She walked to work like everyday. The feeling that some one was watching was stronger than most days. She wrapped her arms around tightly, holding herself together. Just as she looked behind to make sure she was alone, the wind whooshed passed suddenly, playing with her hair, whispering like it had a secret to tell.
Lying in the shade of the jacaranda tree, he could feel her flutter around his thoughts, pretty as ever in her white summer dress. Sunlight filtering through her long hair, lighting him up blisssfully. She had always managed to set things right for him. He did not want to blink. She was his favourite illusion.
They had never met yet every word he wrote cast a spell over her. The enchanted moments were all that she had. He was far away but his words weren’t. They held her in a tight embrace on a cold night. They left a lingering fragrance around her. She was drenched in his perfume.
Even when he had been gone a long time, her mind was clouded with his thoughts. It happened a lot more on some days than others. Today was one of those when she had to push them away just so she could get some work done. She sat staring at the computer screen for a long time. Reading, yet not turning the page, just lazing around between the lines.
She could have done it for hours, but her dog had different plans. He needed to be taken out for his walk. She looked at his cute little face which had the most innocent eyes, looking back at her with his leash in his mouth. She shut her computer and walked to the door, with Mr. Bond in tow.
Walking on the usual route she kept her eyes on the casanova she was walking as he socialized with his clan. Just as the thought of he being a very well behaved dog crossed her mind, Mr. Bond ran, as if on a mission, pulling her along with all his might. She turned the corner behind him and her heart stopped beating even when it was racing. There were a lot of people on the side walk but her eyes saw just him.
He was down on one knee, holding the dogs face in his hands, telling him that he missed him. He looked up and met her eyes. She let the leash drop as he walked towards her. He didn’t say a word. He didn’t have to. His hug said it all.
They stood there in a crowd sharing an intimate moment, kissing each others wounds as they healed. Caressing the torn skin and mending the broken parts within.
She always had that about her, that look of otherness, of eyes that see things much too far, and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the world when she wrote. She wrote because she needed to write, because she hoped someone will listen or because writing will mend something broken inside her or bring something back to life. She was stubborn, she was wise. She was immoderate and volatile. She spoke through her eyes, and mostly wore a disguise.
His car screeched on to a halt right in front of the crowd that had gathered along with their cameras. The shutterbugs went crazy clicking even when all they got was the black of his tinted windows.
He was used to the limelight. It had followed him around for a few years now. He had learned that becoming a somebody came with a lot of flash light in the eyes. That was one reason why the “new brute on the list of youngest millionaires” was rarely seen without without his black aviators. They were like his mask that helped him see through the world and stopped the world from seeing through him. He had moved up on the corporate ladder faster than anyone else, using any and all means possible. His latest acquisition had created a lot of stir. No one knew how he had done it but he had made the owner of a chain of restaurants sell a very successful business to him. That and a very public confession of love and a proposal of marriage from a starlet had the media in a tizzy.
Pearl saw Zeke get out of the car and push his way through the crowd, from her cabin at the hospital. The voices from behind the cameras were speaking all at once. “can you tell us what you have decided about Ms. Smith’s proposal?” said one. “Zeke have you made up your mind about getting married to Daisy Smith?” said another. ” When do we expect an invite to the wedding?” said the third. Zeke did not bother answering any one of them. He just walked with his signature smile plastered on his face.
“I am here to see Dr. Pearl” he said to the girl behind the desk, taking his shades off.
She met his eyes and lost her voice. They were the color of honey, it sent a warm feeling drizzling through her. She barely managed to point in the direction he was supposed to go in. He smiled and walked away, leaving her managing an uneven breath.
Pearl wanted to see him and didn’t want to at the same time. It had been years since they had had a conversation, barring an exchange of a few texts.
He knocked at the door that had “Dr. Pearl Charles, Head of Neurosurgery” written on it. He was so proud of what she had grown to become, all by herself. He had offered to help her out, by getting some things done his way, but she had be adamant on doing only the right things.
“Come in” he heard her say
“Good afternoon, Dr. P! I am your three o clock” He said as he entered.
“Hi Zeke” she said standing up
He hugged her tightly, locking his arms around her. She took a second before giving in completely and melting into them.
“I missed you” He whispered into her ears.
She moved away abruptly and walked back to her chair. It had been a while since she had heard that voice, saying those words.
“How have you been?” she asked
“Haven’t you been reading the tabloids?” he smirked
“I have, that is why I am asking” she said sternly, avoiding eye contact
“look at me when you talk to me P” he said
She raised her eyes and looked at him. He couldn’t help but smile.
“tell me” she said
“She asked me to marry her” Zeke said softly
“I read” she replied
“I do not know what to say to her” he went on
She held his gaze but did not reply.
“What do you think I should?” he said
“I don’t know Zeke, its for you to decide, not me” she said looking into her phone
“would I be sitting here if it were that easy?” he said
“I don’t see the problem” she was now miffed
“The problem Dear doctor, is that I have been fighting to be who I am all my life, What’s the point of being who I am, if I can’t have the person who was worth all the fighting for” he said stubbornly
“From where I see it, the problem seems to be that you are winning the fight but losing your self” she finally looked back into his eyes.
They were earnest as they always were, staring at her as if they knew what they wanted. She missed the glint of innocence she was so used to seeing in them. She saw love, like she had always seen but chose to ignore it.
“I will never be able to love anyone else, you know that, don’t you?” he said, the first sign of frustration showing on his perfect face. “Come with me, I promise it will be worth it” he continued
“You are a dangerous man Zeke, cause you almost make me believe in the impossible” Pearl said. “You know I wont be a part of the world that you have created for yourself. You always knew this, and still chose it”
“I understand all what you have said, but what I fail to understand is that how can you fall out of love, just like that” he said
“I love you Zeke, but I love myself more” she replied staring right at his soul.
He got up and left.
The crowd that was waiting for him went crazy. The cameras went to work again, followed by the questions. “Zeke please tell us if you are marrying Daisy?”, “When is the d-day?” “when will you announce the wedding date?” He stopped walking, looked at the window where a pretty girl in a lab coat and blue jeans stood and looked at him.
“I cannot marry Daisy” he said firmly
” I love someone truly, madly and ridiculously, the only way I know how to love. She runs through my veins with blood, I do not think I will be able to love anyone like that ever again. She owns my heart, I am happy to be owned. So ladies and gentlemen I am taken” he said unabashedly and walked away.