Thursday, January 19, 2012

An Umbrella

He spotted me drenched in the rain, offered me his umbrella. He held it, and time stopped. We were protected from the storm, together. I hardly remember anything about him now, except how he kept his gaze away from my face. Perhaps that was only my imagination running wild. We didn't talk. He didn't know I was utterly forsaken, that I was always misunderstood, that now, more than ever I need kindness. What does a stranger know about your life? What do you know about a stranger's life? Nothing. A shared moment was all it was. He looked at his watch, gave what might have been a sigh. He left the umbrella in my care, apologized and left because he was late for something. As he was taking his first steps away, I mumbled a thank you. He waved me off. I felt a depressing weight descend upon me, the one you feel when you can't change the course of events taking place in front of your eyes, when you want time to stop to carry out something of the utmost importance; showing gratitude... He was already gone.

I started walking aimlessly, thinking of absolutely nothing. I welcomed any thought, but my brain cells refused to respond. They wanted me to listen to the rain as it hit the ground fiercely. They thought I might find comfort there. It was getting dark and I had no idea where I was. Why didn't he wait till I was safe and sound in a bus that led me to a place that was nowhere near home? Why would this change everything for me? The questions that would soon haunt me every once and a while.

I'm having lunch at my favorite place. It's the summer now, and it never rained again that winter. I have the umbrella in my bag. I'm not one to hold on to material things. Memories need nothing to be triggered into play in my head. The things my friends gave me over the years aren't kept in one place. They're scattered around my room. In the closet, on the desk, on my bookshelf. Some of us rely on things to feel connected to a dear someone or a time they cherished in their lives. A word meant more than an item, yet again these items held an enchanting power over you when your wandering eyes spotted them. There's no denying that fact.
One of my friends saw the umbrella, gave me a look. She knew it was odd for me to carry an umbrella at this time of the year. I laughed it off, told her it was because of the sun. How strange is it that I look for pieces of him in every man I see now, every man that passes me by. I'm beginning to lose the details of that moment and I'm letting myself forget. I don't want to cling to it, I know a part of me, will always cling to his kindness. I am satisfied.


Ashok said...

From a reader to a novelist! Bloody brilliant!

Noor said...

Thank you Ash! Your opinion means a lot, I'm glad you liked it. :D