It had started to pour by the time she left his house. Climbing down three flights of stairs, she did not notice the rain beating upon the window panes that lined the side of the building. At that moment, her heartbeats were more tumultuous than the roaring winds, thrashing the empty street. A harsh wind slapped across her face, as soon as she stepped out of the centrum, and onto the promenade. That’s when she started to cry.

Mighty and mysterious, the sea beyond the promenade distracted her thoughts. The swelling then ebbing waves much reflected her own state of mind. And it would be unfair to say this was first time. For the past few days, she had been dragging herself through the mental trauma under the pretence of excuses. Tonight, however, it was over. Tonight, she was free.

She sat down upon the bench overlooking the sea. The vastness of the sea made her feel belittled. Why can’t I be like the sea? Destructive, when raging. Soothing, when calm. For ages, people have gone to the sea to drown their worries. From the time, she was a kid, she had seen her parents take solitary walks by the sea and sort out their differences. But tonight, the sea was all-consuming. Why can it not soothe her soul?

She had known the sea to carry messages across continents and find lovers for the lonely. She had herself, given away her secrets and sorrows to the sea, with a solemn promise, to take it all away from her, from a point of no return. She sat watching the undecipherable sea. Why this adamancy? Why this treason tonight?

She allowed the rain to soak her on the outside, while her tears soaked her insides. She folded her knees and wrapped her arms around them. Gradually, rain ceased to pour and reduced to drizzles. Hours passed like minutes, and when she looked up, there was the moon staring back at her, swollen and beautiful, like her moist eyes.

The wind, the waves, the calm of the night, all succeeded in diminishing her urge to demand answers. She knew finally, no matter what answers her heart chased, her mind would never accept them. And thus she asked, the victim of her heart, “Pray tell, why the desperation?”

She lowered her legs, and her feet grazed the chilling earth beneath. The sensation sent shivers up her spine and she embraced herself. In a beat, she missed the company, the night had snatched from her. From somewhere, a troubled mutt, lost and lonely, came to rest upon her feet.

Last vestiges of heartache left her body as she gently stroked the brown boy, who looked up at her with large pleading eyes, and with a mild wag of the tail, offered her crumbs of comfort. She fed on them gladly. And for the last time, for a fleeting moment, she felt she saw the dismal message etched in the vanishing canopy of clouds,

“Baby, she loves me. I, can at least pretend.”


So tell us, reader, how do you handle the desperate urges to empty your mind of anguish? Share your thoughts in the comment below.


©Asha Seth