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This Summer Beside You

Rushali is the author of two short story collections called Unexpected Encounters and Until We Meet Again.

this-summer-beside-you

Shafts of light streamed in through the open window; the curtains beside it fluttered in the warm breeze. The summer that was usually least liked among the seasons, the summer that disrupts comfort and convenience.

A season I prefer, the summer. Summer that puts a stop to our utopia of a perfect weather; the sweat and toil that accompanies it. To some, summer is sweet and warm; to some, it is hot and humid.

The long wavy grey hair brushed against his hand. Her soft and warm hands wrapped around his fingers. Her freckles stood out as the sunlight lingered on her wrinkled face.

The face I wake up to every morning. The pointed nose, the slightly frowned eyebrows and the thin rose tinted lips.

She sang 'Woman in love' the song that was playing in the records store as they first ran into each other. She used to hum it every morning as she brewed hot cups of coffee. As the snow fell outside, they would sit by the window on the rocking chairs sipping on coffee and listening to the intriguing silence. Sometimes sneaking a peek at each other and smiling as they get caught; their entangled fingers and warm gazes promising that they would stay this way forever.

We never realize how short forever could be. I wish we could stay like that for another day, if not a day, an hour, if not an hour, a minute. To hear you sing, to hold you close, to sleep beside you in the warmth of your embrace, your delicate fingers running through the strands of my hair; just another day.

The wind blew sending her wavy locks of hair swinging. I raised my hand, wanting to push the hair behind her ears. The tears glistened in her blue eyes. She let out a sob, but immediately covered her face with shaky hands wiping her eyes on the long sleeves of her chiffon white shirt.

The last I see of this world, I want it to be your pretty face. The last I hear of this world, I want it to be your voice. No matter how much I prepared for the end, the ache of leaving you alone will haunt me till I lose the last of my senses.

A young woman in a blue uniform entered the room, standing behind her as she wept. The machines beside the bed were off since that morning. The sun had sunk halfway through the horizon; the lush green hills at a distance engulfed it little by little.

The sound of every tick of the clock and every tear she shed were clear to my ears; her warm breath grazing against the back of my hands as she held them close. I lay on the bed awaiting an end, as I reminisce our time together.

As the moonlight shone bright, they would bask in it, a drink by their side, hand in hand, the stretches of green hills lined by a faint blue outline in front of them. The barn owls in a distance always welcomed the night with echoing screeches. Over the years the bitter shrill from the nest had turned into a habitual necessity for the night.

Everyone was prepared, everything was prepared. Yet here you are, weeping with those beautiful blue eyes of yours. I can still sense the familiar scent of your skin beneath the vanilla musk cologne.

The nurse went and drew the curtains, the bright lights switched on. The darkness, although, didn't vanish. It got darker and darker. Words or goodbyes weren't spoken. A million things to say, yet the words wouldn't escape their minds.

There are those rain drops that find their way back to the ocean; there are those that seep into the ground. It is my time, to explore my path away from home, away from our future together.

I'm glad I spent every summer beside you, this summer beside you, my last summer beside you.

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