In a world that is full of greed and corruption, it’s quite odd that someone would be able to find a spot, amongst all the mayhem that is completely free from the world’s bloody sins. Up here, where the air is cleaner, fresh and crisp, where the birds soar and the trees rustle in a gentle breeze, she can finally breathe properly, she can smile without worrying about others judging her.It’s just her on this mountainous top, overlooking the lush wilderness below her, under the radiant blue sky and the gleaming sun, with the emerald leaves whispering in her ears. Sometimes, she brings her work up here, and finishes whatever essays or fiction pieces she needs to write. Other times, she brings a book and relaxes against a nice blanket and just reads until the stars come out and the sun goes to sleep. When she’s feeling particularly creative, she’ll bring her sketchbook and draw whatever comes to her mind’s eye.
Today though, she just sits and breathes.
She feels the soft wind running through her lush, dark hair, kissing her warm, golden brown skin, making her appear as captivating, as the beautiful glow of dawn. A soft smile graces her lips, her chocolate brown eyes, fall on a small robin, soaring through the sky. Up here, the atmosphere felt almost magical, like something fantastical and strange could happen, a witch could appear, or a fairy dancing with a cheeky elf. Of course, this is just her creative imagination, but it’s nice to let the mind wander, and see what stories it comes up with.
She sees him before he sees her – a tall, lean man who appeared both skinny, but also looked like he could throw a punch or two, was walking towards her, and though his face seemed open and kind, to her he looked like a giant. From what she could see, he had sun kissed bronze skin, silky against pouty lips and hazel eyes, behind framed glasses. His hair was tousled, dark and short, falling over his forehead in soft curls.
She had never seen him before, or perhaps she never noticed him, because he sits down on a spot just walking distance from her, as if he always came here. He looked like an arts student, dressed in converses, black jeans, a thick, woolly jumper and a scarf around his neck. Before he caught her watching him, she looked away and leaned back against her tree, looking out into the horizon.
It was so peaceful up here, she wished she could escape and just live here. She dreaded going home, back to her studies, back to university and the general agonising stress of life. Looking at the man again, she guessed he was around her age, about twenty two, a soft stubble slowly beginning to show on his skin, his jaw hardened and lips red, wet as he bit down on his bottom one, concentrating on whatever he was drawing.
He looked up a second later, a soft blush growing on his already warm cheeks, making him look like a deer caught in headlights, at the dead of night. It was cute. She offered a small smile, looking away once again.
He chuckled softly, shaking his head as he said, “it’s nice up here.”
Startled at how deep and thick his voice sounded, she turned to him again, and nodded, “yea, it is. I like to come up here, an escape.”
He hummed, agreeing with her and went back to his drawing. They settled back into a peaceful silence and soon night was dawning on them.
She left before he did, whispering a shy goodbye as she went. After that, she began to notice him more, he came up to the same spot and actually went to her university, at the arts campus, right across from hers. She’d never noticed him before, but now after seeing him, it was like she was prone to spotting him against the crowds of people, or green landscape.
As the weeks flew by, she found herself hoping to see him, to have the small conversations with him, as if they meant more. She hoped that he felt the same too. It would be a while before they started speaking properly, exchanging numbers and actually associating with each other, as friends.
And when that happened, her hope, that maybe not everyone in this fucked up world was cruel, was restored.
Especially, when after a year of being friends, becoming close and just learning about each other, meeting his family, him meeting hers, going out together to watch films and whatnot, he finally kissed her, against the tree, she so often leaned against.
No one had ever looked at her the way he did, like she was the most precious person he’d ever come across. He touched her hands briefly, fleetingly, as if testing the waters, asking her if this was okay – he asked to hold her hand, to hug her, to sit close to her.
He never overstepped boundaries, always gave her space and understood her hesitations. He was patient and kind, sweet and caring, a soft speaking man, who for so long had pushed people away, but with her, he couldn’t help but let her in, to show her his world, because maybe, just maybe, she could make sense of it.
The way he cupped her face gently, and leaned in, until they were sharing the same air, asking softly, making sure that she was okay with this, “can I kiss you, Lalita?”
Smiling shyly, she nodded, “yes.”
And then his met hers, hesitantly and cautious. Their lips sort of melted against each others, as if they were made to slot together. She made the first move, because he was still, waiting for her to react. Her eyes had already fluttered closed, just as his had moments ago, when she tilted their heads and pressing her body against his, her hands tangling themselves in his thick hair.
Then, he sort of melted against her, his mouth falling open against hers as she kissed him back, pulling him close under the dark sky and sparkling stars, tasting his mouth, savouring the touch of his plump lips against hers. It felt as natural as breathing, his hands around her waist, hers around his neck, their lips moving against each other’s slowly, carefully but oh, so softly, gently.
“Dipesh?” she murmured, opening in her eyes when they pulled back, looking up at him openly, freely, with a blush on her cheeks.
“Hmm?” he hummed, his forehead resting on hers, nose brushing against hers, his eyes dark and bright at the same time.
“You kissed me,” she said, a shy smile gracing her lips.
“Didn’t you want me to?” he asked, suddenly afraid that he’d done something wrong, about to pull back, when she surged forwards and hugged him tight.
“No one’s ever kissed me before,” she mumbled against his chest, his woolly jumper soft and warm against her cheeks, “but you did.”
Dipesh wrapped his arms around her, pulling her onto his lap, nudging his nose against her forehead, so that when he spoke, she would look at him, “well, they’ve missed out. You’re so perfect and I think I’m falling for you.”
Lalita smiled, pressing her lips against his, a silent agreement in there that she in fact, was also, falling for him.