The last I’d seen of Amy, she had this crumbled piece of aluminum foil fastened with gummed paper bands, which seemed to have been crookedly placed on the coarse surfaced foil in an act of desperation. She’d had her hands clenched, her fists grasping the foil. Restraining two estranged lovers from reuniting. It was her battle which she battled blind.
“Does this bother you?” she murmured.
“Aren’t you gonna do it anyways?” I said after giving it a slight thought.
She chuckled. Her pursed lips sneered with disapproval. She struck off the entangled paper bands as her finger nails scratched against the irregularities of the foil she was trying to peel through. “I can take them off for you, if you’d like.” I said, but her lips wouldn’t stop twitching for her to sound a syllable. Her eyes were fixated on the foil. It had been minute and she hadn’t batted an eyelash. For a moment or two I was worried she might go insane. She was breathing rapidly and the twitching wasn’t getting any better. I pulled back my chair and just when I was about to snatch that damned thing in her hand, she said “Hey sweetheart, would you mind getting me some bits of paper that I could roll?”. There was a sense of calm in her voice. The twitching had stopped. And she looked at me in the eye for the first time since she had come. Beautiful black smudged in an alluring green met with a sober, drowned out brown.
“Sure.” I said, flustered, trying hard to let the pretense of reluctance overshadow the inherent connivance in my actions.
I returned with the paper she could use for a joint. Her fingers were stained in charcoal already. “Don’t scold me now. Mary Jane couldn’t wait, ya know!” she said, wiping the bits of devilish charcoal off her sly grin.
“What the hell do u think you’re doing?” I thwarted.
She sat there gazing at the ground. Her eyes lay despondent, her pupils dilated in horror and fluttering about with agitation as they too, longed for an answer. For in that moment in time, I saw her eyes withholding within them-the bewailing cry of a child who had wandered astray, the unyielding mind marred by the memories of a resigned fate. She let the tear roll down her cheek, for it was perhaps too difficult to put on the usual extroverted facade at the time. She stood up, pale and languid, as she attempted to walk towards me. She walked haltingly, oblivious to every bodily sensation as she drifted across the coffee table, her waist rubbing against the round edge. Her hands hung loose as she dropped the aluminum she had clasped until then. She came near and took me in her arms.
“Hey. It’ll be alright, ‘kay?” I whispered.
She stiffened her arms around my neck and placed her chin on my shoulder. Her touch felt cold, almost stifling, as though someone had confronted you with shards bitten off the unspoken truth. For I knew all she had wanted to tell me, all she ever wanted to say. She wasn’t just a procrastinating young girl who went the wrong way partying one single night. She was never like that.
I held that thought from then on. Always.
Day after, I journeyed to her place to ask her for dinner. It had become rather occasional, during the time, going out in public. It did not come to me with any shock of surprise, but more as the recognition of a fact with which I had been long familiar. I looked at her with new eyes– but I saw only what I had known all this while. I liked everything I saw. Her crispy black hair, slightly dark emerald-green eyes with pearl like black pupils as she glanced at me earnestly in her light-grey formal dress. We were rather unpunctual for our dinner reservation. Our attempts of fair travel through the streets of London were generously apprehended by the traffic signals. The dinner went by swiftly. The aura of the table was at first exceedingly formal. Both of us spoke of everything but what we had in our minds. It was evident from the way she sat – cramped up and disinterested as she forced her weight upon the upholstery. We both spoke feverishly and out of necessity, however the subject matters soon diverged to our usual talks – speaking of the most frivolous concerns in the most troubled times. Somehow that day was different, her eyes glowed with a sense of affection we had both recognized but never bore witness to personally.
“Come out after you’re done.” I said, rather harshly. If you’d ask me , I don’t know why I spoke to her that way or did what I had done that very night . I’d like to think of it as god’s goodwill, otherwise probably I would’ve ruined her.
She had not thought twice about what I said. The bill had been paid and accounted for by her manager. She stood and walked out of the restaurant with me, hand in hand. Her cutlery sat on her plate, disarranged. And the table cloth lackluster from her spilled drink. Something I’d only notice later on.
We had a horrible argument that day. I had this bottle of whiskey, which I thrashed against my knee, perhaps out of frustration. It bled ferociously, but I didn’t care for a lot of it. Inebriation was the medicine of the day. The wound left me scars that would never heal. But just then, almost immediately she stood up from the pavement, where she had reclined against a pole. She came up to me, with drowsy and unsure steps. Picked up the broken glass from the bottle and started carving on the skin of her knee, the way she saw the porous openings bleed in mine.
“Now I have it too.” she said, smiling .
I realized what had been wrong all this while. With her. With us. It had always been me. I was never good enough for the
I stood there, dazed in the light of her glimpsing eyes. Pacified, by the ray of silver moonlight which shone bright on her wound, whose trickles blood along the tips and edges of her knee, wept for she battled blind.