Alarm rings at 7 am: heavily intoxicated by last night’s plan, he drags himself to his cellphone. Reaches out to water to clinch his thirst, heavily dehydrated he seemed to be gulping gallons of water. Once again he promised himself that he won’t go to see her again. She was driving him to addiction every evening for hours.
It all started a year back when his friends took him to visit one of d brightest place but he could see only bunch of forced beauties selling their looks to make a living.
It was a different world, full of noise, music, bundle of notes raining every now and then, few smiling faces trying to entice and attract attention of rich ones.
He stood his ground, but fell for one among many. May be it was her or the song that played, he was hooked for minutes only to find himself attached to her moves. She danced like fire in the woods, moved like breeze and floated on the stage like a wild wave. Soon everybody else disappeared from his sight and she was the only one glowing in his eyes.
Every time she moved he lifted his hands, his cash stack drew others too. Drunk till his neck , he went mad for her and spent remaining bucks too to get her number.
Midnight texting happened and he could recall none until next morning he revised all over again. Little did he recalled but regrets were big, he never greeted a lady’s performance with money. He sought inspiration in every soul and she kept his thoughts busy all through the day.
“I want to paint her”, “I should write her story”, “I want to take her out” and a lot more, all he could think of was last night and a reason to visit her again.
As they said don’t mix Lady & Wine, little did he cared as she took his creativity for a ride. While others had intimate intentions, he had something else in mind. Certainly a cup of coffee, a date or whatever to know her story.
They shared texts , exchanged calls for hours, he told her often he won’t visit her there as he never liked to value her with money. She agreed with him but only exchanged words whenever she would feel.
He craved to see her in person and every time promises were made only to be broken. His head warned but heart wouldn’t listen, he still chased her every night and emptied his ATM. She would ask whenever he missed, he was still in dilemma whether she missed him or his money.
Somewhere he knew, but he denied to accept the fact that she’s making her business and he’s loosing his. Years passed and everything passed by, he stopped seeing her and she stopped bothering him.
World is a small place never made sense until they met for their respective jobs, he on his business meeting and she as hired as dancer of the eve. Place was new but situation was same, staring eyes , biting lips , taunting comments covered every inch of her body and he couldn’t bear that again. Restless and angered he left and only one knew about her, a friend of him.
As a friend would do he made them meet the same evening. Silence prevailed, he had a lot to say buried in past but nothing for present. A few drinks helped to collect them all and their evening started 2 hours after meeting each other.
Greetings, gestures, he directly came to the point , something he confined within himself.
“What kind of person are you? You don’t care if someone feels for you? Its all soo easy for you to attract people and continue your business, right?” He said and it all felt like a rapid question put at one go.
She looked at him for a second with a smile but it faded in seconds, taking a deep breath she had a sip of water trying to clear her throat.
“So that’s what you thought of me? And you are right? I am every bit of what these all people have made me. I am slut for that guy sitting with his wife in that corner, I am a potential bed partner wherever I auditioned to chase my dreams, I am call girl for everyone who visited that bar and stared at me from top to bottom. You have degree and education for your job, what do I have? I just knew how to dance, that’s all I can do to earn.”
She paused for a second.
“I remember you , you came everyday to see me and you did spent a lot there. But behind that pretty smile you praised was a complicated relationship, a story of cheating and a limitation I set for myself. What can I do if the foundation of my life has witnessed dozens of broken promises. I hate my life as much as you hate me.”
He was silent and still as a dead log. May be she reminded him of his past.
“You know I never had any bad intentions for you. I liked everything about you, love or not I don’t know but I always felt something behind your smile.” He said, a bit softly this time.
“I don’t remember when was the last time someone talked to me like that or even Looked into my eyes for such a long time.” she said
“You have beautiful eyes but I never got chance to say that”
“Nor did I heard it since long. Only my mom used to say that. Life is very complicated Arsh, it’s not that easy. You sitting here with me will raise many questions tomorrow, your colleagues are watching.” she said as she noticed staring eyes from all the corners.
“I have lived with many questions unanswered by you Riya, their questions can wait. I am not bothered about them. If I don’t talk to you now I will regret for many years again, I don’t want it to happen.”
“I don’t open up often but I am feeling free this evening. How is your painting going on? I remember you liked painting.”
“I do sometimes, hardly get time nowadays.”
“Wait I will show you something.” she said
She started flickering her cellphone and faced something towards him.
“Remember this?” She smiled pointing at screen.
“Omg you still have this with you.”
“No-one ever painted me, you were the only one. I liked it, so I kept it. Although I would have liked to have the actual copy instead of a photograph.”
“You can.” he nodded.
They went over and over past memories, two broken hearts were mended, regrets were dissolved.
“Life is short as they say,
Regrets make it long and painful,
& they walked along entire night,
in each others company, they felt at home.”