“ When my moon rises, your sun rises under the same sky, in this different time.
Our hearts are connected under the same sky. ”
[Sun and moon - NCT 127]
Friday, November 11
“What is happening to my life ?!” She yelled.
Her mother did not understand. Or she didn't want to.
“Don't be so dramatic ! You're getting engaged soon, Meenakshi.” She had a smile on her face. “And then, marriage.”
Her engagement day was barely two weeks from now and her parents had already fixed a date for her wedding. Her future fiancé –help !– sure was nice, but she wanted to run away and never come back.
“We're gonna visit Madhav’s home tomorrow. Or… your future home.” Her mother wriggled her eyebrows before going back to the living room.
She immediately closed the door to her room. She didn't want to visit ‘her future home’, she didn't want of this marriage. And she knew she was 25 already, but her mother sounded so eager to have her out of the house ?
She grabbed a book on her desk and opened it on his picture. She stared at his face for a few seconds before rummaging through her wardrobe: here it was, his blue T-shirt smeared with paint. To think of the lengths she had been to to get them… utterly ridiculous. She had probably gone crazy.
She buried her nose in the piece of clothing as she often did and inhaled deeply. It smelled just like him . She sighed. It would usually satiate her but today it wasn't enough.
She took off her top and put it on instead of her pajama.
Ah… now this was more like it.
She lied down in bed, wrapped in his reassuring scent, his picture against her heart.
What was happening to her life ?
Saturday, November 12
“Wake up, Surya !” His mother came into his room. “It's already 8:30 !”
He could hear her picking up dirty clothes scattered around.
“You're never on time for anything !”
He was still in bed, half asleep and trying to close his ears to her usual morning nagging.
“Surya !” She slapped his shoulder, making his head shoot up. “Look at me when I talk to you !”
He rubbed his eyes, already tired of this day.
“When will you do something with your life ? I'm not getting any younger and neither are you !”
The venerable age of 25… sure. But he kept that comment to himself.
“You should be looking for a job, painting won't bring food on the table !”
He held back a sigh and slowly stood up to go shower.
“How do you think you'll find a wife ? Do you expect me to still take care of you at your age ?!” She switched to Tamil, yelling while filling a laundry basket with his clothes. “You have no sense of responsibility.”
He was standing in the door frame, pretending he was listening.
She noticed though, she always did, and shook her head in disbelief. “Go shower already !”
“Oh ! You're already here !” Madhav, her future fiancé, looked up from his roses as he saw her and her family step on his terrace on the first floor. “Let me get changed, I'll be here in a minute.”
Her parents left with Madhav’s parents. Her smile to her younger brother who followed behind their mother, was a SOS call.
And now they were left alone, just the two of them in the middle of the terrace of roses.
Madhav gave her a soft smile and she let out a forced giggle. He smiled some more then went to his room to put more formal clothes on.
She sighed. Maybe she should go back downstairs with the others…? She gave a glance to the roses… and her eyes landed on the guardrail and her grandmother in her wheelchair down there near the gate, measuring how close the ground actually was.
Meenakshi… you can't do that ?
Ten seconds later, she had jumped down the terrace and ran away under her grandmother’s cheers.
“Run, Meenakshi !”
She should have felt guilty.
“You can do it !”
She should have.
“Run, run !”
But she didn't.
She stopped when her legs couldn't carry her anymore, panting and trying to catch her breath. She had run as far as she could. Far away from Madhav’s house, their parents, him.
But how long would she be able to ?
She took a deep breath… his scent.
His mother had been nagging at him some more before he had to go. He knew it was out of motherly worry, but he still wondered why she had to bring the topic to the table every week. It had been four years since his father had died, and none of her remarks had changed his mind. He couldn't do anything else anyway: painting was his whole world.
He had just crossed a street when he noticed her out of the corner of his eye.
He kept running into her these days. If it was only for the fact that she worked at the library of his art school, but he would see her everywhere around campus the past few months.
She was always staring at him. She probably thought he had not noticed, too caught up in his paintings. He had.
What was strange was that he would surprise himself doing the same when she was not looking.
He walked a bit faster and turned in an alley. He could hear her further behind. He went back on his steps and passed by her.
She turned against the wall, trying to hide her face. He couldn't help a smirk: she probably thought she was slick. But wasn't she tired of this little game ?
She shouldn't follow him . But his scent attracted her, was calling her, it was like oxygen, how could she spend her life without it ? Without him ?
She wanted to cry. She was so desperate, it was absurd.
But as her conscience tried to bring her reason back, her feet kept on walking, following his trail across the market.
“Surya, it's been a long time. I thought you wouldn't come back !”
He shook his head in response while inspecting the dyes and colors the merchant had to offer. That was to meet this man that he had to get up in the first place.
He needed them for the factory; the one his father had founded when they had come from Madras; the one he had left him when he had died. It didn’t need him to function but he was still out and about, buying things and keeping an eye out like his father used to do.
The other kept quiet and let him cautiously look at all the dyes. As per usual.
He eventually looked up.
“When can I get the rest ?”
Minutes passed and she eventually had to accept the obvious: she had lost him . And she was lost herself.
Everything and everyone felt so hostile all of a sudden, now that his silhouette wasn't there to guide her anymore.
Someone grabbed her wrist and she let out a distressed cry as she was face to face with an unknown man.
“Come here, come here !”
She tried to leave but he wouldn't let go. Why had she left ? She started regretting all her choices.
“Where are you going all by yourself ?”
She slapped his hand and he finally released her. She quickly walked away, her mind in a panic and tears streaming down her face.
“Come on ! Stay with me !”
He left the merchant with a few samples in his pockets. He had to hurry back home to get his stuff. The light was beautiful today.
And he also found the market particularly noisy but as he turned at the corner of a street, he instantly knew why: a procession, dancers, the loud voices and drums, yellow powder flying in the air.
And her .
She was looking at the scene, like a frozen statue. Flowers in her braided hair. Her body slightly shaking. So close yet out of reach.
He shook his head and resumed his walk, passing by her quietly.
Maybe it was all in his head, but he was pretty sure he could feel her gaze boring into his back.
“Meenakshi ? Where have you been ?!”
She passed by her mother as she came back home, covered in yellow pigments.
“Why would you make us look bad in front of Madhav and his parents ?!”
“I needed air.” She replied, her voice tired.
“The whole day ?”
“Yes…” She felt too weak to give any better excuse.
“You can't leave everyone hanging just because !” Her mother cried out. “We still have so much to do for your engagement.”
She let out a small sigh and nodded. She knew her parents were scared of her ending up on the shelf but she wondered if they ignored the signs on purpose, because running away from your future fiancé’s home should be enough of a hint if the day she had told her mother she needed time to think about the engagement wasn't enough already.
“Can I go shower now, please ?”
Blue. Dark blue. Light blue. More blue. More and more blue.
He was frantically throwing paint at the canvas, harshly rubbing it with his hands, tracing lines with his nails, plunging his fingers in the colors and tapping them over the piling layers.
Taking a step back, adding some more. His brushes abandoned on his bed.
Paint was stuck under his nails as he scratched the canvas. His fingertips burned but he couldn’t stop.
“Surya ! Dinner time !” He had heard his mother’s voice but his mind was elsewhere.
Why was he seeing her everywhere ? Why couldn't she get out of his head ?
Had she heard those stupid rumors about him drinking ? Then did he even have a chance ?
He snapped out of it when a hand patted his shoulder.
“Come eat something.” His mother’s voice sounded so soft.
“Hm…” He nodded. “Hm hm…”
He took a step back to look at his work.
“But go shower first.”
“Hm, why ?”
“You have paint all over you, Surya.”