The Return

The Return

 

*Ping*

The doors slide open, I stare in longer at the men and women packed inside, I sigh and step in.

I am back to the ordered chaos, where everyone knows where they are running, but nobody knows why. My heartstrings feel tugged at every step I drag, away… away from my home. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to just take an about turn and jump on the next train back to where I have left. Would she be happy to see me again? Would she even meet me? Would she feel what I’d feel to see her face, to hold her tight?

I get pushed, squashed and stepped on, but I am numb to everything around me. My mind plays a movie of what a pleasant dream-like world I have just been jolted awake from. I try to smell her skin over the stench of people’s sweat, I try to feel her fingers on my face as strangers rub against me, I drown out the noise around me to hear her soft breathing again because I love living in her fond reverie.

I try and count the days remaining to board the same train, to get off the same platform and to walk the same path, only this time at a faster pace, because I will be meeting her again. I will live again, but once my written days are over, this same colored world will drain and turn grey again as I lug my lifeless body back to the routine. I mentally chalk out a plan to stay busy so that I do not miss her like crazy, knowing full well that it is just a mere consolation to myself and no matter how hard I try, my mind will wander off to her again… over and over.

She is a bewitching spell that I cannot snap out of, a phantom of delight.

An extremely talkative me falls deathly quiet as I make the tedious journey back to the room that I dwell in, a dreary sight. I shut out the world and lay on my back, staring at the endlessly blank ceiling, while I play her name on my parched lips. I mark the days on my calendar, of when I get to go again, I may be here, but a big chunk of me stays back… my heart and my soul that lingers around her a little longer than my physical self. I allow myself a day of leisure, drifting off in her memories, reliving them. Without knowing, I drift off in the land of dreams, where she is there again, and waking up, is like the journey back. Waking up to not see her in my arms, waking up to not have her smile around, waking up to know it was just a dream makes me distrust my memory as the lines of dreams and reality begins to blur, leaving me perplexed as to what is real and what is a dream. Then a jarring thought breaks in, what if she is a figment of my imagination? My living dream?

I look back at the calendar again to reinforce reality and as I see the the next date marked in black, my heart lights up again. The movie plays again as my eyelids droop on my smiling eyes. These days are the ones that shall pass as a dream because she is the realest of realities that I have known. I shall see her again, hold her again and love her again. These days will pass and I will be done with me-time and when I will feel the wind on my face as I crane my head out of the train while it eases into the railway station that brings me to her, I will realize… There is no greater joy than traveling back home.

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Apoorva Malhotra
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