“Oh, its what you do to me, Oh, its what you do to me”
He was at the airport, having just finished a hearty meal, and was now, awaiting the boarding call for the flight that would take him home, for all of two days. His cousin sister was getting married, and they had been pretty close to each other, at least until a few years ago, before she had made a professional move, choosing to move abroad. If he wasn’t mistaken, she was a geneticist, an amazingly intellectual profession in his opinion, since it concerned human genes, the be all and end all of humanity, the reason for humanity’s being, the reason for existence.
While he was lost in thought, he couldn’t help brooding a little. He kept thinking about her, even though he had met her only a week back.
He was waiting for a message from her. With each second that passed, his mind kept pestering him with thoughts and images of her determined to cut him off at all costs, which was maddening, as if his sense of self depended on it, when it definitely didn’t. He felt he was overthinking, but he also thought he was not. He missed being with her, when they hadn’t even been together for so long. He didn’t know what her favourite hang out place was, neither did he know what she cared about. He didn’t know much. All he knew was..she was worth the wait, worth the care, worth the time, without knowing why.
He couldn’t help but smile sadly.
It had been a whirlwind of a week, personally and professionally, and exhaustion gnawed at him, making him more distracted than usual, though he had managed to read two books in addition to chalking out a plan of action for the next three months, punctuated by a ten day retreat encompassing silence. There would be no phones, no laptops, not even books or his guitar. Heck, the organizers had told him he wouldn’t even be speaking to anyone. He had registered for it after the author of Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harrari had disclosed his two months in a year retreat with regards to Vipassana meditation. Curiosity had got him, and he had registered, duly confirming his participation after submitting in writing that he would not be consuming alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana or other drugs till at least two weeks before the program began.
He kept checking if she had responded.
She hadn’t. He decided to let it go, and call her tomorrow and apologize. He knew he needed to be more social in order to conform with people, especially the ones he liked. He was working on it, sometimes, even deliberately, out of compulsion, going out of his way to talk to people and introduce himself, delightedly warming up to the fact that people liked him, even if he came across as eccentric or weird. He didn’t care about adjectives. One person could have many adjectives at the same time depending on the person. What was true for one wasn’t for another. For instance, his best friend thought the world of him, while a few of his professional colleagues thought he needed to visit a therapist. Both could be right.
He checked his WhatsApp again. She hadn’t responded. Finally, he let it be, in spite of the urge to scream at no one in particular. He would board in a few minutes. He decided to close his eyes, imagining the day they had bonded, over music, laughter, sorrow and their future, in equal measure. He couldn’t remember the last time he had been so open with someone. He had bonded with two good people that day, and now, it felt as if the whole episode hadn’t happened. He opened his eyes, wondering if emotional attachment wasn’t his forte, if at all. He shrugged and took a deep breath.
The boarding call came.
The last thing he saw in his mind’s eye before he passed out in the plane, was her laugh.