Vagitus

By |2020-02-19T12:27:13+00:00February 19th, 2020|Inspiring Story, People|

Sure, you can google the title later.

Joshua squeezed into the space between the clothes spread out on his bed and stared into his laptop, settled comfortably among the dated Zomato boxes on his table.
Joshua.Earphones.Laptop.
Too familiar to stare at.
I rolled to face the other side. I swear it hadn’t even been 10 minutes since I lended Anish my extra bed. Yet, there he lay, motionless, calm and deep into Neverland.
Not fair at all.
I rolled again to face the ceiling. My body fatigued, my eyes begging me to close. If only I wasn’t feeling this fluid whirling around against my chest.

-x-x-x-

It was a little over an hour ago, when we ran into Anish right outside the gate. The bus that was scheduled to take us through the forest to our hostel was nowhere to be seen. We could have waited. But as breezy as the night was, we decided to take a stroll through the woods.
Joshua as usual tagged along.
Filling the space between us and the tall grown trees were stories spun quite effortlessly by Anish.
How he figured out our warden sports a wig, how he met Asha, how he got his hands on an extra pair of keys to the hostel’s terrace…. Man! Was he on a roll!
And now he was explaining why shoving ice down your pants actually works.
Gawd.
Not that I wasn’t enjoying his company. I was loving it. But there was this urge in the air. Not having contributed to the conversation up until now made me feel like a cat desperately holding onto the sides of a rooftop. If it wasn’t for the one story I have been selling throughout class I doubt I could have pounced back like I did.
I stole a glance from my right. Anish wore an amused grin.
The cat is perched comfortably on top.

I wonder if Joshua felt this urge too. Even if he did, I doubt if this was good enough. Draped almost always in baggy pants, well worn out tees and an expressionless face, nothing exits his mouth bar occasional short sentences blurted out under his breath.
He was shuffling by my left. His hands lay oblivious to the rhythm the rest of his body had to follow.

Not that there was never a time when emotions flowed out of him like a stream.
It just dried out.
And the puddles that were left behind, they probably found solace in artificially crafted worlds, bing(e-watch)ing them one after another.

Over time, I have come to accept him though. Every now and then, like right now, I forget how he sounds. Experience suggests trying harder is pointless.
I’d then imagine him saying something like “.. And for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.” I don’t know why his androgenous pale looking face was exuding Morgan Freeman’s voice.
Eh
I probably just couldn’t get the man’s voice out of my head.

-x-x-x-

With a little less than 15 minutes to go (to the hostel), the forest got unusually windy. Wasn’t very pleasant. Anish apparently didn’t think so. He started muttering something to himself. I could make out a couple of words though.
Darling..dive right in
Beaauuutiful and sweet
It didn’t take him much longer to get into rhythm and it sure wasn’t just muttering anymore.
He went out loud dancing in the dark, barefoot on the grass. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish the oncoming wind would drive his voice away like it would any other scent.
I mean he had the voice. Deepest you could find. His singing though, made it outright insufferable.
When he sensed our eyes on him, a jaunty grin spread across his face.

As soon as the next chorus came around, I couldn’t help myself but scream the lines out loud.
We didn’t stop there either. We went ahead and ripped apart John Legend’s tunes too.

Well, Why not?
Draped in baggy pants, well worn out tees and a smile across his face, Joshua stared at the ground in front of him as he walked along.
As windy as the night was, the trees flanking our path were shaking, I imagined, to our tunes.

It’s probably the adrenaline from then that has been keeping me up, staring at the ceiling. My body gradually took over, pulling me into what I thought was a deep slumber.

-x-x-x-

Not deep enough apparently, as I was startled back to reality in the middle of the night.
Joshua was sitting upright on his bed. His silhouette clearly defined against the faint light beaming in (through the window), looking at me.
As dark as it was on this side of the room, I am pretty sure he wasn’t able to figure out if my eyes were open.
He turned away, put on the one earphone that was dangling close to his chest and
…fellll in llove…
My eyes widened.
His voice, neither in tune nor as deep as Mr.Freeman, was low and shaky.
…whaat it waas…
I wanted to turn around to see if Anish too was witnessing this. I didn’t. I wished he was.
…givvve youuu up…
It didn’t take long for the whirling around inside my chest to come to a still.
I lay there motionless as his voice staggered through the lyrics over and over and over.
Low, shaky and alive.

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