They say you died that day, but I know for sure that you are alive, like me. We just need to sit on this branch that is separated in the middle of the tree from the other branch that slants towards the river. I love the way this one bows tantalisingly towards the land, as if it's made for couples like us to sit on. But it's a very lonely place, and we could be the first to be drawn to its charm. From here, we can see the miracles that moonlight performs on our small world. There is a great divide between our world and the one on the other side that moves like a serpent, circling the roads around the river. The illusory glow that falls on it is not for us, since it lacks the warmth of our palms held tightly in each others' as we sit here, bathed in the real glow from above.
Inches away from our dangling feet lies the boat that could once have bridged the gap between the two worlds. Instead, we made it a part of our world, so that we could stare at it every day and night, and comment on the effect of varying lights, and the lack of it, on its rough, decaying surface.
When all our friends walked away to the mountains for the better, I stayed back. They thought you were dead, but I knew that I could find you here, if I went after the right tracks. I just followed the scent you left in the air, and your songs too. They thought I was the one who went after a mirage, but they were the ones lost in a world that was just a reflection of what could have been the real. I didn't want to be complacent like them, taking my new senses for granted. The leap of conviction that took me to your songs was beyond any sense. And here we are, real as our breath that swims through the air, and the charcoal heavings of our eyes that could burn all doubts.
You were waiting for me, on the spot where I lost my senses of the other world. I was in a daze, when the others made me follow them for a distance, away from you. They thought they were to enter a new life, free from the misery of the one that was part of the dead. For a while, none of us were able to recover from the shock of it when our adventurous picnic turned out to be a nightmare of sorts. The wild fire consumed our tents before we could even move. When I woke up from the blinding lights, the heat, and the smell of my own flesh burning, I was already with those who thought that the other life was dead. You were the only one among us who remained dead, they thought, as we moved on to the new life in the mountains.
But I knew that you were alive, like me. I was not drawn to the mountains, no matter how many flowers bloomed there, or how sweet their scents spread, or how heavenly the music that filled its air happened to be. I came back in search of your songs and tears. And after my journey that lasted days, I found you back here under the tree, separated from both worlds, struggling to cling to a life of your own where memories mattered the most.
You sensed my arrival, and held your weak hands in the air, searching for my love with your fingers. The boat was the only other witness, helpless like us, forced to a decision to stay with us, in our small world. But it was faster in your case, to leave behind the remnants of your death. It was just a matter of days, as we watched from above, that your body was consumed so fast by the creatures of the other world. The boat remained, despite the slow decay.
And we stay here, leaving the mountains behind us, and staring into the other world where death lives on, like worms wriggling in the light that fills the nights. We should be in the mountains. There are people, and a better world, waiting for us there. But we can't move away from here, because there is so much love left between the worlds, and so much of the real light that falls on us, and the boat, and the water... that makes our own small world the best place to be in.
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Image courtesy: Creative Writing Ink, Writing Prompt - October 10th