Today I met her.
She was sitting in a corner of the library, pouring over her open Macbook with several books strewn all around.
I took my seat opposite to her with my usual bunch of books and could not resist noticing the name of a bright green book that was lying around on the table: "Dreams". I was almost sure that it must be the famous book by Freud. I struck up a conversation.
"Maya, what are you reading? Freud? May I take a look into this book if you dont mind?"
It took me almost 20 minutes to compose & speak the above words. She replied with a gentle & sweet smile.
"No. I'm trying to learn Spanish. This is just a book written in Spanish."
"Maya, why are you always so difficult to predict?"
"Maybe because you think that you can predict everything. There must be somebody to challenge you, right? Dont you like to be challenged? I'm sure that you do."
She knows me very well. I think she knows everything about me. I mean, if you're complete strangers, there is still a non-zero probability that you'll see each other sometime somewhere. But only if somebody knows your every movement, your every pulse & impulse, only then she would be able to elude you. For so long.
I asked again, "The warning alarm of the library has gone off. May I buy you a drink, if you dont mind?"
Again she maintains, "Unfortunately not."
"Maya, why do you think we never meet? Is it that I'm too unacceptable?"
"I dont think so. Maybe because I'm too close to you to see. You see me in every couple holding hands & sharing a smile. In every random cute girl who passes by. In every careless whisper that catches your ear. In every gentle touch. In every tinkling laughter. You cannot see me everywhere and then again want to find me in a single person. Make up your mind first!"
"Why? What is the problem in that?"
"Problem? Your entire perception makes you blind. Blind with expectations. Blind with desire. Blind with pointless agony. If you see me everywhere, then even if I come to you as a person, you'll reject me."
"That is completely not true. Every time in my life, whenever I found even a fragment of you in any single person, I loved you wholeheartedly."
"Yeah. And there lies the problem. You just love the fragment. Not the entirety. You analyse. You criticise. You tear apart all the goodness & badness and try to deconstruct & reconstruct it in your own way. You are always driven by your mind. Do you even have a heart? I have profound doubt regarding that!"
My lips trembled. Do I have a heart? I would like to say that heart is all that I have, everything else is wrapped by it. But I could not say it. She speaks so confidently that it confuses me every time.
She goes on, "Every single time you find the fragment, you think that you can do better. You're never happy with what you've got. You need it all, all at once, in a single piece. But life is a maze. I always come in fragments. If I came in a single piece, we would be instantly annihilated. Some might say in explosion of energy, positive energy if you like to say. But I say, annihilation is always destruction, deconstruction, irreversible. Either you get lost in your mind or in your heart."
She is right, I think. If she would come to me I would forget everything, all fear, all other connections, all earthly cares. She would be my Lolita. Mine, and only mine. And finally, this will destroy me. Perhaps she eludes me only to save me from annihilation.
"Maya, do you think this will go on like this forever?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, that will I keep chasing your shadow like this for all my days & never find you?"
"Yes. If you keep chasing my shadow I shall float away forever. But if you ever dare to look me face to face, eye to eye, confront me... then maybe your luck would change. But would you? I think you're too much in love with the faceless, nameless, non-existing shadow. It will be hard for you to move into the sun from it and face the heat. Are you ready?"
I kept silence. What could I say? I gathered composure and muttered for one last time:
"Shall we meet again?"
"Like this, I hope not."
"But what if I never meet you under the sun? Promise me then at least you'll not take away the shadow from me."
"The sun always goes down.", she said with a smile.
And she walked away into the darkness of the night.