The First Rain Of The Season
The First Rain Of The Season12 mins 18.5K 12 mins 18.5K
"Ridiculous!", Parizaat stomps on the wet dew layered grass beneath her blue shoe clad feet. She lets out a small snort blaming herself for the situation she is in. She bites off a part of her index finger nail and winces slightly when her teeth tore off the cuticle along with her nail. She plops down on the nearby bench before her impatient legs gives in to her indecisive mind and she flees the spot in fright. She breathes in the cold air and gives in to the loud sneeze scaring the nearby doves that are pecking at the grass nearby. She rubs her red nose which has frozen in the cold morning fog and sniffs. She would definitely catch a cold at this rate. She licks her chapped lips and scans the area around her while wiping her sweating hands on her trousers. She didn't think there would be so many people this early morning. She is sure there are more people in the park in the morning than at any other time of the day. She turns around to look at the sound of laughter coming from the corner of the park. Her lips drawn to a crescent as she watches the elderly people forcing their laugh out.
The morning time is quite alluring. Parizaat never claims herself as an early riser. She has to be forced out of the bed in the morning, minutes before school. She would prefer to sleep in to running around to witness an alluring morning, but today things change a little. Today she prefers to stand and wait in this cold.
A tall figure appears in her peripheral vision in the farthest corner of the park. She cranes her neck and her mind starts pacing along with her legs that starts shuffling with more rhythm and her almost dried hands starts sweating again. Her legs stabilize when the face far away becomes more visible and is nowhere familiar. She sighs placing her hand over her racing heart.
Both her mother and brother would call her insane if they see her like this. She has blushed at the shocked looks her mother and brother had send her this morning when they noticed her ready for a jog in her heaviest woolen trousers and sweats. Her brother has muttered something being unusual about her. He was right! It's so unusual of her to wake up in the morning and come running to the park.
She brushes her hair away from her eyes and secures it into the hair pin that she is wore for the first time. It is from those days when her brother had got her one thinking that his tomboyish sister would finally sense the need to grow up her hair . She didn't even remember having the clip, but her brother who seemed more obvious of the things happening with her than her recommended it to her and here she is wearing the butterfly clip in her cropped messy hairs. She pulls at a lock of hair trying to make it appear as long as possible. Her brother was right, she needs to grow her hair.
She sighs again and watches the minute hand of her clock tick by. "Is he not coming? Didn't he write to meet here? Are there any more parks with the same name? Or maybe he meant six in the evening not morning?! She bits her lips as she springs up from her seat. What if he forgot? Or what if..what if..it was a prank or something?". Then she too will forget of having woken up early in the morning, of having waited in the park. She will just go home and sleep until some amnesic characteristics seeps into her and makes her forget all. Her egoistic mind kicks in as she squares her thin shoulders , pouts her face ready to leave but the small stubborn tug in her heart doesn't let her take even one step forward. Her heart smiles as she surrenders to the tug and orders her mind to be patient.
She kicks a small pebble and watches it roll by until it disappears amidst the green grass.
She sneezes again and then shakes her head at the stupidity of all that will surely get her into a good long fever. She wonders what changed that she is unable to listen to her logical brain and is succumbing to the illogical words uttered by her heart. Parizaat was one of those girls before who are always in an eternal relationship with fictional heroes. When her friends discussed about the future boyfriend of Parizaat , she would feel guilt seeping in as if she was cheating on her fictional boyfriend, and when her friends boast of their boyfriends she would be like " Your are nothing compared to mine! Mine is a wizard, a war hero, a superhero who just saved the world, a god! A god!"and then she would suddenly realize that there were no real ones to be claimed as hers. She was like that. A girl in eternal relationship with her fictional hero, a girl who viewed her future with fictional characters.
Parizaat tries to calculate the time and moment when things changed. Since when her too many fictional heroes got one real face? Later, much much later, when her rising anxiety isn't at peak and her heart is not practicing drums for some coming rock concert, she would like to wonder if it changed yesterday when he asked her to meet her here in the first ever passed note between them. Or was it when he was the new transfer student in her class and he rejected all the seat offers from the girls in her class to sit by her? Or was it the moment he introduced himself? She would like her guesses to go wild and would try to figure out if her brain lost the fuse the moment he accepted of having known her name far before she introduced herself! Or was it that day when he stood in the rain by the bus stop holding his umbrella over her because she was too shy to stand under the umbrella together with him? She blushes as she the day flashes on her face. It was the first rain of the season, it was so unexpected. When her mind nods repeatedly agreeing with her calculations, her heart whispers' It was far before!'.
It had been her first day in the famous Painting School. She had always been lacking in the social side so she hadn't intended to try anything new like making new friends in that new environment. She had arranged her spot in one of the corners of the art room. She remembers taking extra care not to invite attention to her specially after the glare sent to her by her neighbor artist who warned her of the noise her pencil was creating on her canvas. It was an alien environment with serious faces all around and in there where she had been extra cautious not to make any mess, she had jerked her hand to relieve the moisture of her brush making the canvas behind her tumble down. There had been turned heads at the commotion and her nervousness had kicked on making her paralyzed. After the recovery from the momentary paralysis she had followed the fallen canvas and had gathered the scattered belongings mouthing out strings of apologies. She had taken extra care to pick up the fallen painting which had seemed worthy of great scale auctions before the accident which had drowned the painting in kerosene. There had been one small growl, one hushed curse and a heavy breathe on her neck. She had looked up with apologetic eyes but the owner was too busy trying his best with his damaged painting to mind her apology. She had studied him then. He was oozing charm. He was no doubt a guy who was fine and full aware of his fine looks. But his handsome features were not the only things that had called Parizaat attention. His carelessness had. When his tidy casual attire and the arrangement of colour tubes which had somehow survived the accident, spoke of his highly order obsessive character; while contrary to his order obsessiveness with his belongings ,his unkempt hair that looked recently tortured by green colour smeared fingers, his white colour covered left eye brow, his blue jaws and finger tips, the paint marks and paint wipes on his shirt and the dark colour stain on his shirt sleeve folded to his elbows spoke otherwise. It spoke of utmost carelessness. Parizaat had also studied him with the same carelessness which had rendered the painting owner the discomfort unknown to her.
He had looked back at her with penetrating eyes interrupting her careless study. She had blushed unknowingly.
Though at that time, she hadn't agreed to the sudden change in the atmosphere but right now while reminiscing the moment Parizaat can even point out the changes. She had remembered the introductory new smell of the moment. Though her past self would have laughed and would surely have labeled her a lunatic to have smell a moment, her unconscious mind had imprinted the scent in her memory. It had smelled of evening, of new budding leaves, of freshly mowed grass, of perished flowers, of kerosene and linseed, of colours dominated by a wholly unfamiliar scent that had strangely reminded her of warmth. When her mind shouts out that moments don't have smell, her heart proudly states' But the memory is the evidence'.
"Make it right!", He had uttered in his strong voice, his eyes had been cold and his jaw tight. He had thrust his ruined painting into her hands and had left the spot. She had watched him as he arranged his things, his back was too straight as if he was aware of her stare, his steps too heavy as if depicting both his annoyance and anger.
She had tried to make it right. But the painting that had been put to life by experienced hands was put to death by a novice's hand. She had returned the further ruined painting ready to be confronted for ruining it more.
"I am not that good", She had said.
He had looked at the painting fondly and had nodded his head.
"It's good enough".
She would have taken it as insult had it not been for his eyes that had been warm that day and the smile.
"I almost though you wouldn’t come."
She is thrown out of her thoughts by the husky voice. She straightens up trying hard not to fall down in her nervousness.
"I didn't expect myself to come either", She replies trying not to stammer.
She shouldn't have said anything. She blushes thinking of how scared she sounded. She is scared. Scared that he will distinguish the morning blush from the one that is entirely due to him. Scared that he will hear the pounding of her racing heart.
"I am glad you came".
Crimson spreads to her neck as she nods a reply. She chews the inside of her cheek as she waits for him to speak something, anything instead of shuffling his feet which is also fueling her nervousness. She wets her dry lips when she notices that he is also waiting for her to speak. It's her turn.
"You are late. I was thinking about you".
It isn't until later when she noticed his smile that she realizes the gravity of the words she spoke. Drops of sweats layered her palm as she mumbles to clarify her words.
"I am happy to know", He says with a smile and forwards her a handful of night jasmine that he seemed to have forgot he was holding.
"I picked them on my way, it doesn’t look good to come empty handed and it kinda reminded me of you", He answers to her surprised eyes as she accepts the bunch trying hard not to brush any of her fingers with his.
She smiles at the flowers, her curios mind unable to keep patient and she almost raises her eyes to question him when he answers to her unvoiced curiosity.
“Parizaat, they are parizaat flowers”, She sighs and gulps at the same time ,” And..” She looks up at him and waits patiently for him to speak.
Her mind delving to ease when she spots the nervousness in him too. She isn’t alone in this. “The girl on the painting had those on her head dress”. Her heart jerks up at that.
“You too? I fell for...”, She bit her lips realizing what her excited heart just babbled out.
The silence after that, she can feel that. That’s the longest pause of her life, more longer than the online 5 secs ads. All her eyes are witnessing are his stable legs that were not so stable before her heart spoke.
“I didn’t”,She could hear the gulp. She doesn’t dare to look up for she fears the pricking in her eyes are nothing else but tears. Heartbroken tears.
“The first rain”,He whispered.
“The bus stand?”, She looks up, surprised and his eyes find hers. She could tell his focus is on her tear brimmed eyes and he looks unsettled.
“Not that..” That messes up with her memories and she turns every page of her memories with the hope to stumble upon one that matches with his memory. Somehow having a less memory seems like a loss. “But that was the first rain of the se..”
“Not this year, the previous year’s first rain of the season, the one before you know me”.
Parizaat is sure she is grinning, she is grinning like an idiot. Her heart wants to inquire, but her egoistic mind wins over for the first time and she doesn't ask.She doesn’t mind losing that one memory if he is keeping it safe. She is sure he will share his story someday.
The sudden goose pimples that come with every word from him, she enjoys them. She likes how he guesses the words she is yet to utter. She is fond of the way how he finishes her sentences.
She breathes in, the scent of the atmosphere, the smell she remembers, it lingers around them. She smells the flowers in her hands and adds the smell to her bunch of memories.
"They go well with your dress", He confesses eyeing the flowers.
Parizaat would later wonder late night about the logic and the workings of her mind that disappeared on her at that moment when she was too busy blushing at the most stupidest words he said but she would wonder more about the logic of the most intelligent and serious boy of the class when he was being the owner of those stupidest words. She would still blush at those words even if she would be full aware how stupid those sounded and would laugh at herself for being happy on being complemented on her baggy woolen trousers and sweats as a dress. She would like to wonder if he would be thinking the same thing, if he too is embarrassed after realizing that parizaat flowers don't go that well with yellow sweats.
Parizaat would later wonder that night just before the moment she falls asleep, so that she doesn't remember it by morning and hence won't be embarrassed on having been fertilizing such thoughts--Thoughts that roam to the realm that frightens as well as excites her, thoughts that leads Parizaat to wonder if she is in love with him.