When words fail to make and impact, eyes do the talking. When eyes get involved deeper than before, a touch makes things work. And when a touch is not enough to say what you want to, then it's more than a touch which justifies your emotions.
The wind blew, creating a beautiful rhythm. The whispers of the blowing wind enchanted Rafey and Raji. They felt ecstatic about the good old times and they were clueless about how could they express the joy.
Rafey offered a seat to Raji, on the bench, while he sat down on the path.
"Why don't you sit up", Raji offered back.
"I love it this way", Rafey replied.
Raji got down from the bench and sat next to Rafey, leaning her back on the bench. She found it more comfortable.
There was a beautiful silence. The whooshing sound of the wind in the Gulmohar branches enlivened the atmosphere.
Raji recollected the times that they had when they were 6.
"I wish there was a tamarind tree around", Raji said.
"You know what? There is one, out there", Rafey pointed out to the other end of the park.
"Really?", Raji asked candidly.
"Now don't expect me to get tamarinds for you. I have lost touch", Rafey said.
"Touch of...?", Raji questioned.
"Climbing trees", Rafey said and gave a bright smile teasing Raji.
"Hmm. But I can climb", Raji said.
"You know trees sleep after 8 pm. They are sound asleep. Would you want to disturb them?", Rafey asked innocently.
"Hmm. No!", Raji acted childish too.
They both laughed!
"Rafey." Raji called out
"Hmm", Rafey responded.
"Would you stay with me forever?", Raji asked.
"Where am I going?", Rafey asked.
"Answer me. Don't question back!", Raji replied authoritatively.
"Yes", Rafey said and smiled.
"Why do you think it won't work for us, Rafey?", Raji asked, sounding open and clear about her intentions.
"You know it Raji", Rafey denied her a deeper explanation.
"Ok. Neva mind. What time is it by the way?", Raji asked.
"It's 11.30 Are you getting late?", Rafey asked.
"No. Not really! i can sit all night long here and talk to you", Raji said.
"You know I used to draw!", Raji asked Rafey.
"Of course. Why do you say used to!?", Rafey asked.
"I gave it up. I had no muse. I had no admirers!", Raji said.
"Is that a reason? You should do what you love to. And do you do it for others? You do it for yourself. Don't you?", Rafey questioned.
"Ok, I would do it for you. All of a sudden I feel like doing all the things I never did before and all things I gave up!", Raji sounded excited.
"Do it then", Rafey said candidly, looking at Raji, trying to understand what she meant.
Raji was in deep thoughts; she looked at Rafey and smiled. They both sat together silently, their eyes tracing the movement of the gulmohar branches.
Rafey did not feel the urge to speak anything. Raji stayed silent too. It was beautiful. They felt something which was inexplicable. They chose to let their souls do the talking.
Rafey slipped into a thought stream. He wondered, why did things seem so good and perfect. He had never been friends with a girl. It was ideally awkward for him, but why was he so effortlessly comfortable. What made him feel that this should stay forever.
He fought his thoughts, as he convinced himself that there are some things which are never meant to happen, no matter how earnestly you want them to!
Raji meanwhile, looked at the stars, through the Gulmohar tree and wondered why she hadn’t ever tried to find Rafey earlier. She wanted to make up for the lost time. She felt like spending the life time with him to ensure she never misses the joy of being with a friend.
She was never so sure of anything. She pulled a grass twig and played with it. Looking, down, ahead and up intermittently. She looked at Rafey and he was engrossed in his thoughts too.
Raji slowly moved closer to him, touching his shoulder by hers. Rafey glanced back and smiled.
Raji casually rested on his shoulder holding Rafeys hand. Rafey held her hand back and gripped it with a feeling of never letting it go.
"Rafey", Raji said.
"Hmm", Rafey responded.
"It's perfect isn't it?", Raji asked.
"Hmmm", Rafey hummed in optimism.
Raji got up and looked at Rafey. He looked back.
"Happy birthday", she whispered in his ears.
"To you too", he replied back, holding her closer.
Rafey bent down to kiss her forehead. He said, "May you get all that you want"
"You too", Raji replied.
They both knew they wanted each other, at that point of time. They were fighting the unnecessary egos and social pressures.
They wished the best for themselves and each other.
The night was through the midnight and almost into the day.
"Aren't you sleepy yet?", Rafey asked.
"Nope. I slept all these days. Not any more", Raji replied.
Rafey wondered how Raji was capable of such depth. He had never expected her to surface her emotions this easily. He knew she wasn't what she portrayed, but he was sure, her arrogance and ego were larger than what he thought.
Raji had surrendered herself to love. She knew she couldn't have been happier.
"We should be home before people start coming to the park for walk", Rafey said.
"Who cares", Raji said, sounding like a rebel, the one she always was.
"Let me drop you home, Raji", Rafey sounded protective.
"Ok", she said.
They got up. She looked at him intently and hugged him. Rafey was not expecting a hug. He did not respond as strongly.
"I just wanted to feel you once, Rafey", Raji said in utter honestly. Rafey held her tighter.
"I feel scared. Or rather good. I don't know what it is", Raji said.
"You are just too tired", Rafey said. "Come lets go", he added.
Rafey and Raji walked back to the chawl and Rafey took his bike and they reached MEGA.
As he halted his bike, a recklessly driven Jeep hit his bike throwing him away, and hitting Raji.
She lay there in a pool of blood, as Rafey watched the Jeep escape.
He saw the watchmen approach while his vision blurred causing a concussion.
...to be contd
Onto Chapter 15: Reunion
Onto Chapter 15: Reunion