The persistent vibrations somewhere near my stomach woke me up as my mind gradually made sense of the reality as different from my intriguing lucid dream. I subconsciously reached out to the phone and picked the call. The voice on the other end echoed, “Are you still sleeping sweetheart?” I tried to say yes, but that would become a paradox. So I said nothing. Mostly because I couldn’t bring myself to speak. I was so passed out. He continued, “Get up now, common; we have to have dinner, right? We can’t skip it na.” Dinner? I thought. I ain’t having no dinner. I want to sleep. And sleep. And sleep more. Leave me alone. Let me sleep my sweet sleep. “Common, get up sweetheart. I’m coming in ten. Get dressed. Be ready.” I don’t like to be ordered what to do. I don’t like it. I put the phone down and again drifted to sleep, trying to recall my dream. It was odd, but I began to feel I was dreaming the same dream again, continuing from where I left. It gave me peace. Yet eventually in my dream, somewhere from a distant place, a voice started echoing “Get up sweetheart…”
The room was dimly lit by a bulb. No sound. No music. I kept my feet on the floor and the icy cold of the floor gave goosebumps in my whole body. I was wearing a jacket already. Yet the sudden touch of cold floor gave me shivers. My body ached. My legs felt like dead weights hanging on my body. There is a certain thing about fatigue that it makes you want to have rest all the time yet it never seems to go away when you take rest. Slowly and gradually, I restored my shape. I looked around, the room was a mess. The bags lying here and there. The clothes on the floor, the towel on the bed, cosmetics and electronics all over the room. It was crazy. It made me recall my childhood imagery of a working adult’s room – messy and lonely – not even a room, but a sleeping pad. Oh look how we become the things we dream of, I thought. I could not pull the courageous act of washing my face in the ice water. So I put on another jacket over my jacket, picked up my phone and wallet and started to leave the room. I did not even bother checking myself up in the mirror. After all, it was going to be a dinner date, wasn’t it? Blah. I know he loves me, no matter how I look. That is how much granted for I take him. I locked the room and walked out into the icy cool night.
The road was scarcely lit by an occasional street light here and there. Otherwise, it was mostly dark. The road went uphill from where I was standing. I stood there for some time. Absorbing the atmosphere. Getting the feel. It was cool, but it felt warm in my jackets. I tucked my hands inside my jackets, wore my hood and waited for him. I’m coming in ten, he’d said. The mild air brushing across my cheeks started to shake the sleep out of me. I was beginning to feel more awake. The wind brushed off the effects of fatigue as I begun looking forward to a tasty sumptuous dinner. I realized I was too hungry. Few minutes would have passed when I made up my mind to start walking towards his direction. I hoped to find him on the way. The road was deserted for that time in the night. So I was cautious of the bikes or cars or drunkards passing by. It was dark but it was beautiful in a way. Chilly. There were no thoughts in my mind. It was calm. The sound of my footsteps kept me involved. I was enjoying the beauty of the moment, that’s when I saw him coming towards me. Oh he looked so lovely! I smiled as I saw him, he saw me too. I could see he was trying to figure out if it was me really from my small face smiling out of my hood and a whole body wrapped in layers of clothes. He came closer and confirmed, “Aayushi, right?” I chuckled and hugged him tight. You boy! He smiled and kissed my forehead. In that moment, all my fatigue and sleep flew out of my body giving way for only happiness and warmth. He took me by my hand. “Let’s go have dinner sweetheart”, he said. And I smiled and walked with him knowing it was going to be a beautiful night.