She walked around the room, brushing her long hair. Aimlessly, she walked from one corner of the room to the other. The only light in the room came from a hanging lamp. Her white gown shone in its dim light. A wooden bed covered one corner. One of the walls in the room was covered from ceiling to floor with books while the other wall was covered with photographs. She walked upto this wall and stood there staring at the photographs. Her fingers got to work again, touching photographs in random order. Now and then, the memory flickered its way on her face. A smile or a slight grimace gave away what she was thinking. She paused at one of the photographs for a long time. She took it off the nail on the wall and held it close to her chest. Her eyes closed and she was lost…………
As she escaped into her past, I stood there coming to terms with my future. Is this what I would be left with? A room full of the physical belongings while the emotional baggage was contained in photographs. As I sunk deeper into pity for her and myself, a shrill bell shook me up. With a sudden burst of energy that contradicted her entire being till that minute, she ran across to the door. She flung the photograph on the bed. Suddenly, there were loud voices, exclamations, laughter and three more women tumbled into the room. One of them walked straight towards the kitchenette and dumped the bags from her hand. One of them hugged the white-gown lady for what seemed a really really long time to me. The noise didnt seem to fade….. their voices became louder and words faster. A bottle of rum was pulled out. Chairs put close together. One of them messed around with a music system lying on the table. As she reached to get a Cd, her eyes fell on the bed. On the photograph. The others seemed to follow her gaze. Suddenly, there was silence.
No one spoke.
Instead, one of them reached over and squeezed the white-gown lady’s hand. For a second, she looked like she would cry but she threw her head back and laughed. She blew a kiss towards the photograph and suddenly, there was noise again.
A smile and a realisation grew on me. Picking up my umbrella, I walked out of the shade. The things that this city’s rain exposes you to. To escape it, I had run in…..to the shade, to an open window, to some scary questions and to really strong relationships.