He was living in bliss. Bliss, which one could only imagine, to experience in a lifetime. He was probably the happiest man on earth at that moment where time stood still. Freedom was by his side, his bank balance was enough or at least that’s what he thought, friends that once were his everything reunited that day, staying in one of the coziest posh buildings in the city of dreams with once the love of his life in front of his eyes. The sun was setting in the horizon where the skies reflected on the calm waters of the sea at a distance. Looking over through the balcony nets of the high rise building, he closed his eyes, breathing deep, filling his lungs in the breeze from the sea that gave him goose bumps while standing behind her. Feeling the warmth of the setting sun and the simultaneous cold of the approaching dark he smiled to himself while his eyes still shut. This was a smile he held on to for years within himself. The moment that was his, that he had cherished to experience years back but never thought would be a reality and was still hard for him to believe was actually happening in the present. They all laughed and giggled and shared memories of the past and the present, of their worlds that they live in now, of the worlds they would step into in future. He participated sometimes joining in the conversation, while sometimes being silent sinking in every moment which he knows, will hardly ever be able to experience again. He has been building castles out of thin air in his mind, harping on false expectations, words, from their discussions in messages on life, every day, since some time, hallucinating for months. His feet were light on the ground as he was still floating in his dreamland while the reality was soon to throw him off his feet.
Calling him aside, she stood on the balcony of the hallway. The walk from the room to the balcony, a matter of few seconds were bombarded with a million thoughts in his mind till all of it went blank as she spoke flashing her mobile screen on to his face. The brief moment of being special that he felt on being called aside was overshadowed by the words she uttered. It was lightning that struck him from nowhere. All of a sudden the clear blue sky that shone brightly on him till a few moments back, was now dark and despair, as hell broke loose. He was at a loss for words experiencing a simultaneous feeling of exuberance standing by her side, after ages, while feeling the loss from the news of her departure in the months to come. He looked down at the road from the balcony of the 28th floor where he stood, as he felt the ground slipping below his feet. He looked up and the farthest his eyes could reach only saw darkness of the never ending sea and the sky as they merged to one. All he could think of then was to hug her tight, hold her in his arms and let the tears speak for the words he could not utter. He was interrupted in his thoughts by the presence of one of her chosen few before he could move his body that was frozen in time. Quickly back on his feet, shaking up his inner self he put on the invisible mask of a happy face. While he retained the smile on his face, his eyes struggled to hold back what was not meant to be seen. Soon there was dinner on the table for all of them and the fleeting moment was framed to be captured, shared, and cherished for a later time of reminiscence. He poured in a bit more dal than he usually consumes, a glass of water, just in case it was still harder to gulp in the rice as his throats felt choking.
He could only hear words and not understand, as he was not listening to details on which they were chattering after dinner. Neither he could concentrate nor could he recall what was being spoken just a second ago, as his mind searched for sanity in the chaos that was building within. The beds were made and the tiredness of the day seemed to catch up with everyone but him. She dozed off on the bed leaning against the frame of the bed towards the wall. Her right side of the bed was still vacant as other friends had taken their respective places to rest or found a space to have a call with their loved one. Inches away from her, pretending to sleep he hoped she dozed off on his shoulder in the numbness of her sleep. His hands were craving to run them through the curly mess of hairs on her head; she had made, rolling on the bed while she was awake. He couldn’t! All he could do was, wait, till either sleep caught up with him or he had to vacate the place which he occupied temporarily from the absence of the other friend while she continued on her phone on the adjacent balcony of the room. Looking over at her, he realized she could hurt her neck in the way she slept but he did not have the permission to touch her no matter how much he cared. Asking her to realign herself or sleep as supposed to be, he got up and quickly checked on the friend in the balcony and started taking impatient walks in the room. One last time, he went there to the bed and rested by her side pulling over the quilt on her. Staring at her face which seemed as innocent and vulnerable as a blooming bud, he lay by her side before conscience struck him. What if? She freaks out on opening her eyes the next moment and no matter how much he wanted to be by her side for the night, he did not have her consent. He got up a few seconds later going back to the bed on the floor that was meant for him. It was night enough; the friend in the balcony was done with her call and came to take the place where he desired to be.
It was a long night for him. The longest night he had experienced. Sleep failed to catch up with him, as he lay in the bed on the floor staring at the white ceiling, listening to the gentle grumbling of the ac and the infrequent snoring of his friends. The ticking of the watch on his wrist that rested on his head constantly made him aware of the fading moments of bliss. Restless as he was, he lay back and then sat up several times checking on her as she twisted and turned in her subconscious state of sleep. While she squeezed herself in the artificial cold of the room ac, he was burning from the heat of anger on his fate. He was sweating in anguish that was tearing him apart from within. Breathing heavy as the air felt thin to him, he walked out into the adjacent balcony. The weather was humid outside but it helped him breathe better. In the silence of the night and the flashing of the distant city lights, he stared at the construction sites overlooking his building, wondering! He wondered how time and tide was never in his favor, how he wanted a chance to appreciate the beauty in their differences and harp on the similarities. It never felt such gloomy in a long while. His breath had normalized by then as he went inside the cold room. Life felt aimless with no definite directions, defeated purposes and lost hopes filled his imaginations. Trying to sleep again but failing in a short while, he went back to the balcony, wondering if he could do anything to change himself or his future that he was looking up, to give it a chance, to start afresh but all in vain by then. As insane and weird as it might sound, he wished he had a cigar and choked in its smoke as he didn’t smoke in regular. All weird thoughts started catching up on him, filling him up in the places of his mind that searched for a reason to justify his existence. He watched the darkness of the night give way to the light of the morning. His eyes still heavy without sleep, and mind numbed by the inflicted pain of absurd thoughts, he tried to recall the last time he saw the sun, rise, only to be eclipsed in the shadow of the moon that he desired to reach and call his own.
That morning a soul breathed its last, while a mass of flesh bones and blood took to the regular task of a mortal, counting days till the inevitable.