Photo Courtesy: Neesha Dhungana
Well, I always had strange feelings that didn’t have a particular name. In fact, I never had a constant feeling and nor did I have a single feeling at a moment. My mind fabricated mixture of feelings and my heart would feel the taste of it. I wouldn’t know what I felt and how would I feel after certain time, but what I knew was I never had had the feeling that I had when I first saw her.
It all started when I was getting back to my parents’ home after college. I used to live with my parents in the rented apartment which was like 10 minutes’ walking distance from the college. Our house was at the end of a narrow road and there was an abandoned building (which I suppose was built for the intension of living) right next to our home. Since my consciousness, I never saw a person living in that house. As a child I used to play along with my playmates in the yard of the house. That building looked cold from outside. I was thrilled by the idea of having to live in a place as cold as that house that but I was unable to describe the feeling as the doors were always locked and I had never seen the interior of the place.
That evening was something different. I saw a car parked right in front of the building and some people wandering in and out of the building. Me and my parents were quite surprised for we did not expect anyone would be living at that place. I could see thrilled expressions on my parents face for they always used to talk about the house being cursed. I never bothered to ask why they came to that conclusion and neither did that concern me, I was just amazed to see some people trying to move to the abandoned house. I could see the entire house through the window of my room. After certain time, I realized that I had been peeking through my window over an hour and I didn’t even know it. As I was about to take my eyes off, I saw a lady coming out of the building followed by a couple of other folks. She and a man stayed behind while others left in the car.I could not see her face clearly from my window. All I could see was a woman in her thirties, wearing a red skirt, green slippers and her hair that fell off her shoulder up to her upper hip. I don’t know what came up, it must have been the hair, but I felt something strange that I had never felt before. I could not decide if I was attracted to her or I just was trying to figure out her face. I only knew that this was different and strange and amazing. My heart bet so fast that I thought it might have misplaced itself inside my body. I felt nervous and shy. Why was I unable to take my eyes off her? The man beside her hugged her and took her inside the house. I was forced to look away as she disappeared from my sight.
“Was I attracted to her? Was I in love with her? I don’t even know what she looks like, how could she influence me? How can I be in love even though I know nothing about her?” I could not sleep as those thoughts haunted me. I kept on imagining her face, her eyes and her hair, oh her hair, that beautiful long hair. I don’t remember when I fell asleep. Next morning, I woke up with bitterly sweet feeling I had never encountered before. I was blushing and I did not know why. I was smiling yet could not figure out what made me smile.
The feeling would not go. Every day, I would peep out of the window. Sometimes I saw her doing her laundry on the terrace, sometimes sweeping the floor of outside yard and sometimes just sitting on a chair keeping her eyes fixed at the huge tree that stood right in front of the house. I never got to see her face. It was kind of blur but I liked that as well. I knew I wasn’t attracted to her as I never thought of making love with her or touching her. I just loved looking at her, not knowing her name, not wondering about her face or weight or complexion. I cannot name it love as well, not because I was never in love, but because the conditions for it to be called love wasn’t fulfilled. I did not know her name, her identity. What I knew was she was almost two decades older than me and was happily married with a child who was either of my age or 2-3 years younger than me. You know what, it did not matter. I had nothing to do with her. I just developed a habit of watching her secretly and that pleased me. I knew her everyday routine. Everything was usual except that I never saw her leaving the house, not even for a second. It was almost a week since they moved in but I never saw her outside the boundary wall.
I didn’t want to miss every possible seconds to watch her, therefore, I used to leave the college as early as possible so that I could get extra few seconds to admire her blur beauty. Or should I call it her presence? One afternoon, on my way to home I saw a blur figure of someone I know. It was her. I could feel my heart skip a beat. I was aware of the situation that any minute now I am going to see the clear face of a lady I kept on secretly admiring, or having different feeling for. She was the lady who made my heart to move its position, she was the lady my eyes kept looking for and she was the lady whose hair fell so perfectly that made the defined beauty shameless. As she approached near me I saw her image clearer. She was wearing the same red dress and green slippers and her hair fell the way it did when I first saw her. I started imagining her voice. She was now half an inch closer to me. I realized that I was motionless and my head reminded me not to stare constantly into her eyes. I was lost, lost into her eyes. I could see fine lines of wrinkle on her face and thought how wonderfully it suited her, how wonderful her face making lines near her lips when she tried to smile looking at me, how beautiful her a little grey hair flew along the way of the wave of the wind. I could smell her but nothing mattered as I was imagining a wonderful land inside her eyes. She went past me and I looked at her until she disappeared into the dust. I felt I have finally found what I was searching for even without knowing it.
That day I went home feeling complete. I longed nothing, I needed nothing. Her face was nothing like I had imagined but I must say it was incomparable to the beauty I defined. She made my perfection look so small. It was already 9 PM when I woke up that day. I might have fallen asleep re-playing that moment over and over again. I went up to the window and looked outside. The house was still dark. There was not a streak of light hitting the building. It seemed as cold, just like it was before she came in.
I heard a knock on my door. I opened the door to the sight of my mother. She was here to call me for dinner. I said I will be there in a minute but the darkness of her house kept bothering me. I went upstairs behind my mother. That day at dinner I heard my parents talk.
“I saw the man leaving the building today.”- said my mother.
“What’s the surprising thing about that? He might be out for work.” –said my father.
“Yeah, he was leaving with all his packing’s, I meant to say he moved out. He took his son with him. He seemed very terrified while leaving the building.” –my mother said with terror in her voice.
She did mention about man. She did mention about packing’s and she did mention about the son but she did not say a word about the lady. It kind of bothered me. I never spoke about the house or the people living in it, but this time I wanted to know where she has been.
“And the lady? His wife? Didn’t she leave? I could not see her either.” – I said sounding a little nervous.
I knew what I felt for the first time. I knew the feeling. I knew the name of the feeling I was feeling right then when she said with her shocked and horrified face.
“Who are you talking about? There was no lady living there. And what wife you are talking about? I heard that his wife died 24 years ago in Valentine’s Day.
They say she was killed in red themed party by a much younger boy who was in madly love with her.”