Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A conversation

I knew one thing. I had to sit down and have a conversation with him. He didn't talk much, wore a lot of red, had the "I-dont-care" attitude, smoked, rarely smiled and didn't seem to fit in with the crowd he hung around. A bit on the chubby side but I think everyone considered him easy on the eyes. Perhaps the irresistible charm of a man who kept to himself? I don't understand where that charm stems from but I'd be foolish to try and deny it. You see, everyone has something to say. A story to tell. Yet we manage to judge others and deem them boring just because they looked it.  We have different ways of sharing that story that's all. Some had the immediate effect, the it factor while the rest of us held on to the hope that people were patient enough with us, waited till we told our story in intervals. These differences should be wonderful. Diversity. I'm not so sure they're regarded so most of the time. In fact people seemed to all demand an it factor of themselves that didn't fit them. I do that too, yes guilty. Then I realize I'm doing myself an injustice.
So anyways back to him. The talk we would have. Our friends would stare, mine didn't like him and his thought I wasn't cool enough. Yet so it was, so it is. That's how your paths cross with someone. He sits behind me in the lecture hall. I wonder where would he rather be right now, who would he rather be with, why was he sitting alone today?

A conversation is a world of its own. I'll learn so much about him, things his "cool" gang would never appreciate. Things he'd surprise himself with, not knowing why he shared them. Perhaps he's waiting for someone to approach him. Any excuse would suffice. How was the exam, a comment on the boring lecture, a good morning if our eyes happened to meet. Who of us remembers how they started talking to someone? It didn't matter. Perhaps it was that I said 'Hello. Excuse my boldness, but I'd like to prove to the world that you have a story. Please let me.' A quizzical smile played on his lips, a rare one. There was no way I'd receive rejection to such a request, was there? Of course everything's possible. Even so, getting out of one's skin is enough of a motive to go ahead and do it. Where did it go from there? I put down my books, I always had more than I needed but I looked the busy student. I sat down at some point, my bag still hanging on my shoulder. Midway I realized this, how do I subtly put it on the table? God, I must have looked awkward. Chillax. I put it on my books. Actually, he didn't seem to notice. The questions resumed but soon enough I stopped asking and there was a flow of bits and pieces of information. The one thing that led to another. For a moment, I was self-conscious at my ability to get some people to open up. It passed quickly. I said trifles about myself, but at least he knew now that there was more to me than met the eye. Emphasizing that fact was important for me somehow. He comes from a certain place, not too sure of where he's headed, doesn't know why he's meant to be here now and doesn't expect anything from anyone. Did he say that in clear words? No, but it was easy to tell.
At the end, I'd make him give up smoking, believe a little more in the world and we'd part as friends who nodded to each other when they passed by.

I never will, you see, I'll never be the one who initiates conversation. We've never even exchanged one word of formality.  Why was it so? I haven't lost sleep over this fact, but it makes you wonder sometimes. My pride? Yes, I guess I have a bit of that though I wouldn't admit it easily. Then there was life, and social circumstances. Things took their course, and you simply let them. What was the point of changing the status quo? That moment you know you can do anything in, you can share the secret you've been holding on to for so long, you'll ask the question you've been trying so hard to silence, you'll say yes to life, you're truly soaring knowing there was such a thing as the perfect moment and not only that, you were perfectly capable of seizing it. Ah, shyness, timidity and lack of bravery. They held me back. I'm yet to live that perfect moment. I would be exaggerating if I said we lived in different worlds but it was still true. All I'm asking for is one conversation where I prove my point, he has a story.

A year later, college starts. He's not there. He went back home. They said he found a better opportunity, changed his life plans or was it due to family issues? He was of the silent type, remember? So there was enough room for speculation. The place was no more the same, not only because he wasn't there anymore. It was because he was there at some point. And me? I wished him well.


Maha said...

Beautiful..just beautiful. The first lines were so attractive I could not stop myself from reading.

Noor said...

Thanks so much Maha. Glad you think so. :D

Unknown said...

I love it, I really really do. I though you started it really beautifully!! This is fiction, no? It seemed so real..AWI b2a!
I kinda thought the end wasn't the best, I expected something like "I wished I ever knew his story" or something of that sort y'know?

It's really amazing though =)
WRITE ON!!!!!!! :D

Noor said...

It's real life meets fiction keda, :D

Thanks for your honest opinion about the ending, perhaps you're right. I'll work harder on them next time inshallah.