“THE ONE YOU SEE BETWEEN THE STARS”.
Covered in a honey glazed, brown colored and oil scented fortune cookie was a piece of paper that read these words. The girl holding the piece of paper was rather confused about the words but she didn’t believe in such things and neither was she interested in knowing what it meant. So she crumpled the small piece of paper and threw it in her leather bag along with other unwanted things of hers. Alizeh was a 23 year old girl that had just arrived in Bangalore to pursue her life long dream of becoming a reporter. Reporting things came naturally to her. When she was a small kid she would report everything her family members did to her mother -her fathers habit of adding sugar to every meal he ate, her brothers stunt of breaking the neighbors glass her grandma’s gossip sessions with her old lady friends- she reported through it all. But as a person that girl wasn’t as organized as her reports. She was a girl with an untidy hairdo that wore every outfit without ironing. She had scratches all over her arms due to her itchy skin.
Alizeh was a dark girl with freckles near her eyes but as you reached her eyes, all her flaws would become invisible. All over her body her eyes were the only thing that were organized. They were hazel colored but not some regular hazel that you find everywhere now. It was the organized kind of hazel. Hazel between brown and black.
As she walked out of that old Chinese restaurant towards her workplace, she came across a very small book vendor. She crossed over to its side and started searching for books or magazine that she could read. Each book she chose was either burnt or not in a very well shape. Without looking at the owner she asked him what the deal was and he replied in a very soft tone “These books are old and unwanted“. “I collect them from the dump. The books that are in better shape are sold here others I just keep at my home.” While the vendor explained himself Alizeh had found a book that had a very classic cover and she thought she would like it. She took a quick look at her watch and at the same time asked the man how much the book cost.
Without listening to the mans answer she took out a thousand rupee note from her bag and gave it to the book vendor and rushed from the place. In the background you could still hear the man saying something but Alizeh had already started running.
She had tossed the book in her leather bag. The bag in which she tossed everything. That day Alizeh had a really tiring day she had to work and make up reports, basically do what she loved but sometimes we also get tired of things that we love. At her apartment, that still needed some repairs she decided to read the book she had gotten for herself. While opening the book and going through its cover and pages, she realized she had paid too much for it. She sighed and opened to the first page of the book.
“Little in the memories I lie of the one that I walked by tonight.I pictured myself on her side, when I opened my eyes my heart sighed.So I took my hand towards my heart. I remember it only knew how to start.but since the one left me that night; about my beats my heart has lied.”
In bold ink were these verses written. Alizeh got stuck between those words. She wasn’t much of a poetry girl but she knew how to dive into the words. The first thought that caught her mind was who wrote it, there was no name in the book just some empty pages and some pages filled with blue ink. Alizeh had never had her heart broken.
Not from a boyfriend, not from a friend or any other person and she had promised to keep it that way, but she was a compassionate girl. Compassion makes you feel the pain that doesn’t belong to you even if your heart is perfectly fine. She surfed through each page to find the name of the writer. As she was turning the pages and examining each one very carefully, she came across the middle section of the book where she found something that made her laugh. There was a sketch of a man.
Alizeh was satisfied by that face. she thought she didn’t need any name now that she had the whole picture of the man that had written this book. So with her satisfaction she started reading every poetry of his with a sigh and a smile and she was satisfied until the last verses of the book;
” Some words I wrote to smell you, some I wrote to let myself see
some I have hidden like a secret and some I let suffocate beneath
but words that are in my chest I decide to carve near my hand
so that I can sense you there and give a taste to something bland.”
And gone like wind in summer was her satisfaction. Now she wanted more she wanted the color of his skin, the color of his eyes. the height of this man and the softness of his hair. She wanted all of it. She couldn’t sleep that night. Cuddling with the book. She had fallen in love. She was in love with the books poetry, the sketch and the whole book itself. Yet much like the last verse of the book she fell in love with something bland and now all she wanted was something to add a flavor to it. She slept with that book every night. She couldn’t wake up without it.
Its hard to fall in love with something that you have never met and never seen. For months she read the same poetry over and over again until those verses were settled in her heart. She knew she could never find the man who wrote it. So she decided to call the book her first true love and she was glad. She was glad about the fact that she would never get her heart broken. She had found a perfect love. One that would never break. That is the best and the ruining kind of love.
One night she was looking towards the sky full of stars and she saw the sketch. The poet of her love. Alizeh rushed towards her leather bag and unzipped it. She lifted it and tossed everything out of her bag and there it was.
” THE ONE YOU SEE BETWEEN THE STARS”
She knew she had lost herself.
When she woke up the next morning she was filled with sadness. Alizeh cursed her fate for giving her the fortune cookie. She cursed fate for serving her the book in which she lost her sanity. That girl had so deeply fallen in love with the book and its poet that she had carved its verses on her dining table. Oh how creative the insane love makes you!
After a day of tiring reports and woeful sighs, she decided to go back to the Chinese place. When she reached the restaurant she stopped at the door. She couldn’t bring herself to enter the place where it all started. Alizeh wasn’t a believer but somehow she believed that it was the starting of all this. So instead she started walking towards her apartment. From a distance in a very blurred picture, she saw something that made her even sadder. She saw the book vendor. With all the strength in her legs she walked towards it ,in no hope of finding the poet. As she came closer to the vendor her eyes narrowed. For a second she stood there staring at the man and the man stared back. In a very unclear voice she made out the words the vendor was saying,
” I hope you came back with my dairy.”