Casually I walked into the room. I sat down on a wooden chair. That’s what I liked most about this place– its furniture. It reminded me of a far off place. A place that existed when I did not. I ordered the usual and looked out of the window. I saw the world passing by. The movement, the activity, the frantic pace that life carried with it. And like every time, this time also I felt like I had taken a break from the madness. I felt like I had walked out of the movie and chosen to be the spectator instead. While I was watching the world go by, she came up to my table and asked me, “May I sit down?” I wondered why she would want to sit with me considering there were enough vacant seats in the café. But even before I could say, “Yes, please”, she sat down.

“What are you thinking?” (Rather bold a question, considering I didn’t even introduce myself, I thought.)

“Hmm…nothing. Just looking at how my part in that mad world has just taken a break.”

“Do you think, it really has?”

“Ummm…well I’d like to think so. I’m a dreamer, you see.”

“Aren’t we all, my dear?”

*Hesitates* “I can’t speak for the others, I am. “ (Too early, to be rude I guess.)

*Funny how people suddenly start using ‘dear’ with reference to you even though they don’t know you well enough.*

“And that’s why you sit here every week? To walk out of the movie?”

*Holy crap, how does she know?* “How do you know I come here every week?”

“Because I come here every week too…”

*Still not sure.* “Well, I come here because I like it. I like being here.”

“Amidst the old wooden furniture, right?”

*Now, she can read my freaking mind.* “Not really, I like the view here. You? Why do you come here?”

“Because you come here. I’m everywhere you go.”

“Are you going to just go away and let me be woman?”

“Why? So that you need no one to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong?”

“First of all you keep stalking me, you turn up here ruin my peace and then you expect me to listen to your nonsense.”

“Yes, I do, because you need to listen to someone other than yourself.”

“And why should I listen to you? Because you know I like wooden furniture? Or because you’re following me all the time.”

“Because you need someone to tell you to watch your step all the time.”

“And why am I being told to watch my step? I’m not a kid; I can take care of myself. ”

“That’s why you keep repeating your mistakes. That’s why you let your life flow without holding it. That’s why…”

“One minute, how can you even say those things…”

“…I can. I follow you.”

“You’re not me, are you? You know only what you ‘think’ I am.”

“…and isn’t that enough?”

*Silence*

——-

…And that is how she follows me wherever I go. All the time.

– Sameen