That night…that girl…


That night Sameer again came to sit in his balcony with a bottle of water and his mobile phone. He wasn’t expecting any call nor was he particularly thirsty. He had carried these things with him out of habit. He had tried sleeping for more than two hours and when he grew tired of trying he moved out in the open. He sat on the chair and raised his eyes towards the sky in that vague expectation of finding the stars shine back to him. The expectation was triggered by an unknown urge to do so and not out of the poetic impulse to appreciate their beauty against the infinitely stretched dark blank background. He coughed a little. This time it was his body reacting involuntarily against the smoke of cigarette which traveled towards him from the second floor, below him. For a moment, he thought that he felt anger but that feeling subsided soon.
But next time when he coughed, he couldn’t resist the urge to shout at the smoker. He approached the railing and darted his face out to face it. He had grown tired of inhaling someone else’s smoke night after night from his balcony. There was a lanky fellow dressed in a loose off-white woman’s tee. Suddenly he forgot all about his irritation and became curious. He was a strange fellow, no doubt, thought Sameer. His hair was short. The finger-nails of the hand holding the cigarette were painted black. Its blackness shined in the moonlight making it evident that the coating was freshly put.The light coming from his room fell on the back of his legs which were smooth and not very firm, rather very feminine, Sameer judged. The two legs were drawn close, one foot resting over other, thus the person was effectively standing on only one foot. It seemed to Sameer that the navy blue shorts which the other person was wearing enhanced the roundness of his butts. It had pockets at the back, and in the right pocket, a match-box was tucked in. There was a strange kind of grace and sensuousness in the way that person stood in his balcony, drawing the smoke in and then exhaling it. Sameer coughed again. But, he seemed to have forgotten about his troubles. He was too engrossed in rummaging through his entire frame when like a shock, it occurred to him that it was an awkward thing to do. He grew ashamed of himself, part of him questioning his sexuality and part of him trying to reassure him about the same. How could he scan a male’s body in such a way, full of desire and curiosity? There was a woman sleeping inside on his bed whose body he had loved less than five hours ago, and its memory now disturbed him more. He tried very hard to tear his eyes off him but failed to.
He coughed again and tried to dispel his enchanted state and speak out. But, a “hey!” was all that he could manage.
There was no response.
This time he had recovered himself fully and his voice rang loudly, ” Hey! …Excuse me!”
The listener did not care to lift his head and look towards him. There was also a kind of reluctance in respondent’s voice and the sound of “s” in his “yes”, therefore, trailed ending in a “-esh” spoken in a manner very exotic to Sameer. The sound of the voice hit him like a jolt and seemed to suck him in enshrouding him in its magic. The voice was heavy but not masculine. It was rather, if he could say, very stirring and absorbing. Sameer became conscious of the way he was enticed and also guilt-stricken at the same time for being so powerfully swept away. It was the voice of a ‘she’ and not ‘he’. Suddenly he felt light and enthusiastic. As if the mist had cleared and some kind of clarity had dawned upon the way his brain was functioning. The feeling of guilt had subsided and was taken over by a new wave of curiosity and energy.
A few minutes passed without any of them saying anything again. The girl’s lack of response seemed a bit too strange to him now. Ordinarily, the person should have turned and looked at him, if not for anything, then for curiosity atleast. That is why, Sameer had not spoken anything further. He wanted the other person to grow curios and show him his face. But, either the other person was too shy or lazy or simply not so interested. When he grew tired of waiting and irredeemably uncomfortable of the silence, he spoke. But this time, he carefully calculated his words, rehearsed it once in his head and in a tone whose politeness surprised him too he requested,” Please do not smoke from there. The smoke travels upward making it very difficult for me to stand in my balcony.”
The girl turned her face upward as if shaken out of some kind of trance. The first thing that caught Sameer’s attention was her expression which was that of a timid, vulnerable, scared creature, almost like a little child caught stealing sugar from the kitchen, trying to put on its most innocent face, all apologetic, to ward off any possibility of punishment. Sameer’s features relaxed instantaneously and he was filled with a feeling of pity mixed with a lot of love. He wanted to reach out to the girl and ask her to relax too, and may be even hug her and ask her not to worry, that it wasn’t all that difficult for him, and that he would manage. A thick waft of smoke which must have been exhaled before the conversation, swirled in front of his nose and all that he could do was to cough again. Almost involuntarily, the cigarettes fell from her hand. He was staring at her open palm now and just then a drop of sweat trickled down his forehead and hung from the tip of his nose till gravity pulled it and it dropped on her palm. Under moon’s light his sweat glittered once on her palm till she rubbed it on her shorts.
“I am really sorry. I did not imagine that there could be someone standing in the balcony on your floor this late.”
Sameer heard himself say, ” you shouldn’t smoke, you know” in response. He was surprised by his own audacity and sternness of his voice.
“Yes, I know. I don’t smoke everyday. It’s just today…”
“Yes, you do. Everyday. Don’t lie…”
He would have added something but he was distracted by the voice coming to him from his room. She was calling him. He turned towards his room for a moment and prepared to leave. But, for one last time he wanted to fix his eyes on that beautiful face below him. That face was still facing him but the eyes were lowered in guilt as if seeking apology. The expression captivated him. He couldn’t move. The woman kept calling him but, he could not simply tear himself from what was in front of him.
“Okay. I’ll go to the terrace and smoke there then” she said and rushed in.
Sameer stood there for a minute and then went inside. The woman on his bed wanted the light to be switched off. When he went towards the switch he heard someone climbing the stairs. He heard her reach the terrace. He lay on his bed blinking in darkness thinking about nothing initially, But soon, he realized that he was trying to suppress his desire to follow her to the terrace. He pressed his face in the arms of the woman sleeping beside him to resist the desire. It woke her up. She opened her eyes and seeing him holding her so tightly was instantly filled with tender emotions for him. She came closer towards him and caressed him till he slept finally.

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About jyoti

with her trailing gaze the shy maverick clings on and through the supple foreplay of her aesthetic sense and a beatific smile insatiates the mellifluous melange!! View all posts by jyoti

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