The February nights were unusually warm that year, snow was missing from the roads, everything lay bare and uncovered ,and the life kept going like a henna cone on bride’s hands. The house at the river bank was calm, soothing and silent.
His nose was red like a ripened apple. His body ached and demanded rest. He had been working tirelessly since past few weeks. Dedication or compulsion, nobody could tell.
“teacher, seriously”, she said.
Why was she shocked? Was she being compassionate? Was she mocking at his abilities?
The questions were confusing like their answers.
They enjoyed a relationship years ago. They had had the best of times. Life had been nice to them. They parted because she wanted them to. Childhood buddies turned partners they understood each other very well.
Things were flashing in front of his eyes. He could feel his tears running down his dry cheeks.
Tears- salt and water – they could test ones limits of managing the unmanageable. His emotions were more than just infatuation. Years after the episodes of love he still remembered the times and days very well. Heart was pounding upon his senses. The dreams had closed themselves beyond reach.
But her expressionless statement about his being teacher intrigued his senses, he had no answer to her emotionless feelings but silence. His silence ended when she was out of the scene.
“no conclusion”, he sighed.
Perhaps she was right in questioning his ability, he was no professional teacher. His setbacks as a student were a myth, but he knew he was never tested upto his limits. His students were happy with him but he knew he could do better.
She had even once told how drastic he was with teaching citing an example to support her point.
If he knew he was not a good teacher why did he at all feel offended with her expressionless statement. He was straightforward then why was this crooked question confusing him?
He shook his head, wiped his nose and drew a cigarette from his pocket and enjoyed every ring of smoke. Perhaps his emotions were a hyper-dramatic outburst.
He continued teaching, students turned out in huge numbers. He was most sought after teacher, but he knew he could do more and always tried to improve. His students smilingly stared at him giving him confidence every time.
Days passed following this routine untouched by anything.
He had a contact detail in his head. Her phone number. He couldn’t dial but texted instead. She called back. He disconnected.
The silence followed for a very long time. She spoke finally.
“are we talking? Why did you call? I want to get away from you……. ”, she cried.
He continued to be silent.
She was furious and continued screaming.
His lips started moving like a paralysed hand regaining life.
“I am speaking to you because I refrain from it. Understand it forever. You had been the only thing I ever trusted… ”, he said as his sobs became audible.
She tried to pacify but in vain. This teacher was crying like a student had cried two days ago in his class.
Emotions empty you. They drain every inch of life out of you. Your body becomes devoid of blood. Such is the need to shift the balance that you derecognise yourself by yourself. The dreams are less relevant when emotions overfill your sleep.
The conversation ended like their relation had. Many theories were floated by many people about it. He never surprised anyone by moving on.
On this night he has a dream. After the era of gloom a fresh dream revisits him. He is frightened to see happiness and seeks pain in it too. The dream is a sequence of events that follow when he accidentally sees his beloved. The dream has many beautiful colors, many sad notes, and many happy hours. He tries to forget the dream in morning but can’t.
His passion of teaching doesn’t let him mumble about it for long. But before leaving for work he soothes his nerves by a cold water bath.
Before he could start working, the sequences of the dream start coming alive. The exact copy of dream starts unfolding before his eyes. He is frightened but hopeful of a reunion with her. The optimist in him is sure of it.
In reality he looses count of himself. He is on ground looking pensive while she holding hands of her lover passes by.
Dreams come true. They see day’s light. But then the night is there too. For every dream to come true both day and night are there.
He looks onto her face. It had changed its colour to blue.
No dialogue ensues. He listens to his heart.
It says”dream, dream, dream it will keep you alive. For neither coming true nor being so it is the dream that is hope. Keep it alive till I beat for you”.
His dry cheeks touch the ground and he has a dream. He never wishes it sees daylight for it will witness the night too.
(This is a piece of Fiction)