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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Where is home when you're feeling soulless?


He didn't have a word to utter when the moment arrived. His mind went blank as if it was unfamiliar with thinking.

"Fuckin' acidity, it'll kill me someday," all he could think of. He felt like throwing up. He came a long way just to say goodbye but when the moment came, they just stood there staring at each other, utterly clueless, both of them.

This all consumed less than five minutes but it seemed as if a whole day had passed.

"Why doesn't she say somethin'," thought he, leaning back against the beautiful marbled column."Fuckin' ceremonies."

Announcer said something about the flight but he didn't grasp a word. He hummed for the umpteenth time a couple of lines of a half-remembered poem he had read somewhere,

"Where is home when you're feeling soulless?
Where is home when you have no direction?"
He had been prodding his memory for the early part but couldn't recall it, and it was bothering him.

"It's time.", she whispered, breaking his train of thought.
"uh," he held her gaze, "yeah! you should be going." he said.

Where is home when you're feeling soulless? He stood there gazing at her. Uneasy memories surged though him and took him a few months back in his head. It was a night of heavy downpour. Lightning flashed and thunder cracked. It might have been the end of the world. Darkness reigned between the lightning flashes, The storm had long since blown out the electricity. He found her on the bus-stop, five miles off their place.

"HEY!" Said she, raindrops could be seen dropping off her hair in the light emanating from her cell phone screen, she must have walked in the rain.

"Hey! Got caught in the storm?" he returned the civilities and took a deep breath, holding it for a count of five, exhaling for a count of five, just to normalize the rhythm of his heart, which got disturbed in the sprint he had taken from library to the bus-stop, trying in vain not to get wet.

"Not really, it's only 10, pretty much routine time for me," she said.
"Feels like midnight, any chance of bus coming?" he asked.
"Yeah one is due in 15 minutes, why were you running?" She said, "It's futile coz one hardly takes five seconds to get soaked in this one." Added she.

"Yeah I realized," he tittered.

It was their first conversation since he had moved into her building six months ago. Though they had been living on the same floor, hardly few words had been exchanged between them.

"I'm Sarah, but you know that I presume," she said, extending her hand, which he shook but she didn't let his hand go, starting to rub the back of his hand with her other hand instead. It gave him a shiver.

"I'm sorry," whispered she.

"What for?"

"That bothers you, weighs on your mind," she said, "the angst."

He recoiled, taking a step back. In the meantime the bus arrived.

"I told you so," she let a joyous cry. They got on the bus, there were only four people besides them.

"Let's sit in the last row," she said as if she knew he would assent. And he did, albeit unwittingly.

With a bland, expressionless face and nearly colorless eyes, here was something uncanny about her that kept him quiet. A long stretch of silence had him holding his breath—then a whisper conveyed what was on his mind to her. "How do you know that....?"

"I know for I'm an empath." Smiled she as if she had an unfair advantage on him.

"Empath? What exactly is an empath?" he was flummoxed.

"An empath's touch lets him/her know emotions in other people," she said, "like joy, sadness, longing, fear and all, but sometimes we can tell more, we touch souls."

"What else?" he asked.


"Touch of my hand, what else did it tell ya?"

She cast an eerie glance before touching his face, a look had come over her, "You're soulless," she whispered. He let out a stunned gasp.

He couldn't ask for more as though he had revealed too much too her. So he journeyed in silence.

For the next six months, they had many conversations but an uncanny barrier never let them cross certain lines.

"What's this person like you were talking to?" He asked offhand.

That evening they were sitting on a rusted iron bench in a corner of a park that looked off over the hills, watching the summer dusk devour the rays of the sun.

"Seems a good lad," said she.

"Seems? I thought you could peer into people's souls," he said hesitantly.

A melancholic smile appeared on her face, "Well, I don't," she said, spreading her hands.

"What happened to that empath thingy?"

"I lost it for I'm soulless now and you cannot feel others' souls if you don't have one. And you don't have to be afraid of me anymore, we are on equal footing now."

"What happened to your soul?"

"And what happened to yours?"

"I dunno, maybe I sold it to the devil?"

"For how much?"

"For nothing I guess..."

"Guess what? We got the same deal, I feel like me too sold it for nothing."

He labored for breaths and felt as though he could hear her heartbeat, and wondered what was coming.

"So why did you really do it?" she asked after a beat.

"I read some wise-man said 'Don't be too good when you're young, or the devil will get you later‘, so it was kinda inevitability I dunno," he said realizing the answer was far from convincing.

"You are quite dreadfully demoralizing...," she laughed.

"And you're awfully mysterious," he joined the laugh.

"I don't know how to explain it to you," she said gazing at the hills. "Something seems to tell me that I'm on the verge of a terrible crisis in my life. I grew afraid and turned to seclusion. It was not a conscience choice: it was sorta cowardice. I take no credit to myself for trying to escape."

"There's no escape," he thought out loud.

"for whom?" she asked as if telling him he wasn't alone with his thoughts.

"uhh! well," he stuttered, "I was just thinking, nevermind, what time is the flight?"

she smiled "I gotta go, I know you don't have anything to say." before he could bring anything to his lips, she leaned into his rising face and caught him with a kiss on the cheek and sighed " neither do I." 

There did they part without paining themselves to think of something they couldn't say or didn't want to. He stood there thinking about his time with her and about the half-remembered poem but he realized it wasn't half-remembered anymore. And he walked away humming,

"Where is home when you're feeling soulless?
Where is home when you have no direction?
This is the feeling of lost.
No answers. No meaning.
I'm still searching for the feel of completion
There's no feeling like lost.
I love it, I need it,
Like there's something more to live or to die for.
I follow the horizon.
Where is home when you're feeling soulless?
Where is home when you have no direction?"

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