I Ask No Man Pardon: O Murdress!

Subi Kumari

“This world, you know, is concrete. And did I mention cold?” I said laying on the bed. My lower body was inside the black velvety quilt. I put a cigarette between my lips, unburnt.

“Ya. It’s pretty cold in December.” She spoke in a husky tone. She was sitting just beside me, putting on her turquoise socks that changed colour in the sunlit room.

“It’s always cold here. Why blame December?” I was looking at her feet (slightly cracked and dusty; perfect), cigarette still between my lips, still unburnt. I added, “It’s cold in a very wrong way. So cold, you don’t want to step out.” She moved one side of her head and looked at me, her golden long curls covering half of her face, sunlight covering the rest and the ends of the curls covering her areolas. She looked like a moon or an eclipse if I may. I could see the freckles on her chest that would guide you toward the gap between her breasts and your eyes would glide through the dusk of her skin. Your eyes can’t help but slither. She looked at me and smiled.

“Don’t step out then, you’d freeze.” She said as she got up from the bed, searching for something.

“What are you looking for?” My lips murmured and my eyes followed her. She put her hair behind her ears and got on the bed on her knees, holding something in her hand. Who gives a damn about what she was holding, anyway! She came closer as she bent over me, put one hand on my forehead and took the cigarette out of my mouth with the other. All this while she was looking right into my eyes and I was looking into hers.

If you ask me, I swear, her eyes didn’t belong to any world you and I know about. They were small, darkest shade of brown, crystal clear and always filled with enough tears to make your thoughts swim. Pardon me, but amateurs would drown and complain. She got a little away from me, sat on my thighs (covered with the quilt. How much my skin craved to feel the stubble of her thighs!) and opened her fist. “I was searching for the lighter.” She said as she finally took her eyes off my eyes and fixed them on the cigarette which was now between her lips. Lucky nicotine! She burnt the cigarette.

If you ask me, I swear, I had never seen a face covered in smoke looking so surreal. I sighed. I touched her. I caressed her in the warmest way possible with my cold hands, moving my fingers all over her freckled face. She closed her eyes, her lips deviated, she sighed. The next moment, she was sitting beside me, stretching her legs. She passed on the cigarette to me without taking any drag.

“Why didn’t you smoke?” I asked. “I lit it for you. It’s cold for you here. Don’t step out. You’d freeze.” She looked down to glide her lacy white underwear through her legs and made it reach her waist, travelling through her hips. My eyes followed the trajectory of the underwear. She continued, “Or maybe, you won’t. You won’t freeze if you are concrete. You won’t freeze if your body is made up of skin and bones but your soul is made up of bricks. The bricks held together so tightly that your soul can’t breathe.”

“It’s very trivial, you think, for your soul to breathe because it’s alive” , I said, “And you know it’s alive just because your body is alive.”

She took the cigarette from me and looked into my eyes. She asked, “Aren’t we all but alive? Even the ones without body.” She smoked. I looked outside. The room was huge, had glass walls that provided a perfect view of the trees outside. I looked back at her and I was instantly regretful for moving my eyes away from her for a second to look at the trees. I must have missed a lot. I was sorry. I shouldn’t have nickel-and-dimed her artistry. I must have missed a lifetime in a second.

“Do you really feel you’re alive, Aashka?” I turned my face toward her and questioned. She kept the cigarette aside. Picked up the black bralette from the bedside table and asked me to turn my back toward her. I did. I would do anything she’d ask me to do.

She took my one hand, put the strap through it and did the same to the other, adjusted the cups of the bra on my small breasts (slightly touching them) and spoke, “ I feel ‘we’re’ alive, Naina. I finally feel everything is alive. Now that I know how dead I was, I finally feel alive. You’ve breathed live into me in a night and I hope I didn’t kill you.”

“O murdress, I’m dead!” I said. “I am so jealous of Donne. You remember all of his words by heart. So glad that you’re not bisexual” , she said. “Donne isn’t alive or else I could have been bisexual” , I tried to reciprocate. “Shut up now. Too much of Donne for a day” , she said as she smiled. “A poem of Donne a day, keeps the embarrassment of answering an unanswerable question away” , I said and we both started to laugh.

She hooked my bra and I turned to her. I looked at her (our laughs turned into genuine smile) and I knew that she was the one girl I’d go out in the cold world and freeze for, letting my soul breathe. I took a drag of the cigarette, leaned in to reach her and covered her neck with my breath and smoke. The smoke melted all over her body. All of this offered me a trip to the horizon filled with multiple stars that her freckles were, dipped in the clouds of smoke. She bit her lower lip as she shivered and closed her eyes. I wrapped her in my arms and kissed her the way an alive person would kiss an alive person. My lips felt the mole on her lips and I couldn’t help but move my tongue all over her lips. Our eyes were closed but we could see how we felt. She crossed her legs around my waist and tightened the grip. Her hands were on my shoulder and my one hand reached out for her hips , travelled all the way up through her back and reached her golden tresses.

I pulled her hair back with one hand , tied it into a bun and with the other hand, I pushed her closer to me by her waist. I haven’t felt so strong and so weak at the same time. My eyes were on her face, irresistibly freckled dusky face. Closed eyes and opened lips craving for I knew what. I went in closer to her collar bone and breathed again. The warmth made her stretch her back in pleasure and her breasts ended up touching mine. I moaned. “I think I am in love, Aashka” , I murmured. “I know I am in love, Naina” , she said. I pulled her hair back again, leaned toward her neck yet again and moved the tip of my tongue all over her collar and throat as she rubbed her breasts passionately against mine. She held me tightly, her nails digging into my skin.

“You are unreal. Tell me you are just in my head.” She said and she moved her body sitting on my lap with her legs crossed around my waist. I could feel the warmth.

“Would you allow me to kiss you wildly in your head until we start shivering if I tell you it’s unreal?” I murmured in her ears.

“Humans are so complicated. They keep on asking about the obvious” , she said as she went on to bite my lips. “O murdress, you’ve made me alive again” , she said and chuckled. I couldn’t help but kiss her all over again.

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