It was only a coincidence that she looked up at the sky that night. On the other days, she usually looked at people on the road from her third floor balcony. The people could not see her while she could see them all. Hiding and seeking answers in unknown faces who did not know she even existed had always been her thing. But that cold December night, she looked up to find that a streak of white light was passing her by.
A meteorite does not mean a meteorite to a lot of people. Till that moment she did not know she was one of them. She also did not know that she would go back to believing she wasn’t one of them immediately after that moment.
A meteorite meant if you prayed for what you wanted at the moment you saw it, you were sure to get what you asked for. To some that meant hope, to some it meant sadness. If you were not sad, why would you look for happiness in a delusion that a white light fell from the sky just for you when it really is just another meteorite?
“Make him mine”, was all she could think of in that moment when the blindness of everything she abhorred won over the science that she believed was the real truth.
Wishes made her sad. So did hope.
She leaned against the balcony door and looked down again. The human activity in her street lessened in an otherwise busy city after 10:00 PM.
“A few hours before the stray dogs stake the claim to the busy streets.” She turned around and picked a box of matches lying on floor.
In no hurry to sleep on a Friday night, she lit another cigarette, waiting for her laptop to make that special sound of someone reaching out from afar through a chat invitation.
He stared at the empty chat window, just as he had been doing for the last ten minutes.
“I am chatting too much with her.”
He continued to stare at the thumbnail of her picture in the chat window for a few more minutes. Then opened a browser window and began to type a name in the search window, just one of the names that still haunted him though he had not seen her for three months.
Ghosts have no names. The faces they sometimes take, do. His ghosts were too many faces, and still more names. Names he had whispered, faces he had seen, moans he had grown accustomed to, during his eight year long stint in the country of his dreams came back to haunt him as he curled up on bed every night in the country of his birth.
Words in a chat window were his only light. Night after night for the past one month, the words of a stranger, who looked something like the thumbnail of her picture, carried him through the shadows of himself to find the bits and pieces of a heart he never thought he had.
“I have seen too much to believe in this.” He closed the laptop lid, picked his phone and keys, and walked out of his apartment.
A breezy night was just beginning to light up the sky.
He dialed the number he dialed at least once a week to release himself of long lonely hours of boredom in a home that didn’t feel like home anymore in a city he had learnt to detest.
The friend he had called was home. Time for the weekly interlude of a fuck without drama.
Then he turned.
Sometimes, his life felt like a never-ending death. Yet there was that one single moment once in a while when he would breathe. A long sigh of a breath…
He felt a rush in his lungs and disconnected.
Back in his apartment, he pinged the window his heart seemed to have gotten stuck in.
“What’s your number?”
She wrote a number in the window.
He unlocked the phone screen to save the number. The number was already stored in the contact list.
He lost his breath again. But the death in him laughed and closed the laptop window.
It was time to call. He called the one number he had been calling once every week.
The doorbell rang. She closed the laptop lid. It was that time of the week, to know a little more of death again.