Sombre Sunshine | Sohini Roy
Dear Kai, May 14, 2021
Today will be 7 years of our beautiful relationship. We actually lasted longer than I thought! I know it’s boring for you. Every year I write the same stupid things. Don’t blame me! What can I do if nothing changes around me?! I’m just eternally tangled in my mesh of thoughts…..and *you* HAVE TO bear with it. No excuses.
The sparrows still come to get their special dust-bath in the tray at the left corner of my windowsill. Last week I forgot to refill the tray and they got so pissed off….. they ate all the leaves of my ivy gourd.
The April lilies are once again, perfectly on time. I wish they would teach you to be punctual too. Lazy ass, look how you’re busy snoring.
Exactly at 2pm, the Loo starts blowing and I have to breathe in my own stale breath until 7 in the evening. You escaped and left me alone among these warm winds and mosquitoes.
The Kulfiwala has still not understood that he shouldn’t be out and about on the heated, pitched roads in summer afternoons. He just loves to sacrifice his faint, cool breaths to earn his bread. Guess the bread is more comforting and alluring to his soul.
No matter what colored liquid I put in the bottles, the neighbour’s stray pets just love to let go of their sins at our entrance. They said purple would do. I freaking tried everything on the color wheel. Well, almost… Other than the grayscale.
The little corner of the public pool, where we sat holding hands, pretending to be billionaires in their private ocean….it looks older than our conversations now, yellow and slimy from the algae growth.
Orochimaru still comes to hug me and hang in the warmth of my neck, whenever I play the flute at the deck. Sometimes I just wonder if it’s me or he just misses scaring the shit out of you with those low and slow hisses. We both miss your scared af expressions.
I still play the ‘Still With You’ tune, in fact better than before, but are you still with me? Does the “noise” by your amateur flautist reach you that far away? I am sure I have lost my sanity, you know? I still hear your fake claps that terminated in “I prefer Jungkook to untrained amateurs.” Your deep,tranquil voice. My lips still remember that sweet kiss of apology.
I still spend my precious fortune on your disgusting bodywash. Don’t you give me that look! It helps me drive away the cold under the lonely, warm shower. Together they smell like your familiar breath.
The café-aunty still lets me sit at our table. I wonder why she allows herself occasional loss of customers for me, when I still buy the cheapest drink on the menu, just like we used to. Her sad eyes and wrinkled face are a real giveaway. They’re more transparent than my weak heart.
Oh! I just remembered! Weren’t you mocking me when the Hoya withered? Listen up, sweetheart, that green heart looks plumper than ever. Go figure! When the Hoya regained its health, it really made me crave for you. I wish I could nurse your heart back to health too. The nurse misses her serotonin boost.
Was it annoying enough, so far? Doesn’t your brain just blurt it out before your eyes can even catch my words, by now? Okay. Then let me you tell something new and end the misery here: the moon still rises in the west, you know?
Sorry. Even though I can’t hold my laughter back, I almost feel you coming for my blood tonight. I’ll be waiting. If you get some leisure time from the beautiful world you’re living in, please write back to me. You owe me three essays by now, apologizing for your silence. Do you know how dark these sunny summers get without you? And to think it used to be our season!
Take care and don’t overeat like a pig. I don’t know if the heavens are full of nymphs and spirits, I don’t care if they look a thousand times better than me, your eyes dare not forget they only see my ugly face. Let’s meet in my dreams again, okay? Maybe I’ll spare you for being so cold.
I will love you till the end of my time. You can fall back on these mortal grounds if you feel lonely up there. You’ll always have me by you.
I’m happy as the clock ticks by. Every second I move slightly closer to you. Meet you soon. xxxxxxx
In the corner of my eye, I suddenly notice a big blotch of water. Behind me Rhea was standing, her eyes and nose that familiar shade of pink I’d known too well since she was this small in mum’s lap.
“Aaah! Don’t spoil my letter! What if the ink bleeds?!….. Ah, you idiot! ”
“Sorry, Eesha. Everyone’s ready. They’re waiting for you.”
“Yep, I’m done too. I’ll just grab my purse and the ….. Hey, where’s the bouquet? Oh! There! Okay, let’s go.”
The sun is beaming above us. The mesmerizing smell of Alstonia fills the air. The narrow branches are dancing to the short-lived provocations of the summer breeze. Under the strong, bright daylight, the black tombstone shines stronger, an unmatchable Tahitian pearl.
Kneeling down, I place the serene, white bouquet on the flowerbed covering him. Opening the jar, I kept beside him, I put the letter inside. I rise halfway on my knees and kiss the cool tombstone, hoping to share some warmth from within me.
In the sunlight, the silver inscription shines like Artemis’s arrow on a full moon night:
In loving memory of
Kairav Lucas Williams
September 7, 1996 – May 14, 2018
I sat up and saw the glow of the Milky Way above my window,
Like a world of silence on fire, and I wondered if at this moment
He had a dream that rhymed with mine.
Written by Sohini Roy