Joined: 09 January 2009
She was a jaded prostitute and he was a jilted singer. They shared a street corner, few coins and a very rarely a smoke. He sang songs about changing seasons, distant friends and forgotten love.
"My body is my temple", he had once heard her say.
"Which God is worshipped there?" A slurry question had followed.
"My mind", she had replied.
"What does that make your heart then?" The slurry voice sounding obnoxiously cynic had continued.
"Pretty much useless", she had replied airily. He had not missed the underlying melancholy.
On that night, he sang songs of great tragedies involving both mind and heart. They had shared a look when he sang about a young girl losing her heart to a handsome and mysterious man from a distant land. She turned away before he could analyze her eyes and study the pattern of the tears caught in her eyelashes. A pause in the sound from his violin and she was driving away with a stranger.
He felt he missed her then.
Sound of palm meeting cheek followed by revving of an engine which had endured a particularly long life reverberated in the street corner on a dull autumn evening. His slumber was broken and the haze after a sleep slowly lifted. In front of him was a shivering and trembling form. He recognized her immediately and was not so surprised when he realized that it would only take him a moment to recognize amidst a million. He had simply pulled her from the sidewalk and hugged her to his side and shared his blanket. Her silent tears had wet his worn out shirt and burned his skin. Would her kiss make it all better or will slaying the man who reduced her to this would make his burned skin heal?
That night, he sang song of a warrior cursed with to be in love with people who would never return the love. He held her for the rest of the night.
He wondered if his talent for deriving conclusions on a person's mood based on a look, a sigh, a word solely revolved around her or if it was genuine. He had never bothered to define the affection and attraction he felt for her. The pace in which her heels clicked told him about the way she had spent her day and how she exactly felt at the moment.
"Sing me a song which you are never going to sing. Sing me a song which everyone has forgotten. Sing me the song which you only sang in your dreams. Sing me the song which made you, you." He failed to read what she was thinking from her voice. Was it disappointment? Hopelessness? Or was that a resigned acceptance of defeat from life? He did not know.
"What will I get in return?" Nothing in the world came for free. When one takes, the other has to receive something in return. That's why he sang songs and did not mutely beg.
"A few hours with me or some cash or food and shelter or anything your heart desires", she replied looking straight into his eyes.
"Anything my heart desires?" There was an intangible swoosh of happiness which rushed into his body.
"Yes. Anything." She sounded mildly amused.
"Give me the smile you gave to your first crush when you were no more than ten. Give me the first kiss you gave the handsome man whose name you do not remember. Give me that hug you gave your best female friend when she got her heart broken. Give me that sigh of pleasure you get when you drink hot soup on a cold winter night. Give me the touch you gave your mother whenever she felt that everything was going down. Will you give these things to me?" He crossed his fingers and let out a long breath.
"All of these and everything else you would want." Her gentle smile was broken.
"You are leaving, aren't you?"
"Yes", she sighed.
"Will you be back?" Now he sounded broken.
"I will not."
"Tell your heart to always remember the fiddler who made these demands."
"It already does."
"I am sorry."
Under the dimly lit street lamp, she smiled.
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