Attraversiamo.

Finally, the time for first house arrived. Forever she had been waiting for this! This was all she had, and whether good or not, she had to make best out of it.  Being eligible to have her own house, the foremost thing she wanted was to color the first wall she becomes closest friends with. And the moment she lay her eyes upon it- she knew she found it.

She gave the best of her mind, heart and dreams to it- filled it with loveliest colours and alluring lights. At the end of everyday, she would be looking forward to stand by the wall and listen, stare and talk to it believing it was replying to her, looking back at her in the same way. She was convinced that she needed none in this world except this wall, so did the wall tell her- or so did she sensed.

Gradually, her needs increased, her wings spread. And the same colours of the wall only cluttered her mind more, washing out any remaining vestige of coherent thought. The same colours of the wall didn’t make any sense to her. The familiarity with the wall would want to bring her back to show how deeply she cared for this wall. She wouldn’t believe it’s the same wall she thought she could live with forever! And then, she had given so much to it, she couldn’t believe the wall wouldn’t reciprocate the same way.

The spell was breaking.

She gazed around the room uncomprehendingly. Wasn’t she just in her bedroom? How did she get downstairs? She felt like she’s in an oven. Why is it so hot, isn’t it winter? The flesh beneath her coat was burning, radiating waves of heat that seem to drift up, slowing baking her muddled thoughts and changing the steady throb in her head into a pincer grip. The uneasiness kicked off an adrenal response, causing her vision to sharpen and her breathing to speed up, sides beginning to heave as her lungs started displacing large amounts of air.

Was she tired? Tired doesn’t begin to describe it. She thought she used to know what tired was, after she got up this morning, or when she would stay up too late reading, or if she was awoken in the middle of the night and had trouble getting back to sleep. This wasn’t tired. This was whatever comes after tired, maybe even whatever came after that. What would come after tired? Dog-tired? Bone-weary? Her thoughts floated languorously, directionless and unconnected, like small boats adrift in a fog. She felt wrung out, weak and watery, like someone replaced her body with a balloon filled with warm liquid.

Then reality struck. There came a time she just couldn’t stand it. She was probably searching for windows of clarity, but the wall was a bit too coloured. She couldn’t undo it, it was all too there stuck on it. Having been too excited about her first house, she probably never noticed the wall naked. Perhaps, if she had noticed it for longer, she wouldn’t have chosen to make it so special.

Meanwhile, in despair when she turned her back to it- in search of another friend wall to be with and talk to, the not-so-special-anymore-wall suddenly felt all the vacuum of her attention, starting to nag at her to look at it, to show how wonderful it is, reminding her of how much she cared for it once upon a time. But there were too many shades on the wall to look through to see the truth of it. Maybe, it was time for her to search for the lock and key.

Her gaze traveled sluggishly along the wall she poured her heart into, coming to rest on the window- following the lines left by the rain drops as they run down the glass in long streaks. It’s raining outside, fat drops that splatter dramatically across the pane. She’s so thirsty, she’s never been so thirsty before. Or so hot, not even when she came down with the flu and had a fever. She needs to cool off, she needs some water. The surge and rush of the wind begins to fill her ears, and she can see the limbs of the trees outside, dancing back and forth to its rhythm. The rain looks so inviting, so cool, the pattering of the drops against the pane a gentle sound that seems almost to be calling out to her.

Staggering, she hobbled across the living room, her legs feeling weak and unfamiliar, coming up short when she reached the front door. She struggled with the knob, her teeth sliding across the polished brass plating before finally gaining purchase. With a muffled grunt of effort, she managed to turn it enough for the latch to disengage, allowing it to swing open on a gust of wind before weakly nosing open the screen door, and crossing the porch.

The rain, driven by the wind and made cold by the low temperature, hits her full on, stinging her eyes and making her close them. She begins to shiver instantly, the involuntary motion flinging little droplets of water off of her coat and away into the storm. The wet and the chill feel wonderful, soothing like a balm. With a shaky laugh, she makes her way out into the downpour.

——
(Let’s cross over. That’s what the Italian phrase, “Attraversiamo” means… Crossing over or passing through.)
Credits: PourMeADrink and Veronica Gautam