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By Aryashree

Dear lover,

There was once a winding staircase I always dreamt of. It was daunting, almost making one giddy with its imposing veneer. But I always thought it was a gateway to greater things, greater horizons, greater desires and dreams.

It’s a childlike wonder I’ve harbored in the staircase. I could stick my hands out and run over it all the way to the top and feel like I had just conquered the whole wide world. Or even just trace a finger over the railing, over every creak and crevice of its majestic structure, planting my feet firmly, feeling the warmth in each step, and be so content.

There’s a reason stairs make such great elements of symbolism. A structure so plain, yet so complex in resonating with human nature. It’s a signifier of antithesis in its own right. Pride and humility, rise and fall, the alluring confrontation of power dynamics- so implicative in its meaning. Wherever you stand, one step ahead or one step down below, there’s a destination to get to. What of the destination with you?

We stand together- you and I- right in the middle, right at the center of it all. Hands interlaced, lips hovering close for the most enchanting kiss. We aren’t worried about the destination, not bothered if we are to travel ahead or descend. We exist only to forget.

For that brief vortex of chaos in space, I have felt time stand still. It was like everything around us stopped just to let our desires echo in the universal vastness.

I go there and brood now, all alone, all by myself, surrounded by a dim candle hue. The childlike wonder in me has ceased and is now replaced by futile attempt to search and seek. How does it end? How do we end it?

I could stand to know, if only it were that simple. I wish I did not have to keep wondering, feeling- trapped in not knowing. Trapped in the middle, neither ascending nor descending.

You have memories next to the stairs, in the little space under it. You could always leave, it’s that easy; I can’t, I cannot.

I would rather be trapped with you in the middle, between choosing myself happily and fighting for you, knowing it is in vain. But right there in the middle- choices become obsolete. I would give anything to go back in time and be trapped there with you.

That is the staircase of my dreams.

By Aryashree

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