There were shreds of petals all over the floor. Of roses with fragrance. The bunch scattered after it fell from the table. The vase might have rolled under the bed, it was no where in sight. Red spots dotted the ground and white feet stood surrounded by them. Black eyes surveyed; confusion did not satisfy curiosity and they searched for answers in the mess. The mind was focused, or stagnant with stale perception.
Raahil heard the fall from his bedroom and ran towards her, Maya, where she stood on bloody roses. He stood at the door, hands on its frame, confirming his thoughts and then hurried towards her trying to avoid the shards of glass. “Don’t move,” he shouted but he didn’t need to, she was standing very still. He got to her and picked her up. They both held each other tight. Raahil was annoyed – “I told her not to. That damn vase. Should’ve filled it and weighed it down.”. Maya felt safe touching something she understood – her brother. An observation – they’d discover so much of themselves if they’d exchange and embrace each others’ names. It would be an uncovering, a turning to light of a part of self that they had no mind about, and all because they gave it a chance to be. It – themselves.
“Why did you walk into this mess?” unbothered about who created it in the first place because it was an inevitable accident – that rose studded vase wouldn’t last. Obviously, it was her. Or the wind, it could’ve whipped the curtain or shaken the table. Or it was her. “How did the petals break?” her voice was inaudible, but he was close enough to hear her. “I told you they were delicate,” he spoke mindlessly, naturally, as he carried her to the bathroom. They were both present to their own thoughts, only hers were questions. “But how can petals break?” she asked after a while. “The whole vase is made of glass, Maya,” he said gently washing her feet. “Shit,” again mindlessly.
She had stood before, in the corner of the room where the vase was safe and ignored and the petals fresh and soft, looking for answers with her touch. The painted details felt velvety.
“The closer I get, the more I’ll know.”
“These flowers, they’re so different, so beautiful.”
“Why does Raahil not notice these flowers? Why doesn’t he realise how pure they look and how beautiful they are? I can’t stay away from them anymore, who cares what he says.”
She treated them like they were too real; like they could welcome her to the force of nature that they brought with them. He treated them like they were too fragile to handle its purpose. Her feet hurt, the petal ruins lay in a bin and two minds perceived the same thing differently.
*Raahil, an Islamic name meaning ‘path guider’
Maya means illusion.