The stranger in my house

I am sitting on a long couch facing the window. French windows. I can see all the activities that are being carried out in the house right opposite mine. I am sitting in a still position. Slightly awkward. Stiff. Without batting an eyelid, I stare curiously, gazing into another person’s life.

The room in that house is empty. Seems like the house had been decorated with great amounts of pain and sorrow. Efforts have been made to try and convert the house into a home. A place he could turn to after a long hard day at work. But it’s the people who turn the house into a home. An empty house with no happiness, enjoyment and peace cannot be called a home.

He walks in, into the room. He wears a tired expression on his face. Slowly loosening his tie with one hand, he ruffles through his hair with another. Yawns widely and thumps himself down onto his sofa. Whilst staring into oblivion he folds his hands above his head. As though he has given up on life. No words can explain the amount of trauma that he has just undergone. Loss cannot be handled easily. Especially when that relationship was your last connective string to the surrounding world.

Now he has just slipped into a state of isolation. How would I know how that feels? He gets off the couch and walks towards the window. He stares right at me. Or so I think? Yet he does not notice me! I continue to stare into his crystal blue eyes. Orbs that resemble the still blue waters of the lake that surrounds my world. Water. Lake.

This lady is walking into the river. She is wearing a white flowy gown. Ripped in places. I can see the woman. She is slowly fading away. Merging in with the surroundings.  Nature slowly inundating her physical form. Claiming her as if it were her own.

A few minutes later, this body floats up to the surface. Upside down. Hair wet. Clothes wet. Soul soaked in misery, pain and suffering. Face is unrecognisable. Her face is turned away from me. I start running away. Turning to the same state of isolation that he has turned to. I understand him.

He turns away from the window. I can now see his back. He stretches both his arms in an open motion. As though he is surrendering himself to the devil. But even the devil does not want his soul anymore. Tainted. Tainted with memories of a loved one. He seems to exuberate an aura of grief. Maybe that’s what attracts me towards him. His mysteriousness, his uncertainty. His sadness, his regretful behaviour. I want to embrace both his mental and physical state of being. I continue to observe him. He goes onto carry out his daily routine. Single-handedly.

It’s eleven at night. I remain in the same position. Awkward, stiff position. Today, I have observed his actions well. I turn around and walk towards my study. I sit on the chair facing the desk and pull out an empty sheet of paper from the first drawer of the desk. I write a letter describing his actions to my mother. In detail. I describe his every movement. Every possible thought. Once I’m done, I get up and make my way towards the door. I turn back one last time to see if she’s there once again tonight. The woman draped in the white gown has come to visit again. She seems to be writing something with a lot of concentration. A reply. I slyly observe her from behind the door. She is sealing the letter. She does this every night. And, every night I observe her. From behind this very door. Deciding to give her some privacy, I turn my back towards her and head to my room.


Next morning, I enter the living room once again, holding a cup of coffee in my right hand. I plan to give my neighbour some company today.  I stare at him while he gets ready to repeat his monotonous routine yet again.

As I head to the sofa, I see a stack of empty sheets lying on the desk. She always leaves behind a mess. I have always had to clean up after her. I decide to keep them back in the drawer. I collect the scattered sheets with one hand and open the drawer with another. Upon opening the drawer I see a lone letter sitting in the drawer. On the envelope it says,

‘To you…..’

Yet again. I keep the empty sheets in the drawer and open this letter. Yet again.


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