• Under the Raintree Festival

'Unavailable, Always' by Aryashree Narayan

I could make up hordes of stories about us. None that fit into a conventional rambling of events. Nothing cliché, nothing that doesn't fit the way we work. Do we even? In reality, I know we don't. But in my imagination? It's like bursts of fireworks on the darkest of nights. So magical.

I imagine bumping into you on a bridge near a brook, one fine night. The moonlight just glinting off you, and I get this incredible urge to run my fingers through your stubble.

We're strangers, you and I, each shrouded in the miseries of our past. Yet, for one brief expanse in time, you see me and I see you and it seems like every little path the universe put forth for us has conversed to this one amazing destination. The murmuring water, the pale moonlight, the rusty old bridge- nothing compares to looking through you. For that brief suspension in time, nothing else matters.

All I do is this. All night long, as I watch you sleep, kissing you so soft, knowing that you'd leave. Knowing that when dawn creeps in, all I'm left with are echoes of the tumultuous nights I spend with you. I can't help it, though. I can't help imagining how things might be different. Just as I can't help but be with you, knowing I could never have you, not truly, not now, not ever.

When my friends ask why, all I tell them is that you're my muse. You inspire me to feel and dredge up volatility so deep, it's a part of me I hadn't imagined getting to know. You inspire me to write.

But only I know the truth. The real reason. No matter how much I adore you, adulate you and wallow in my feelings for you, it isn't really you. It isn't you I crave for, it's not you that I love and want.

It's the fact that you're not available. It's your unavailability. It resonates with every person I've been with. For as long as I can dredge up my past, I cannot remember a time otherwise.

When they ask me - what do I like about you?

I smile and think to myself - Unavailable, Always.

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