I forget what/the dream was about,
I just remember/seeing your face.
— S.L. Gray.salo
We first met in our dreams when we were twelve. There she was, amidst dead pines and night jasmines, lying on the grass — her eyes piercing the cloudless infinites of the starry night. Was she crying? I do not remember — perhaps she was. Her name, she told me, was Renée.
I do not ask to the night
I wait for it and it envelops me,
And so you, bread and light
And shadow are.
I remember her whispering. Did I stand there in silence, or did I whisper back?
You came to my life
with what you were bringing,
of light and bread and shadow I expected you,
and Like this I need you,
Like this I love you,
I do not remember. But gently and firmly, like a mother embracing her newborn, I remember I fell in love. Then we met again, every night, in our dreams. In each other’s arms, we found solace. In each other’s ears, we whispered poetry; we sang songs of love and remembrance. Waking up every morning in the shadowed emptiness of my bedroom, away from her warmth, there was not a worse nightmare in the world.
In the day I searched for her everywhere I could, but her existence kept eluding me. Then the night came — bringing dreams, and her along with. I remember her telling me where she lived, I remember her telling me where to find her. But every time I woke up, the details faded away like the monsoon’s last rain.
We never found each other, but we always had our dreams. And in our dreams, we touched each other. In our dreams, we made love. In our dreams, we smiled and laughed and cried and wept. Like waves upon the shore, years passed by.
I am twenty-one now, and I no longer dream. My eyes keep looking for her. In cars and buses and driveways, in coffee houses and diners. Does she exist beyond my dreams? I’d like to think she does, but I will never know. Whether I believe in God I do not know, but I pray we meet again tonight. If only for one last time.
(Sarthak Das is pursuing his Masters in Computer Science. In his free time, he reads and writes as an expression of self. Views expressed in this article are personal and may nor reflect the views of Outlook Magazine)