Updated: Oct 17, 2022
By Nikunj Virani
It was a monsoon afternoon, Jelly got a date named ‘Joy’ by her close friend Jene, who had been her crush for two years. The boy had blue eyes and a medium muscle figure. The girl and a boy met outside the cafe and as he was her crush she was blushing a lot and also had tension whether he would like her. Her mood was in excitement and she was blushing. As they entered the Cafe whose walls were yellow and orange coloured, all people stopped talking - the utter silence spread from the reception between the walls and open woody windows. Jelly couldn’t give heed to any of this awkward situation, however, Joy the boy did notice that something was wrong like watching a silent dream. They sat on the left corner from the reception and ordered their coffee. When the girl started a conversation the mood of the cafe set in its normal phase. Till their coffee was served, they talked about their college and next vacation and hobbies and so on. They finished their talk and they realised: It was raining outside the cafe; among the trees around the cafe rain could be seen. Her mood altered and she said to Joy she liked rain and that wet atmosphere and the smell of it and soon the cafe filled up with the green smell and the people around them started talking with excitement about rain and the last trip and the village and so on.
Joy became curious - how could it be possible - a very beautiful moody people and the smell and the view outside the window. However, it seemed to him, if the mood of the people is good like this forever, everything would be like heaven on the earth. It seemed like a moody day to him. The content silence was in the air - no hurry to go anywhere - no tension of completing any task - the present was everything. At this moment she got the call from her mom who lives in England that her brother died in a car accident. Of course, she could not tolerate that so she started sobbing without noise and before she could tell Joy about that, the smell of greenery altered to melancholy and sad; people started sharing grieve memories; some started crying and some got the watery eyes as every person on earth has something to share which makes them cry. They hugged and Jelly shared with Joy that her brother died in a car accident. They hugged; went out and left the cafe in a deathly mood. It was her first day of getting this gift to play with people’s moods and somehow she would realise the altering surrounding with her intangible moods.
After her brother’s funeral she stayed for a few more days there. Now, only Jelly and her mom had left in her family as her father had already died when she was 5 years old and till now, her older brother was paying her college fees. Her mom told her she would pay for the fees but Jelly wouldn't agree on any part as she had already decided that she would do a part time job and be self-sufficient.
Boy called her many times but she didn’t answer his calls. She wanted some time to get peace. It was fifteen days before the exam, and she arrived in Dublin. Even though she had exams soon she decided to work on a part-time basis at a restaurant where her friend used to work as a cashier. Her shift was from four to ten o'clock.
Joy wasn’t that rich either. But he didn’t need to work as he had already got the scholarship. Although Joy had been worrying about her, he didn’t try to approach her after she began attending school. He was in the third year of Electrical Engineering and she was in the computer engineering field the same year. Both had one common exam paper, therefore both were in the room for the first time in three years. When she entered the class, the exam had already started and she was breathing hard; she was panicking as she had missed the bus. She sat on the first bench. The whole atmosphere changed - all of them started breathing hard except Joy, even the madam who gave her the exam paper and wished her best of luck.
She didn’t know Joy had been in the same class as her. He was sitting on the last bench. Again she didn’t notice what happened after she entered the class. But he did. Again. He finished the paper earlier than her. Decided to wait for Jelly. She saw him outside the college gate and he approached her.
Hey, both said and shook their hands. He asked, everything okay? and she said yes, and she asked him the same question and he answered the same as her. Both stood looking far from each other nervously - holding their own hands. When tension began making noises he told her what happened in the classroom and how all other students had also begun panicking as she entered and how everything had changed at the cafe the other day.
She was flushed. She had no idea what was going on. She was speechless. He read her reaction and continued, come somewhere quiet and let me show you what happens around you.
They both walked about 500 metres or something on the streets full of trees on both sides and there was a place where people were playing table tennis. Both had their bags on their back and uniform on. She said, see, nothing is happening. Actually nothing happened. A few minutes passed. He bagan doubting himself that he had hallucinations about what had happened in both the class and the cafe. She was looking at him and said that you are lying. Aren’t you! You wanted to talk to me and that’s why you said that right and you wanted to bring me here. He said: No! No!. But enough time had already passed and she began leaving him. She was about to leave the room and he asked her: How is your mom doing! It must have been very hard. Sorry for what happened. And her reaction changed, her mood became melancholy and her face was painful and the look nearly of frustration. And she saw around her - she saw a girl who had stopped playing and also some others who seemed grieving from something. And then again, their moods changed to excitement.
They got out of there. They both wore shoes and college uniforms. White shirt and black pants. Started walking slowly. Other few students were walking about ten metres before them and strangely, their hands touched - first hands and then squeezed. It was a completely out of the blue moment. She found her comfort somehow. They were now aware of holding hands and they continuously walked silently. She was obviously thrilled by what happened at the tennis court. she had many questions in her mind but didn’t ask as she had no idea about it. They talked about their hobbies and he dropped her at her home and said bye. She arrived home, threw her bag, and lay on the bed without thinking about anything. She stared at the fan and couldn’t think of what was going on. The more she thought the more uncomfortable and desperate she became to think of what just happened. So eventually, she tried sleeping. She always slept whenever everything seemed too much inside her head.
After that incident, they began spending a lot of time together. Began meeting after her job. He would walk her to her home. And there they talked about how they could stop this changing in the atmosphere. And while talking they started understanding each other. When she would laugh at his jokes or some of the matters of his family. The whole surrounding would bloom like a flower blooming and they felt something deep inside. Faces full of sorrow tuning into bliss and joy.
Time passed. Boy suggested that they should spend some time together and get to know what’s changing the surrounding. They had been feeling now they had met their destiny ‘cause they both had been feeling some kind of amazement which they had never felt before. It’s the air that was changing - the mood swings. They both became addicted to each other's company. They didn’t call their meetup a DATE or anything. They just went on trying to come up with some solution. But it was getting serious now.
Once they were sitting on the bench of the garden between her home and the place she works. Their vacation was about to end. She was worrying about her mom and how her life had become a mess in a few years. Yesterday I got a call from my mom and she said she was fine. Everything was fine. And I wonder how simply a person could lie to each other. Something was getting on to her breath. She was inhaling and exhaling rapidly. Her hand started trembling on the bench where it was resting. And as it started trembling, the whole ground also started trembling like an earthquake. She saw the increasingly rising fear in his bulging eyes. The trembling increased. Breeze was fast. Dirt was everywhere. Some branches of trees fell. She put her hand on his hand and held it tight and looked into his eyes.
She said, what if I stop loving you. He was exhaling hard. It was the first time one of them had mentioned loving…
How is it possible? He asked. You just say and you can’t simply unlove …
So you love me, right!
Yes, I do. He said.
How much time passed till then none of them spoke they didn’t know, but there was a silence, a comfortable silence. Both sitting looking into the woods. Her train of thoughts seemed not stopping anywhere. Is it what love is? Enjoying the company of each other and it happens or is there something else hidden. Could we call the addiction of each other - the love, or do we need something extra the physical touch? However, she knew where you get to know with someone in all the moods and even in the weird ones you know, yeah - JUST KNOW. Is love that… when two persons kiss each other and love begins? She always fantasised about what loving means, and the whole world was saying that physical touch and shit. She also had been in a relationship before and she liked touching another person too. But what she felt with this boy ‘Joy’, she came to know that physical connection could give you anyone but, isn’t that talking about anything for hours and not get tired of each other the real intimacy? The place where you don’t crave the physical touch but the laughter, the emotion and life to be shared, and to be understood by someone.
She thought a lot about it. And when she was still thinking he asked her what are you thinking about? She said don't know. Just thoughts travelling here to there to finally YOU.
He said - It often also happens to me. I know. And again, there was silence.
He began saying: ‘Do you remember the Tennis court?’ she said yes by moving her head. Just thinking, How these players had begun cheering up!°And it was exciting . At that moment, you must had been thinking nicely of me then. And he winked at her. Yeah. You hope so then.’ And both laughed. And again there was silence.
‘My grandmother once said to me that the real power is being in control. To have control over everything. At that time, my mom used to say that my father was strange. Even once, I heard her saying to someone that my father died strangely. Like he went somewhere, a huge storm and earthquake happened and he died amid all of it. It seems like a power inherited in my DNA.’ she said and frowned. They sat in silence for some time even though he had millions of questions popping in his mind. Now the surrounding was: the wind hustling, trees tilting, leaves spreading its hand and they became increasingly aware of the change and it was becoming more intense with every second. She was having a thought that she would die just like her father. And the question was how to control this? The bench they were sitting on had no tree upon it. They knew they can’t move from here and if they did then they would die by falling a tree upon them.
They looked into each other's scary eyes. To comfort her, he put a hand on her hand and squeezed it. She approached her other hand to his hand and they squeezed their hands and moved themselves towards each other. He could feel her fast breath and see the tension on her forehead. She kissed him slowly, first lips and then tongue. For a moment, he opened his eyes and saw everything frozen like time had stopped around. He saw that the leaves, the air, trees tilting everything stopped moving. He put both his hands on her neck and pushed his tongue inside her mouth gently. Now their tongues were dancing. She ran her one hand under his shirt and another brushing his neck. It was so-intense to her that her whole being had stopped. She on the one hand had never felt this extreme closeness, the comfort with anyone else and was eager to give everything into it. One the other hand, she was so afraid to end up like her father.
And when they stopped they observed that the leaves, the trees, the wind and everything were falling. Everything began getting normal in a few seconds as it should be. Like normal weather. Thunder had stopped now. But leaves were still on the streets and the weather was still cold.
They sat there looking at the changed surroundings. Wondering about what just happened. Completely confused. However, they had a new relief now. The fear had stopped. The thought was running inside her mind was they can’t kiss everywhere or whenever this kind of thing happens. And she was sure that this kind of change in surroundings only happened when he was around her. She asked him ‘Should we break up? Or ….’ and he replied ‘Or kiss everywhere and calm yourself?’ They both laughed. And in a few seconds they became nervous and conscious. She was aware of the risk and better not risk his or everyone else’s life. He accompanied her to her home as usual.
She opened the door, threw her purse on the bed. Took a long deep breath. After an hour or so, she called her mom. Both said about missing each other. She told her about an incident and her mom told her how her father had died a few years back. Her mom told her about Jelly’s future plans in Dublin, her home city. After an hour long discussion both said bye and she put the phone down. Still not having a proper idea of what’s going on and what she should do. Anyway, she woke up the next day with a heavy heart and broke up with him, in the hope that everything would be better one day. But deep down she knew she would never be okay with that decision and would have to meet him one day, but till then she would suffer like hell - saying she doesn’t love him and even if they did she said they would die one day like her father did. And that thought trembled her whole being.
By Nikunj Virani