Waiting … Story Poem by Sheikha A.

The night outside has only just begun. It is youthful, jaunty with the stars perked up for an eve of dance and delight; much like the twelve princesses from childhood stories. The stars row down the alabaster stretch to a clandestine ball held at some obscured corner of the sky, conspicuous to only lovers – or believers.

I roam the sky from my window wondering about their revelling and draw up conclusions of success or dejection from the way the stars twinkle, dim or bright. These stars are cunning. They know the game of pretend. To play haughty and pose indifferent, hiding behind a curtain of mist whilst giggling pleasurably in knowing they are being sought for by the admirers of both the skies and earth.

The day has ended to the night this night. The hour lingers as it edges forward seconds to minutes, at the end of which starts the day of the years gone by when we had begun.

The air is the same as you breathe. I can only presume on my side of the land, it smells denser of righteousness as it may simmer of protocol on yours. I have always wondered about protocol. I notice how the clouds follow it at day; the stars follow it tonight; perhaps, this is the right way of conducting…clandestine. Hidden.

Nothing is new. My yesterdays and today have mingled into a structured calendar of spending each moment languishing the time I spent with you. You are gone in body, spirit and essence. How I’ve trained my mind to repeat the line to myself though never easier knowing you are alive, breathing, laughing, living somewhere, someplace as I die, stifle, cry and wither in a place bereft of any substance anymore.

I settle into my bed, the dark of the night beating down on me from right through the window in mock whispers of the memories I have towered inside the dwarf fortress of my mind. It has and is, since the passage of all these year, a religious routine to read through the memory of your words – the irony of which makes me swallow a chuckle in my modest minded plainness.

I write you, relentlessly…in countless continuum of the seconds that tick away in space where some mysterious partner of unreal gravity elongates them into hours, boisterously stubborn in announcing its stay, bringing with it its playmate – memories. I have lost count of these, as I always will keep writing and sending you reminders of my existence.

The shadows have, yet again, been victorious over the flicker of sanity I so desperately try to falter from dissipating into the long clutches of your phantom appearances, showing me to your dreams and the rivulets of delight, I remember, it would effervesce in me.

I remember you like a yesterday that has not ended yet. The air of today that remains perennially impregnated with the aroma of your favourite perfumes, the ones that you liked to wear and those you liked on me. It didn’t matter if I knew the names to the brands you wore but I knew their texture, colour and the way you styled everything – your favourite shirts to the leather or metal wrist bands you wore – everything of which I’d idolize if I spotted something similar in a shop somewhere. I would brand it ‘You’.

The grin on your face and the exhilaration with which you’d talk about the cars you loved; the ones you’d work hard to save to own; the ones you drove. I’d find a car of your likes on the road whilst crossing, or in a traffic jam, or in a parking reserve and I’d stall to gaze at it linking my senses to your preferences.

I’d watch your hands move and gesture while you’d talk, your face animated with expressions and I’d be absorbing your every detail to lock in the orbs of my memory.

I admit to being absent to your petulant demands of calling me whenever you pleased and then revenging the absence with more absence of defiant silence.

I remember the incalculable calls I’d make to you, coddling you, humouring you, easing you, and playing you for hours until you acquiesced – the same hours that have now become an infinite alacrity of non-diminishable memorabilia.

I’d deliberately tease you after having eased you to debilitate reasons to end call. And then I’d pretend offended so you took turn to repeat the process of the hour gone by only to be able to hear your voice for longer.

If I knew of perfection, it was ‘You’.

Even today, I’d stall at a channel that is playing your favourite song or movie and watch it; unexhausted from the post battering of my mind that wages a war to suppress you.

The darkness is deepening and my eyelids descend, having grown weary of storing these memories, but sleep rests in a land I may never visit. This night is my cure from the days I spend dimming you under the din and light of people’s jubilant chatter and ambitions that tuck away the doleful tugging at every inch of my skin like dry sand being pressed down under busy, scurrying feet of the uninfected – the breed of which I eye covetously wherever I go.

I watch as the hours grow thick and heavy as if caught in treacle hard to wrestle out of – my wrestle with sleep wanting to lull me into its calamity…a world without you.

I watch you appear to me and I look back at my forcefully created illusion; my eyes inebriated with the memories of you.

If my eyes speak of a tale, it is ‘You’.

You’ve left me hopelessly, conditionally frozen in a time called ‘waiting’.


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