The weatherman did not point out an hour ago that it would be raining.
It is raining though.
It is raining though.
In both houses, everybody is asleep except for them; she in the east of the very big neighborhood, he in the west of it.
In her room, she is sitting by the window. As the raindrops hit the windowpanes, she finds herself lying between alertness and sleep yet not completely surrendering to either. She is thinking still; her thoughts are lost in an impression of dreams. It does not bug her; at least now, she can lose sense of reality while being wide awake.
In his room, he lies on bed. In an attempt to find sleep, he keeps on counting from one to ten over again. And yet, that too fails; every single number of these has a significance that opens a whole new line of thought. He observes ironically how sleep shifted from being a relief to being a burden and decides to cast it all aside giving up to that desire in him to stay awake.
And so, both forget about having to rise in the early morning, forget about the morning itself and live in the night. But whether they like it or not, the morning has to come.
When the alarm goes on, she is found to be still sitting by the window in almost the same position with the same expression. Her eyes are wide open and her mind has long ago been lost; in what exactly, she will not be able to tell. And so, it scares her a little when that pesky sound interrupts her state of blankness. She leaves that chair tiredly to get dressed and start a repeated old new day.
When his mother enters to wake him up, she finds him pacing the room and thinks he has woken up earlier today; what she does not know is that he hasn’t had one moment of sleep. He halts his motion pondering on the dreaded fact of having to leave home for yet another day. A thought of breaking the order of things roams his head but leaves quickly being rendered as only a stupidity. And so another repeated old new day begins for him.
In the street, as the sun hurts her eyes a wave of hate towards her inability to close them overtakes her. She does not regret last night though; she can regret everything but last night. She finds an ineffable effort in merely walking, and yet, she walks. Does she have another option?
In another street, his feet present him with no trouble in maintaining his motion; it is that feeling of abhorrence in him towards everything that does. He can find no reason at all for going to his destination, none still to his life, but in both cases, something greater pushes him to unwillingly go on. He has no other option.
She takes another route. She doesn’t know why but she just does it. Perhaps it is only because she feels a desire in her for things to be more in her control; perhaps it is not. She does not care, not any longer, not at all. Her body though revolts on her instantaneous freedom and makes her almost swoon. She doesn’t fall to the ground; he catches her.
As their faces meet, they find familiarity but not recognition. Familiarity is there not because they saw each other before; it is something beyond it. They could not have met before. And yet, could they be soul mates, potential friends, or even enemies? Neither had a say in his future but both felt it was too far away, too unrealistic stop happen. But could it be, could it be in a parallel dimension? Their minds wandered to a different world where their souls were not split by an entire neighborhood having tens of buildings, a couple of hundred flats and a thousand rooms which contain a million corners having innumerable insomniac minds. Could that be? Maybe it could, only in a distant past, away from a present where everything loses its main property to become a cell, just a cell. But alas! They live in that present, and in that present, everybody is destined to live in alienation. They are not bigger than an ugly life to beautify it; they are not brainwashed like most of the others to think it is beautiful, and so they lie in infinite agony feeling that something is missing but not quite knowing what is it.
They have to divert.
Before this, he breaks the norm of social traditions and asks her, “Will we ever meet again?”
At first, his question takes her by surprise; but then, she admires the frank boldness in it. “Perhaps we’ll cross roads,” she replies.