It's funny, that's what it is. Funny that a 24-year-old man is sipping on hot chocolate at almost midnight. And it's funny how a random action can trigger a random, totally unconnected memory. Or is it a trigger? Was it always lodged in my brain? Well, we'll never find out, because it has found release as I shed my skin here and now.
I met her in the late summer of the year of two thousand and eight. And it was the first time I noticed something different about a person, even though everything was almost perfectly beautiful. Her eyes. Her eyes were intriguing, like that one red leaf fallen among hordes of greens, which makes you unsure of whether autumn has passed or not. She smiled the widest, happiest, most childlike smile. But her eyes. Her eyes seemed almost a different entity of their own.
I force my mind to remember her eyes as I stir the contents of my over-sized white mug, not letting the chocolate settle at the bottom.
I gravitated first towards her eyes and then towards her being. She was animated, her hands all over the place as she explained last evening's exploits. She joked loudly and whispered softly, and always used to stand out, like that single ray of sunshine during a heavy downpour. When rains came, her mood fluctuated as if there was a separate monsoon going on inside her. Innocence and arrogance entwined.
One day you'd find her singing in the rain, occasionally faltering to spit the rain out of her mouth, other days you'd find her sitting by the window willing the thunder to roar and rumble, coffee mug clutched tight in both hands, Sinatra playing in the background. But her eyes betrayed some other unearthly season.
In the two years, ten months, and seventeen days that I knew her, we'd talked enough to last us five births. Amidst sharing an extra large bottle of cola, or digging through throngs of office-goers with our hands clutched tight, or exchanging nonsense during sweltering mid-afternoon walks, or playing hide and seek in the sheets and pillows, the words we spoke on each other's skins are etched there forever, invisible to all existence but me. But seared in my mind is the memory of her eyes.
For the first time in my then nineteen years of existence, I learnt to read eyes, to glance into the telltale windows to the soul, and I found out that eyes betray everything. Her eyes were black as coal, but they displayed everything she had been through in her twenty-two years of gracing this heavenly planet. Her eyes spoke more than her voice could ever speak. I'll always remember her eyes best, even though she was blind.