A Conversation with a Stranger.

I was standing on the end of the railing. The sea was calm,the night sky was lifeless and so was I. The ship was travelling forward but my train of thoughts were travelling backwards. Why I was even on this cruise, to be fair my life could never be on cruise. After what I had done, cruise mode was not even a remote possibility.

I had sinned, ‘But so does everybody’, father Gabriel had explained. But I was not sure that anyone would had committed a sin as grave as I had . My body felt heavy as if it was a burden on my soul. The cold chilling winds from the sea brought me back to reality, a reality which was much darker than the night sky that enveloped the world around me.

I had taken this ship from a city and I was going to another, from that city I would take another ship that will lead me to another city. When does it end? I asked myself.

I had been running, and now I was tired of it. To be fair everyone is running. From the day we are born we are running towards our death, but now, I was going to end this run. I had decided that if death doesn’t want to meet me than I will meet death, so here I was standing on the end of the railing fixing my appointment with it, when a voice called out from behind.

“How is the view from there?” She asked.

I ignored her. I starred into the waves imagining how the sea would embrace my falling body.

“Are you going to jump from there?” She asked again.

I turned and starred at her with agony, and replied “Why do you care?”

“Just wanted to remind you, flap your hands rapidly than only you shall fly”

“Fly?” “Have you gone crazy I am committing suicide”

The night had little light to offer but I could for sure say that her eyes starred at me with confusion. It felt that she was amazed at how a person could not think of flying but rather think of falling from there.

Than after a length of pause she said, “Oh so sad! but have you thought of flying? I am sure it is much more adventurous than falling.”

“You have no idea about falling.”

She stepped towards me and whispered in my ears “No dear I know what it is to fall, that is the reason I am telling you to fly”

I starred at her big brown eyes as reality of her statement gripped me.

“Why have you given up upon life?” She asked.

“I have done some terrible things.”

“Of course you have,you have killed yourself what terrible sin than killing yourself.”

“I have not killed myself yet.”

“You have killed your soul.”

“You cannot say that. You know nothing about me. You have not been in my boots”

“I don’t have to, I am a stranger I just have to watch and decide. I don’t have to understand you or your problem because truly those who understand us, they enslave a part of us within their soul and I am a free bird I neither get enslaved nor do I enslave.”

The cold sea wind shattered my thin body frame again as she continued, “I don’t know what your problem is but I just want to tell you, that let go it, let the regret go, let the people go, let the emotions go, let go of it all and then jump. Because when your heart will be less heavy , you, my dear, will learn to fly”

Saying this she turned and went back into the same darkness from where she had emerged . I stood there at the end for sometime and then stepped back onto the star board. She was surely gone by now and even if I chased her she could never be found. She was a free bird, a free soul.

She was a complete stranger who taught me the most valuable lesson of my life

“To let go”

I know I can never find her but her words will always coarse through my blood.

By- Ahmed Salim.


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