Broken, yet whole again.

Surabhi K

The cool breeze greeted me at the mountain top. I sat there among the clouds, waiting for her. The love of my life. It had been a couple eons now, yet it felt like yesterday. When I had first laid eyes on her.
She had appeared right above the horizon, her soft laugh like rippling water. Her golden curls shone bright in the morning light, the sun forming a halo around her. Oh! She was the most beautiful being I had ever seen. The song birds greeted her chirping and giving her the updates of the day. The daffodils in the valley lifted their heads to bask in her glory. I could see the animals waking from their slumber and embracing her warmth, smiles spreading across their faces. The Moon chuckled to himself as he saw my gaping mouth. "Only the lord can help you now " he laughed and bid me goodbye. It had been the first time I had enjoyed his company. I had turned 18 yesterday and that had marked the beginning of my journey.
I’m so sorry. I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Amaro, or night. And you might have guessed by now, the girl I was talking about is Photine, day. I know, I see that you are confused. Day and night are a result of the moon revolving round the earth and earth's own rotation on its axis. No. Day and night. We are the children of time and fate. Those born at the peak of the Sun, belong to the realm of day and those of us born at the peak of the Moon, belong to the realm of night. Our father, Time, makes sure we are disciplined and dedicated, while our mother, Fate, teaches us how to enjoy life and treasure the little moments for, the future is unknown.
As she approached me to take guard, she greeted me with her gentle smile. After preliminary introductions, we sat down. She listened patiently to my record of dreams, nightmares, crimes, romance and of those working late hours enslaved to the night. When I finished, she bid me farewell. Though my eyes were burning and my body ached from crouching on rooftops, sneaking through the windows and watching as the world slept, my heart ached to leave her. Now, eons later, I still feel the same. Alas, we can never coexist. Our love is forbidden.
We are opposites in every sense. She is light while I'm the darkness that envelops the world. She is the bringer of hope, while I bring despair. She promises a beginning, while I am the end. She is bright and beautiful while I'm dark and unsightly. She has the constant Sun as her companion while my Moon waxes and wanes heralding the uncertainties of life. Could we ever be one ?
As I sat atop the mountain awaiting her arrival, I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder. Turning around, I found Photine standing there grinning like a naughty child. I was surprised. "Its not time yet ! If father finds out..". She cut me off with a dainty finger on my lips. She sat next to me intertwining her arms with mine. Her warmth was comforting, her smell like the breath of fresh air to a drowning soul. "I'm surprised you don’t know about twilight ! It's the time when we coexist. The time before its fully day or absolute night. We spend this time existing together, yet away from each other. I usually spend it taking a silent tour of the world while you sit here on the mountain top. So tell me, what so beautiful here ?".
My heart had stopped beating, my gaping mouth wouldn't shut, the world seemed tipsy. Did she just say " exist together "? Understanding my confusion, she slowly explained. " Twilight is the time when day merges in to night, and when the night blends into yet another beautiful day. So what is so beautiful here that you have let your darkness blind you into not realizing the twilight ?". "You". That was all I could say.

She was red as a rose, her eyes half closed as if in a silent prayer. When she looked at me, there was only love, pure unconditional love. " I thought you would never say it. I have waited for so long to hear this. I fell for you the very first time I laid my eyes on you. Your blue-black eyes glinting with a hint of mischief, your dark skin like the shiny coat of a black panther, the blue fire that burns in you, promising passion and commitment. That wild smile mirroring your wildfire like soul. Your twisted horns, a pledge of pain to the wrongdoers. Tall and strong, you were like no one I had ever met. I felt my fluttering heart calm down, like a crazy day ending in a silent night".

She was like a fountain overflowing with love and warmth. She had seen through my dark and twisty soul and had loved me all these years. Just as I embraced her, we heard the stifled cries of Sasha, one of our human. Her boyfriend Tim had proposed last night, but Sasha had walked away in tears leaving Tim alone and lonely.

Sasha was a lot like me. She had had a troubled childhood being tossed around foster homes much like how I had been tossed around uncle Yesterday and uncle Tomorrow in my formative years. Yesterday was grumpy and whipped me, while Tomorrow was crazy and unpredictable, and I got caught in his mad plans. The things I had seen and done as 'Night' were unspeakable, overshadowing the good in me. Sasha had tried to outgrow her past and had built a life for herself. Her grief and anger painted beautiful pictures on the canvas. It was at an art gallery that she had met Tim. He was from a respectable family, well-bred and humble boy. He was cop, and I had often seen him chase a filthy crook through the night, ensuring the city's safety. Being an art enthusiast, he had soon took a liking to Sasha's soulful paintings. What started as an acquaintance had soon progressed to love. On this fine cool night, Tim had bought Sasha to the same art gallery where they first met, had gone down on one knee and held out a diamond ring. It was a simple elegant proposal which did not meet the end it deserved.

Photine sighed beside me. "I don’t understand why she refused. We have both seen them grow to love each other despite their differences. We have seen them fight and reconcile. We have seen them happy together. Mad girl! Tim is such an eligible mate!". But I understood. I knew. When you are so broken on the inside and are holding yourself together with tape and glue, it is difficult to trust anyone to an extent where they are capable of hurting you. They might not, but the sheer possibility of it is scary. The sheer promise of true love seems improbable. "I understand Photine. She is scared. She doesn't want to lose him, however, she is also scared to let him so close to her heart. You would understand if you were as broken as me. You are like Tim. Perfect in every sense". I had uttered it with more spite than I realised. When I turned to face her, she was tearful. She stood up and walked away leaving me alone. I felt stupid. I called after her, but the Sun was up the horizon and I had to leave.

I waited for dusk like a hungry animal. I dashed through the space to reach the mountain top. She wouldn’t even look at me. I had to wait for her anger to pass. I spent the Moon time watching Sasha's cry-stop-cry cycle. My own heart was heavy with guilt and pain. I couldn't even ease Sasha to sleep or calm her with my colourful dreams. At dawn I saw Photine arrive as usual. But that heart warming smile was absent. Days turned to weeks and I had stopped paying attention to anything or anyone. My horns twisted more and more with the guilt of hurting my loved one, and the only one who ever loved me! This wretched being. My eyes had turned a few shades darker. The blue light in me was dimmer, threatening to burn out. I had to make this right.

That night, I eased Sasha's restless mind into a deep slumber. I carried her in my arms through the clouds of happy dreams, promising her a happy future with Tim. I showed her how they had struggled past their differences and had found each other. How they had fallen in love. How well they understood each other. How she had to let go of her past and welcome the future with open arms. Then I went to Tim, he had been up for weeks unable to sleep. He had never felt this lonely and vulnerable. He had never seen this sort of darkness. I eased him into a gentle sleep, showed him that Sasha was the light at the end of this tunnel. He only had to try again and not give up. When dawn arrived I felt happy that I had done my part. I greeted Photine with a smile and expressed my wish to talk to her. She only shook her head and walked off. I knew she need time. It could be centuries before she ever spoke to me again. But I will wait.

When dusk came, I walked toward the mountain top for yet another restless night. Little did I know what awaited me. As I reached my destination I was shocked to see Photine, Sasha and Tim sitting together and laughing. I could see the beautiful diamond ring on Sasha’s finger. I air smelled like lavender. When they saw me, Sasha and Tim rose and ran towards me. They embraced me with such love, that I could feel the blue light in me burn brighter. They joyfully explained how they had both had dreams of each other, only to wake up in the morning with love brimming in their very souls. Tim had greeted her that morning at her workshop and proposed again. Sasha had agreed this time locking her lips with his. Thanking me and Photine they bid us goodbye. I was still wide eyed as I sat next to Photine. "You did it! You reunited them. I had tried to cross their paths so many times in the day, but they refused to talk to each other. But your dreams moved their souls. You are truly amazing."

It was truth time, my chance to make things right for us." I'm sorry Photine that I hurt you. Its just who I am. I have seen so many failures, so many tears and dark nights…people give up on me. I am the time they cry their hearts out, time when they give up on their dreams, time when they return home from a long day's work only to find themselves alone and mourn their losses. This is the time their lust, their darkest desires come to play. It is the time when I have seen betrayal, infidelity, and gore crimes rampant! It’s the time for thieves and murderers! My intension was not to hurt you. I stated bluntly how both me and Sasha were broken souls, and that you, like Tim wasn't, and so you wouldn’t understand. But I never realised that, in that very moment I broke you, I hurt you. So I'm very sorry. I can't imagine a world without you, even if we can coexist only in twilight".

Photine smiled as she took my hand. She looked at me like I was a child and gently stroked my head. “You think that’s bad? I see people lie behind each other’s back, rob in broad daylight, con each other into believing what they want to, but never the truth. I have seen men hide behind smiles as they drive knives into each other’s hearts and dismantle each other’s homes! Those are the worst kind of monsters! It breaks me so hard, but I keep myself together. Those few moments of prayer, moments of true joy keep me going. Every day at dusk and dawn I wait to meet you, for seeing you gives me hope, hope that another day is possible!".

We were so different, yet so much alike; our experiences worlds apart, yet abiding by the karma. It was time, the time I had been waiting for, for centuries now. "Photine, we may not be perfect, we are in fact broken, broken into a billion pieces. But our broken pieces fit together so perfectly. I love you."

Tim and Sasha watched as the day and night merged into one perfect moment.

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