Writing

Chance Hearts (Part 4)

Continued from Chance Hearts (Part 3)

 

I still remember the day when I met him. I was still in the process of recovering and coming back to life. He literally crashed into me when my head was in the clouds, I am so glad my body was on the streets. The corner of 26th street is passed through by hundreds for whom it doesn’t have any significance, but for me it was the real start of my second life.

Wearing a dark blue shirt, black pants and a black leather jacket, he grasped my arm for both our balances and apologised. I became lost in those dark brown irises and only snapped out of it when he asked if I was all right. Then, I became entranced by his face. So bright, with a hint of a smile, and completely without sadness or regret. I somehow found my voice and replied an affirmative. He scans my face, “Are you sure?”

I nodded. I don’t remember what exactly happened after that-we exchanged a few lines and I agreed to go along with him to explore the city. It made sense, since I had recently moved there, but mostly I just kept wanting to look at him. I remember feeling drawn to his light, away from my darkness and surprisingly, it didn’t feel all that bad to be happy with him by my side, making casual conversation with a complete stranger.

After only about half an hour of aimlessly walking around, passing comments on the shops and people passing by, we realised that we do not know each others names. He said, “shall we introduce ourselves, now, then?” We had paused in front of a coffee shop and I froze-I liked talking to a stranger, to someone who did not know my life and looked at me with pity and sympathy in their eyes. He must have sensed my hesitation and smoothed the conversation over my suggesting that we use nicknames, at least. I unfroze and out of the wild, replied that I’m calling him Pike. He laughed, oh how I loved that sound, and asked why. I pointed to the shop on the opposite side of the road and said, “That shop is showcasing a jacket just like yours.” That shop’s name was Pike’s. He lit up at the idea and looked around, calling for inspiration regarding my moniker. I take the time to scan over him again- he stands confidently, back straight and tall, arms loose by his sides and an ease in his expression. I didn’t feel an urge to cringe away, like I have with others since I moved here. I feel fine, and that realisation causes my mood to become buoyant.

“Ha!” he looks at me with a wide, mischievous grin.

I instinctively groaned, “I’m not going to like this, am I?” I was behaving like any other normal person and conversing!

“Oh, come on! You don’t even know what I’ve decided on,” he replied.

“Tell me then.”

“I’m calling you… Quill,” he announced happily.

I cocked my head, confused. “Why Quill?”

He gazed at me seriously, “You’re beautiful, elegant, graceful-you look like you have a story waiting to pour out of you.”

I was stunned. Little did both of us know how true that was.

To be continued…

 

-Sumedha Shankar

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4 thoughts on “Chance Hearts (Part 4)

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