I remember light fluttering kisses on my eyes my cheeks my forehead- never before had I ever felt so loved. I didn’t even know you then.
The hummingbirds always get tricked by the glass, no matter how many times they collide against it. They still never learn.
You knocked on my door with a flimsy excuse. I knew you didn’t just want water. You wanted to check out the new neighbours.
“This is what it means to be in your twenties, lying naked on a worn out mattress sheets smelling of sex in a shabby room you share, smoking a cigarette with your lover.” I told you once. I had run away from job interviews and impending adulthood to come see you for a day or two. That time when I left for home, you cried into my shoulder as you hugged me goodbye. You kissed every part of me for all the times you won’t be able to. I fell again then, even more into the bottomless pit of loving you.
The giant hummingbird weighs almost twenty one grams. Experiments conducted by scientists frightened of death concluded the soul weighed twenty one grams. They waited and weighed beside dying beds. “At the moment of death, there has been a marked difference in weight, a difference we calculated to be twenty one grams”
“I can’t think of the rain without thinking of him. A bulldozer rolling thunder woke us up. The monsoon is here, he whispered to me kissing me urgent and desperate; we have to celebrate, he said. We once ran through steady rain into an abandoned auto, piping hot jalebis in our hand, as the sugar burned my lips we kissed with the rain rushing down outside. Now I can’t think of the rain without thinking of how it felt with him. He consumed me so much at times I felt the world together with him. It became him.”
You would ask me out awkwardly forward, earnest eyes imploring me to say yes every single time. I didn’t want to admit it but you bothered me. I didn’t want to admit it but I liked it. I liked you.
The shaman call them messengers from a higher world. Our ancestors who have crossed the great sea send them to us to help us with this world. They carry all that is good all that is pure, your very essence to replenish you, fill up all the holes the world had carved into you. The tribe considered the hummingbird most sacred. The land had a future if it was visited by the bird.
“I love you, you said that night for the first time. You took me out two days back and you were already convinced of it. It had been your birthday that night. I lost my virginity that night. Fairy lights burnt till morning. The first rays of the sun peeked into my room as you kissed my eyes my cheeks my forehead and you said the words again and again. Feverishly. I didn’t want to fall or maybe I did. I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t help myself from you.”
No matter what I said, you would still come back. My friends made fun of you while they smoked your weed. I would complain to every other guy about how persistent you were. I couldn’t shake you off. It bugged me. It flattered me. What did you see so special in me, I would wonder. Why do I appeal to you so much? You a stranger who I didn’t even call a friend.
“You asked me the same thing, a year later. We were in different cities living different lives trying so hard to meet midway. Why do you love me so much? I was tongue-tied, how could I put it in words, what I felt for you?”
Those days I saw so many hummingbirds, their long swordbill beaks flashing in and out of the flowers. Their stout wings beating persistent backwards. We were so in love head over heels.
Then I had to leave and then you left me. I don’t see hummingbirds any more. You don’t stare back at me from the mirror. Your hands don’t hold me anymore. I look at myself in the mirror. The person looking back looks like me but it isn’t-something’s missing. You are missing.
I imagine my hummingbird ferrying my piece of soul from the heavens above, blessed you with it. She knew my spirit even before me. She knew my love even before me.
“May you be loved as true as I do you, no matter if we be together or not.
May you always be loved, if there had to be a reason, let it be because I loved you and will always do.”