Shreeya Swagatika Rath

Abstract Drama Romance


Shreeya Swagatika Rath

Abstract Drama Romance

The Maze

The Maze

5 mins 402 5 mins 402

I was looking out of the classroom window. A lot of people, who weren't you, passed by. I kept darting looks at the window while still keeping an eye contact with the teacher and my notebook. He was boring. Anyone I met after you seemed boring. It was untrue, only a biased conclusion. But I was uninterested in the lecture, though I was listening to him. I made a note of something important he said. Before I could dot a period to end the sentence, I looked out of the window again. There you were. Something made you look back and I looked away the moment your eyes caught mine, and I smiled. Your voice ringed in the large gallery as you asked for permission to be let in. I stared at my notebook page, bordered with doodles of two people sitting, walking, standing, hugging, while pressing my lips tightly together to not make my smile look obvious. 

You had your favourite bench and I mine. We could have a good view of each other if we mustered up enough courage to look. Correction: if 'I' mustered up... You never seemed to be afraid of anything. You never seemed to be clumsy around me, or fumble, or be nervous and shy, or try to look away or hide your smile, or blush. You never seemed to have been looking out of the window when I was late, or smile when my voice answered the roll call.

What happened thereafter was a surreal episode. It lasted a few days, as every beautiful thing is supposed to. The best things have the shortest lifespan, and the rarest things are the most invaluable. Maybe it is so, so that we appreciate it as much as it deserves.

A few days passed after this dreamy phase. I was in the classroom, looking out of the window. The lecture was still boring, a month later of the aforementioned one. I was sleepy, I missed you. I had been missing you all the time, but I couldn't tell you. I had promised myself not to trouble you with sentiments. My unnaturally obstinate sentiments. For you. Since the day my hand felt your touch, I didn't wish that feeling to fade. But fate had other plans, or we did, for ourselves.

People, who weren't you, passed by the window. I looked at the incessantly droning professor and nodded to pretend I was listening to him. I darted another look at the window. There you were, white shirt. Charming as ever, God that damned smile. 

You always smiled, didn't you? That lightened up every person's mood who met you, I'm sure. Like it lit me up. But, I bet it had a more lasting impression on me than on any of them. I smiled at your sight, but you passed by like everybody else, without looking at me. I looked at my notebook, involuntarily turning its pages to the middlemost ones, only half visible to me. I smiled at the warm colours that composed your name on the left page. I turned back to the notes, and forced myself to jot down something sensible of what Sir was saying. But it was only you who made sense to me, while being the most incomprehensible of ideas in my mind.

You were the paradox in my life. The shows you were obsessed with didn't interest me, my choices of subjects didn't interest you. You seemed to think big and knew what was going on around the world, I thought of details and trivialities, and of things going on inside me. I tell myself time and again, that 'opposites attract' is what happened. Still, how we came so close and loved each other for that moment, without knowing what deep meaning it carried, is the most curious puzzle I've encountered.

When we were in the maze, we enjoyed, looked out for each other, spent as long as we could in each other's company and felt easy and happy in it. Then, we started getting scared of being lost. Of being stuck in something that was keeping us away from the outer, untangled world. Of being bound in something that was beautiful yet uncertain, a path so twisted albeit adventurous, we were afraid we'd neither find our way back out nor our way through it to the treasure it hid on the other side.

"We'll continue in the next class," Sir said and everybody started hustling to pack their bags and escape. I followed slowly. I looked around. You weren't anywhere. I walked all by myself, smiling everytime I passed through a place which had seen us together, reminiscing about what we talked or did there. This was the only smile that didn't fade. No one else's presence could make me happy as much as your absence, rather your virtual company with me, did. 

I let you lead the way out of the maze. You've always been the smartest, you found your way back to the world you deemed fit for yourself. I kept calling back at you, that I'm right behind you. But I didn't follow. I lied. I outsmarted you. I stayed behind in the enchanted maze and let myself get lost in its winding paths, smiling at every turn and corner that had witnessed our presence. I stopped calling when I knew you were too far to hear me anymore.

But I kept darting looks at the classroom window and watch you pass by. And you never looked back at me. And I smiled at the blank monochromatic pages of my notebook. I smiled.

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