Kumam Davidson, Manipur, India
It is an unusually chilly morning for summer. Of course it is the heavy rain from last night that has dropped the temperature. At five in the morning I find myself tucked under the blanket. It rains so much in this part of the world that people wait, quite hopelessly, for it to stop. I intend to fall asleep again but I am slowly getting carried away by the soothing and rhythmic sound produced by the multitudes of raindrops hitting the metal surface. I start getting into the rhythm and momentum of it, feeling my own heartbeat racing faster and louder as the raindrops hit.
I know he is there in the next room, sleeping, tucked inside the warm blanket; and I also know that he is not awake for sure. He never is at this hour. For a while I have been sulking over the fact that he has stopped sleeping in my bed with me. I have tried seeking an explanation in many ways, beating around the bush often because I know I cannot put it exactly in those words that keep running restlessly in head. How much I wish I can speak exactly those words which have run in my head at least a dozen times. I give in to fifteen-year-old lack of confidence. How can a fifteen-year-old utter those lines of love and remorse delivered by a hero or heroine from a melodramatic film or book! I keep thinking and wishing every moment that he will just wake up and come to me somehow. How much I wish that to happen.
The urge inside me grows stronger and stronger and when I can hold no longer I rush out of bed. In the next few seconds I find myself sneaking under his blanket and the warmth I feel when our half-clothed bodies touch each other, as I have already imagined, is bliss and unforgettable. I have never felt that same cosiness and warmth before, almost cathartic and orgasmic, in more than a year of being with him. Our naked bodies have touched each other quite often. We have become almost completely aware of the scent, texture and shape of each other’s bodies after many playful nights in the darkness. But the warmth and satiation that I feel this morning is extraordinary. I wonder if he feels the same. I wish he does, yet I become too preoccupied with my sensations that somehow I slowly turn oblivious to his feelings.
When I wake up I realise I have fallen asleep in his arms for a while. I find my legs on his while my willy lay unbothered on his soft fanny. I also feel my palm and fingers running slowly on his chest and tickling the nipples once in a while. In those moments of ecstasy and romantic fulfilment I have forgotten the ways of the world and the ticking of time. The only thing I am attentive to is the soothing sound of raindrops on the roof somewhere playing like background music in a film.
I have almost forgotten everything until my anger suddenly rushes back to my mind hitting every part of my body and I momentarily shrug off from him, creating a sudden distance between our bodies and mind. And I pull myself together, then plead for an answer in broken words and dismembered voices which is partly mine and not. I keep pleading and pleading for the answers to the same questions which I partly know I will never get from him. Over and over again I make attempts, convince myself to hang on a little longer, thinking that one day he will yield to my pleading somehow.
Before I walk out of the bed I make a last attempt at starting a conversation, but he will not talk about our relationship, as always. I wonder if he lacks the language. Does he fear? Or does he not understand our bonding? I press my lips on his before I finally walk out of the bed. He does not kiss me back. It saddens me much more, much more than how I was feeling before I got back into bed with him one last time.
Dear readers: it feels like all this just happened today, this morning. I slowly understand that I was reliving the exact moments all over again. It’s a dream, I know, but I do not know if I was asleep while dreaming it. There are certain memories in life that have the power to replay exactly at the same pace and with the same feelings all over again. This is one and I must also confess that I decided long back to cherish this in the best way I can. I have relived these moments often. Today, a little more than ten years after that morning, I am still thinking about him.
Today I think if I could have convinced myself that day, I would have avoided another year of confusions and reproaches. I added more content and longer life to a story that could have been cut short. But then, there were fulfilling things about it. The sensations of the body; an emotional longing; the need of a person one assumes to be in love with: they were partly fulfilled. My teenage urge for a full-fledged love story was partly written and remembered and told now and again with pride, like a prize I won in school. Over the years I have developed the habit of telling the quintessential love story of mine to close circle. Often there is a sense of achievement and pride in telling it while I also mourn it.
Last month his wife gave birth to their first son. He was happy and I had mixed feelings about it. I kept wondering why he still wanted me to know about his life. Was I wrong when I said I choose and cherish certain memories? Sometimes people may choose to turn up unexpectedly at your door bringing back a chain of memories and stories you think you have forgotten. Likewise, memories seem to pick and haunt you even at the most unexpected hours. Sometimes I cherish it. Sometimes, I think it’s haunting me instead. It chose me, left me no way to forget it. I do not seem to have the control I thought I did.
When it rains again like that suddenly I feel the same warmth and sensation all over again. Somewhere deep under my skin,the touch and feel of his body seem to have survived. The memory of an early rainy morning has failed to let go of me.