Prelude to Part I
The sky was a dull shade of light inky blue. The earth flurry as it lay covered in sheets of silvery white ice, after the first snow of the season. The trees were bare with none but tiny droplets of cool melted snow. He was sitting in a tiny room inspiration-ally self-named the “Chamber of Secrets” hidden behind rows and rows of wooden cupboards that housed an array of untouched books in the library of the Victorian Primrose Hall now known as Primrose Local Academy. The room like its occupant and nature lay bare; a table with four chairs and the sparse ivy on some windows the only adornment to the faded yellow stone.
There was nothing striking about him at first glance, he was an ordinary guy of seventeen with nerdy looks and a silent smile. Yet he was someone who enjoyed the soft camaraderie within his circle of friends. Being a rather quiet day with nothing much to do, he immersed himself in the world of John Keats in a world of romanticism and introspection; letting the piled up stress from weeks drain away.
She was trying to be inconspicuous as she made her way to the small alcove but the slight tapping of her feet on the wooden floor gave her away. No sooner did she invade the serene room a sheepish smile tugged the corner of her lips, having stumbled upon him. Not really embarrassed but surprised to find him there of all places.
“Fancy seeing someone here!” she exclaimed abruptly.
“Not really surprising assuming you are a placid soul like me, who loves to escape from the cacophony of the classroom every once in a while”, replied he.
“True, though I guess retrospective would be the more apt word to describe me”, she responded before continuing “I don’t always come here seems like I always have to search for excuses to get away from my gang of girls, fifteen year olds’ can be utterly nosy when they wish to be.”
They were strangers in a sea of familiar faces, from her age he guessed her to be his junior although he was stunned to know he didn’t know her. Being based outside the outskirts of the city beyond the small town of Shimla, their academy was relatively small where everyone knew everyone making privacy an alien concept. He was suddenly overwhelmed with the need to fill the gaps and converse, to get to know someone from the scratch. He continued,
“Life is a riot of emotions where I ended up drifting from one shore to another gliding with a gamut of ideas only to realize, life is blue. I love the colour blue; to me it means abundance, loyalty and prosperity. However, I learnt it carries within itself a sense of trust," saying this he paused for a while, not knowing how to put to words his feelings. Feelings that were buried in deep. It was strange that she didn't try to fill the silence with words, but continued to wait. Wait patiently until he began speaking again, " Trust that once gained should not be dwindled but multiplied like prosperity. It is hard for me to open up to people, let alone trust and yet here I am on lazy winter afternoon being open to a stranger.”
She settled herself in the chair opposite to his and ruminated his words for a long time. Brooding over what he said, trying to organize her incoherent thoughts. Unlike him she was an extrovert or so she thought, until she shifted locations and settled in this tranquil place as opposed to the fast paced city life she was used to. Contrary to him it was appreciation and admiration that she craved.
“All throughout my life blue was a source of serenity but with the passage of time gloom has started taking its place. People drift away, leaving memories. It's not their fault it's just the way it all works nonetheless certain reliance fades. Trust and trustworthy, do you suppose they are mutually exclusive events despite originating from the same source?”
“Nostalgia can be a gnawing ache hard to let go”, he returned his gaze to the now dark skies pondering.
He resumed a few minutes later, “How can one be trustworthy if one doesn’t believe in the concept of trust? Trust is like a secure blanket that surrounds us in a place that we consider our safe haven whereas trustworthy is assuming someone to not break our trust, our cocoon and guiding us.”
A non committal shrug was her only acknowledgment to his response.
She was feeling stupid as if a layer of her had peeled off with just one random conversation. She stood up abruptly brushing the non-existent lint on her jacket; she spoke in a hopeful yet guarded voice “I’ve always desired a friend with whom I could revel in quiet companionship, until now I didn’t think my wish would be granted. I liked this time we spent together in soft solitude Yasin”, said she his name gleaming from the head boy batch pinned on his chest proudly.
He gave her a genuine smile, as she introduced herself as Ayah and they walked their separate ways.