His smile would spread slowly on his face, the dimples getting deeper. The laughter in his eyes – warm, wicked, incorrigible. Which was why she had stared at him a little longer than was polite. She had turned her head away when she caught his eye. When she looked up again, he was laughing with his friends. But he was laughing at her. He knew that she knew.
The memory lingered for a few days and was forgotten. Eight months later, she met him at a friend’s party. She couldn’t recollect where she had seen him before. It came back only months later. When she remembered she had smiled.
He understood her restlessness. He saw through it, turned it upside down, mocked it, and let it be. He ripped apart all her questions, dismissed her answers and swore everlasting love. Not as a promise. As a certainty. A fact. Irrelevant and negligible.
When he loved, he was the ocean. Wild, raging calm. She drowned. Gasped for air as he sat back and watched, and then turned away. He was there, whichever way she turned. So big she could not see him. And she slept. Like a baby.
She asked for promises. He refused every one. He held her hand in his as she walked upon water. She sang to him of worlds forgotten. He kissed her lips. And never stopped. He spoke in whispers, unraveling the mystery of the ages. He swept the world into his arms and overturned it in her lap.
He taught her to dance to the rhythm of the stars. He played the tune. He was the Pied Piper. She was the bird in the golden cage. She turned the key and threw it away.
Today, she watched the sunrise on his body. She bent down to kiss his hand. Then she dressed, took the knapsack from under the bed and walked out the door. And all the while he had smiled, she thought. That slow smile. The deep dimples. Wicked laughter. Warm and incorrigible.
She would come back. In another eternity. He would forget about her. He would wait for her. He would search all the heavens. Let the eternity pass. Laugh at her.
And she would always run.