New Year’s Eve Beyond the Panorama December 10, 2021

New Year’s Eve

Written by Nandini Sethi

Like little pieces of a star, the sequins on my black dress reflect on the wall. I make an ‘ooh’ sound of satisfaction, and continue to lather my eye-lashes with mascara. 

I can hardly breathe, so stiff and taut I am in this gorgeous dress, and I can distinctly feel the buckle of my stilettos pierce through my skin. Painful, as it may be, I was ready to make wild and blurry memories that we won’t be able to recall tomorrow morning. 

Getting into the backseat of your car, my lips tingled as they touched yours and I couldn’t help the giggle that escaped my mouth as the driver let out a disapproving cough. But the warmth of your hands and the touch of your lips seemed to me as precious as the diamonds hanging from my ears. 

It felt like 2010. 

Golden glitter layered the floor and bottles of beer stood empty at every corner. The air was thick with smoke and the augury smelled of intoxication. 

With an unfocused gaze and unstable step, I walked toward our polaroid lying lifeless on the glitzy floor. Picking it up, I gave it a little kiss and smiled at my huge lipstick stain on our tiny faces. 

It felt like 2011.

Don’t you remember screaming at the top of your lungs, “live life to the fullest! The world is ending tomorrow”. The bathroom stalls were all occupied and the bushes outside were all busy with young lovers. The evening chill made me quiver and your coat did nothing to help; but I’d never tell you that. 

I sat on your shoulders as we sang along to some over-played pop song, and promised to never drink again if the world didn’t actually end in 2012.

As the clock ticked closer to striking 12:00, we anticipated the fireworks show. The sky lit up and sparkled, and with every blink of my tired eyes, I saw it dance with a new colour. I took a deep breath to savour the smell of happiness, the elusive aroma of fire, and danced next to you, along with the sky. 

It felt like 2013. 

You recite your long list of resolutions to me, and I nod in acknowledgement, but my little words of encouragement have faded into little nods of nothing. Because I know you’re not going to start working out, I know you’re still going to forget your mom’s birthday. But every single time your confidence and resolve convinces me, and this time too I believe your sweet lies of nothingness.

It felt like 2014.

I apply a pink blush to my cheeks as if I weren’t already blushing, and line my eyes with a thicker coat of over-priced kohl. I run along the red carpet as the crowd breaks out into chanting the countdown. 

I run into your arms and wrap them around my waist. You smile at me as you mouth the customary, “10, 9, 8”. 

I smile back at you and thank all the stars, all the forces of the universe for letting me live this moment. “7,6,5”. 

You whisper in my ear that you want to cut the cake right now, that one must never keep food waiting. “4,3,2”.

Nudging your stomach, I wish you’d be serious for once, go at least a minute without some stupid joke of yours. But as always, I have to take matters into my own hands.

I turned to face you and looked straight into your hazel eyes. It’s almost like I can see my life, my future with you. I really do love you. 

You kissed me as the crowd screamed one, and then you screamed too, “Happy 2009, everybody!” 

Nandini Sethi
Nandini Sethi

Sometimes dolefully insightful, sometimes plain distressed state of mind, but always love. I think there’s a bit of love in everything we write. 

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