The wind in his hairScience believes that the more similar the two worlds are the people get stuck with each other. Maybe we two are more than similar, which is why I am drawn to his world
He lives in a world full of happiness. Everyone abides by the law in that world. There are no such words as excuses, nepotism, and bias. Humanity is at its best there. The roads are clean and black-topped, sidewalks are spotless, shaded by tall, green trees, the names of which I don’t know. Air tastes like cotton candy, it just melts in your mouth. Water tastes as if it were straight from a creek. Gentle breeze, starry sky and bright moon welcome the night. The soft sound of cicadas is ever present. What’s more, education is free and the people are nice. What more do we need? It is a veritably ideal world. It exists! And it is a world where he exists.
I first met him six years ago, a time when I had been devastated. It was a difficult, strenuous time, when I had come to lose a lot of things, including a part of myself. And I didn’t even know what I was missing. It had been in a road traffic accident, they said. Since then, I was never the old happy me. I chopped off my long brown curls and a new me was born. It always felt like I had a hole—an emptiness—in me and through it I was slowly slipping away from who I was, and from what I thought was reality. But getting to know him changed everything. He was the reason I could go on with my life. It was not the multiple surgeries the doctors performed but his company that saved me. Maybe, I could relate to him because he was going through the same thing as me, or maybe just because of sheer destiny. He had lost his friend in an accident and the accident changed who he used to be. We were both at a crossroad.
He keeps a picture of him with a girl on his bedside table. It must have been taken in a park somewhere. They are sitting on a park bench under the shade of an oak tree. He is smiling his usual heartwarming grin and the girl, who seems somewhat shy, is about to cover her face. They seem very much in love. She has long brown hair. She is beautiful. The picture itself is beautiful. The picture captures the beauty of his dead friend and the close bond they shared. But now I can’t remember the girl. She seems familiar but I cannot put a face to her name, even though I have seen the picture a hundred times.
The first time I saw him, he was facing the window in a hospital that overlooked a park. I assumed he was looking at little children playing with their parents, and ice-cream vendors hawking them. Later, from the way his shoulders were hunched and trembling I realised he was crying. He cried silently and it broke my heart—my already broken heart. Why I noticed him among all those people present in the hospital, I don’t know. Let’s just blame it as fate.
The second time that I saw him he was playing basketball in red and white shorts. As I watched him move around like a graceful fawn, I fell in love with his long, thin legs.
The third time, he was sitting on the park bench, beneath the oak tree, begging forgiveness from his friend, crying. The next time, we watched the summer sky from his balcony. He was pointing out Scorpius, Sagittarius, Polaris and many more constellations to his friend who was never returning to his side again. Thereafter, I saw him many times: by the mall, by the pond, by the seashore, by the basketball court and so on.
Eventually I lost count.
My world, our world is nothing like the world he lives in. Our worlds are poles apart. Maybe that is why we haven’t really met. We don’t know each other. But I know that he exists. I know that he is lonely, despite the happy façade he puts on, for I have been tailing him in my dreams. I don’t want this pursuit, but it’s not in my control. In the dreams, I am always invisible, as if I am made of thin air. He never turns back, even though I call his name. The one time he did, I was wailing and begging for him to help me. He turned back, the wind shifted its direction, leaves and petals fell from the cherry blossom tree that I hadn’t previously noticed to be there. He stared at me, figuratively at the air that I was, for what seemed a long, long time. His hair ruffled in the wind. The red scarf that he had around his neck danced. The wind wafted a soft violin melody from the art school across the road. It was like the world stopped mattering, like we were the only thing that mattered, but I wasn’t there. All this happened in slow motion. It was like he heard me, like he knew me and knew that I was there somehow, even though I wasn’t there and that he didn’t know who I was. The look he gave me haunts me more than the vivid dreams or nightmares that I have almost every day. Those eyes and his voice had felt familiar from the very first day. It felt as if I had known him since the beginning of time and the thing that I was missing from my life was him. When I am with him, the emptiness is filled.
Science believes that the more similar the two worlds are, the people get stuck with each other for longer time. Maybe, we two are more than similar which is why I am drawn to his world. Could the same thing happen to him? I don’t know. What would I say to him if we could somehow see and feel each other? I don’t know. Probably we won’t have to speak anything, as my eyes would show him everything that needs to be said. And perhaps we will meet where the rainbow ends and where the birds sing of peace and where we won’t have to part again.