They sat on either ends of the bole, heads turned towards each other. Between them, was only a single red rose lying on the floor, amidst the brown wilted leaves. It seemed sad, but was also blooming, betokening their love: The kind of love that made them sad.
The kind of love that perpetually tried to prick each nerve inside her head, while she thought of him but also felt like a garden full of colourful butterflies. Each time he uttered her name, "Ammulu", blood rushed from her toe to head, like a waterfall flowing upwards. The whole place looked conventional, except for the water that was flowing upside down. That was her world, divergent from the rest. It was confusing.
Everyday, she waited near the wood logs, her palms resting on the mossy tree trunks, wet and green. Every night, Rudra would come after he was sure no one else was there, except the moon. Only the tree stumps, the moon and its light, the rusty leaves that made crackling sounds even at the slightest wind, and the rose he would get for her everyday – knew their story.
Even if anyone else knew, they wouldn’t have understood either. Because, that is how their fellow social beings were. They have stowed definite rules into a societal box, and crammed it so tight that neither the prevailing rules were meant to be broken nor new rules welcomed. They lived in a box and held each other by the rules. Owners were meant to love only owners. Drivers only the drivers, dhobis only the dhobis, and servants only the servants. The box in which they lived was packed in layers, one above the other and the levels were called castes. Anything outside this was complicated.
She loved him. He loved her. And that was why it was confusing, both being unaware of how to protect each other from their sorrows. It was so deep that they looked at each other with fervent love, yet so shallow both did not know if it was right. They wanted the moment to cease, for they couldn’t see anything forward. They preferred the darkness they were in, together; to the light that lead them apart.
Rudra loved the cook. No one would look beyond that except him. He loved her food. He loved a woman. He loved another human being. He loved Ammulu. Ammulu loved him back. To them, only the love mattered. So, they met where nothing else actually mattered. Behind the house, farther from the fields, in the paths leading into the forest, where there were only logs, leaves and the moon. And they would continue to meet all the coming nights. Because they longed for the afters; she was his apple pie and he was her pudding.