NOTE: Introduction of one of my characters from my yet unpublished book.
EDIT: I do not know what I was doing with this.
It was a lovely morning. With the heat and the humid weather, everything stuck to everything else. The sun came out quickly and brightly.
And I was dying.
No, not literally.
You could say I was figuratively dying. And oh yes. It was a sarcastically lovely morning.
And so, when I was figuratively dying, the Wind decided to have mercy and relieve us humans of the constricting humidity.
I was delighted and was quick to get out of my house and enjoy the weather.
We lived in a flat so, as you can imagine, the compound wasn’t very big. I mean the individual compound for each of the three buildings in our colony, you could say. I could venture out farther front, but I felt exposed. It put me in the gaze of any residents who happened to be looking out the window hoping someone would come by and trip and fall just to entertain them.
Since I had poor hand-eye coordination, I did not wish to be that person.
On the side of my building was a wall, lined with deodar trees. I headed towards them.
That’s when I saw him. He had his eyes closed and his head tilted towards the sky. He was partly hidden by the row of trees. I never would have noticed him had I not seen his shadow sticking out of . . . well . . . the shadows.
I squinted at him. And then–as if he sensed my presence–he slightly inclined his face towards me and frowned, looking annoyed and extremely pissed.
He looked like he wanted to mutiny.
I tucked tail and ran.
I had never seen him before in this locality and I wondered who he was. On round of my building and I reached the deodar trees again. This time, he was looking at me. We appraised each other for a long time.
I went towards him, slightly uncomfortable, but not really sure why I was walking towards him.
He looked hostile. And wary. But at the same time, he seemed to be considering; considering whether it was worth talking to me.
As I had that thought, I snapped out of it. He was about ten inches shorter than me and he seemed to be considering if I was worth talking to? Okay, maybe not that short, but still.
“New tenant?” I asked him.
A slow smile lit up his face. I was like a miniature sun, right there in the middle of all the shadows.
“Hi,” he said. “Fai. I’m Fai.”
I cocked my head at the unusual name. Japanese. Or I think it was Chinese.
I shook my head and introduced myself to Fai.
He motioned–smiling–towards deeper shade. I obliged. I didn’t even occur to me that he hadn’t answered my question. I just naturally took him as the son of a new tenant or something.
After talking for a while, I started to like him. He seemed nice enough. And quite companionable. But why were my instinct telling run?
I blinked. Insane. You are completely insane, I thought to myself. I could see Fai grinning.
He asked about my family. I asked about his. Of course, the talk eventually turned to our sisters.
“A younger sister!” I said. “Oh that is so–”
“Please.” Fai snorted. “She’s annoying–”
“Younger sisters are born to be annoying,” I said, condescendingly. “I should know. I am an younger sister.”
“Then why . . . ” he paused. Tilted his head. “The cherry blossoms are pretty aren’t they?”
Whaaat? I thought my insanity has affected him too.
Then I looked up. Instead of the deodars, there was a row of cherry blossoms.
I was surprised only later.
“Yeah,” I said, slightly dazed. “Yeah, they are.”
“Fai,” a voice called out. We looked over our shoulders. A beautiful girl was standing behind us. A leaf flitted across her face and settled snugly on her shoulder.
“Come on!” she said, her voice urgent. “We need to go NOW!”
Fai turned towards me, smiling, and said that he hoped to meet me again. I smiled back. I said I hoped to meet him too. He jogged towards the girl. I looked up at the deodars.
Started, I looked towards the path which Fai took when he left. No one was there.
I stood alone in the dark for a long time.
Sometimes, I wonder what it was all about. Was he just a figment of my imagination. Did I call myself insane so much, I really became insane? Sometimes, I wondered if I am really so bad at handling the iron, or I burn myself thinking about him?
I really couldn’t find any answers.
I thought about him for a long time: five days. And then I forgot everything about that small encounter up until now. Because my memory is that good.