“When I have my own house, I’ll have stars on the ceiling above my bed.”
The clouds covered the diamonds of the night but that didn’t stop Nysa from voicing her wish aloud. Lying on the sand at night on an empty sea shore had pleasures of its own.
“You’ll miss out on these, won’t you?”
“Well, yeah,” she said hesitatingly. “So what? I’ll buy a house next to the shore. I can then have the best of both worlds.”
Nysa was like that. She could alter her dreams to suit her anytime.
“Arhaan, why don’t you get the solar system on your ceiling too?”
“Well, I’d rather have my blank wall staring back at me,” I said hurriedly. “Thank you Nysa.”
“Blank?” she almost shrieked, piercing into the darkness of the night. “You’re a bore. Tell you what. I’ll design your ceiling. Yes, just your ceiling. I’ll have some graffiti engraved on your whitewashed wall.”
“Oh! Hell, I’m never calling you home.”
“Please yourself then, moron,” she said derisively and got up and started walking away.
“Hey! Nysa! Where are you going?” I screamed. This shouting was not helping much with the mood of the place.
“Nowhere,” she said. “No. Somewhere. Somewhere I can see the stars clearer.”
I got up too. I couldn’t leave her alone at this hour of the night. No one was around. But the feeling that you’re alone is always scary. Nysa did put up a nice front though.
“So, why are you running behind me now?” Nysa asked as I reached up to her.
I stayed behind her, not walking with her.
“I’m checking out your footprints. The way your feet caress the sand, slowly embossing themselves onto this wet…”
“Enough poetry-shoetry now,” she interrupted me. “Just admit that you couldn’t lie there alone.”
“I could have,” I replied, not realising that I actually never felt like I was lying. I felt I was telling her the truth. “But your footprints. That’s what I want on my ceiling.”
“Arhaan, what’s wrong with you? Okay no?”
“Perfectly Nysa,” I smiled. “Footprints. That’s what I want on my ceiling, leading to my bedside window.”
A star fell across the azure sky.