window tonight. The lights are off. I wonder where she’s gone. I’m not going to go on a search mission to find that out, though. Stalker with limits.
‘What are you doing here?’
She’s behind me. 3 nights gone and now she’s seen me. I turn to look at her. How do I describe her? An angel without wings, a dream without an end. She’s as close to perfection as anyone could try to get.
I suddenly remember she asked me something. I smile, looking at the ground for an instant and back at her. I then give her a shrug.
‘Oh, my God! When did you arrive? Why didn’t you tell me you were coming today?’
She didn’t even notice me. She never does.
‘I thought I’d make my presence felt.’ I always have to, anyway.
‘Where are you staying?’ She asks me.
‘The hotel around the corner,’ I move my neck in the hotel’s direction.
‘Wow,’ she says. ‘This is certainly a surprise.’
‘Intentional.’ I reply, smiling.
‘Well, I live in that apartment there,’ she says after a moment of silence, points at her window.
‘Oh! It’s not that far from the hotel,’ I say. ‘Why don’t we go grab a coffee there? We haven’t had a chat for ages.’
She gave me a short smile.
‘I’d really love to but it’s getting late and I’m sleepy. I should be going.’
I chuckle. That’s what I get every time. Rejection.
‘Oh, yes! I’m sorry. It is getting late, actually. I should probably go rest my head too,’ I say. There’s no point in being persuasive, anyway.
We bid goodbyes and turn to leave when she suddenly stops.
‘You know,’ she begins, ‘I’m still wondering why you’ve come to this place.’
‘There’s something I had to do,’ I answer. ‘It’ll probably stay undone now.’
‘Still such a pessimist,’ she says. ‘I know you can complete whatever it is you’re trying to do. Don’t give up.’
I shrug. ‘Good night,’ I say before I leave without turning once because it would be too painful.
‘For God’s sake, study! Your father will be home in a minute. Don’t let him see you sitting idle!’
My mother’s shout brings me back to my senses. All I remember after this is that I was crying my heart out on that dark street at night. I was crying like I never have in my teens. I never have cried in my teens, to think about it. I’ve never been too expressive about my emotions, and maybe that’s what keeps me away from the people I want to get to know more.
One thing I can say for sure is that the person in my dream was someone I know in real life, and emotionally much farther from me than they were in the dream. The affection that I seemed to have for the person in the dream was also coincidentally similar.
Maybe the time’s not right, maybe the place is not, but I can promise this is not an infatuation.
As I open my Chemistry textbook to study for the upcoming test, I keep the dream aside for the time being, hoping that the person gets to know the real me soon.