I scanned the surroundings. There was not a soul in sight.
I quietly walked towards her courtyard, deep into the chilly night, treading on the pavement as much as possible so as to avoid suspicion from possible nocturnal eyes. I trace the boundary, and jump inside the lawn just below her window.
“Many roads diverged in the yellow wood, Shall he take the weathered one, as the mellow would? Or burst behind the mob, as the callow would? Cautious and dwelling, the fellow stood.”
I stand at a crossroad. No, it’s a junction. It is a spray of paths that lie before me, splitting into a hundred directions in front of me; each pulling me tenaciously. From my feet springs a new path, a new possibility at every second thought. I hold on, barely , like a charioteer trying to keep a chariot drawn by a hundred horses in shape and direction. But I cannot linger, I cannot halt. The past is an abyss, a black hole sucking through, getting stronger at every passing second. All I have is this moment, the present. And I have to choose.
The man snored, swaddled in the cradles of sleep. Morn was about to crack open, as was yet another day of warring. The sun soon rose, awash in it’s colours, dripping it’s hues over the sore sky, with the night melting away. Rays sneaked in and onto the man’s face, awaking him as gently as a mother would.
As he was getting dressed, he couldn’t help noticing what he saw every day. The mirror reflected back the jarring realities of himself. The dark, scarred face saw him back, smeared with red pimples. His lips were swollen always, and he made quite some jokes at that to amuse him. His eyes ran up to his forehead, above which hair had refused to grow since years. He liked whatever hair he did have, and refused to shave it clean. ‘You look thrice your age,’ those who were willing to talk told him. ‘Ugly,’ they called him behind his back.