Passing Afternoon

The afternoon sky

It was a particularly sunny Saturday morning, the sun was merciless, the heat was beating down on Ammu as she ran into her bedroom drying herself after the bath.
She switched on the fan and turned it to full speed trying to wipe the perspiration off her face and neck, she could feel the water dripping and running in between her breasts; tingling and ticklish; She stifled her giggle.

It was peak summer and was reported that the worst heat wave was yet to come; she wondered if it would be okay to wander around with a bra and shorts on if it comes to that, men are allowed so why not us. An amused smile crept onto her face as she imagined the horrified face of her mom if she were to dress like that now.

She was thinking these thoughts and cooling herself under the fan when her mom called to say that her breakfast was getting cold. She dressed hurriedly and went into the living room.
Hot steaming idlis and green chutney were ready on the table. She took her plate and sat under the fan, waiting for the idlis to cool down. She looked up to see the fan going round and round, the 3 winged bird, all 3 wings blurring into one making her dizzy. She shook her head trying to clear the dizziness and thought of how the world would survive without this greatest invention of all time, how the world would burn and crumble down in the heat without a fan. 

The shrill ringing of her phone interrupted her fan thoughts. It was her friend making saturday plans and after chatting for 2 hours by which time the idlis turned cold and were nibbled on, details on where to meet and when to meet and what to wear were discussed, pondered over, meditated about and rejected. Gossip was shared, details exploited along with bitching about him and her.
The idea of inviting those cute guys from work was teased around and approved. Other friends were contacted and the plan was finalised. 

They decided to meet at the new place for lunch that was giving away free beers and what to wear was left to the mood of the minute while getting ready. 

It was an unusually long weekend and thoughts of work, responsibility were shoved back into the black hole of the mind.
Any complaints about the heat was forgotten in anticipation of meeting friends and free beers and cute guys and selfies and dancing. 

The cupboard door was thrown open and dresses flew around, getting rejected by the girl with luminous eyes and long hair.
Ammu decided on a maroon dress with a flare and all the other rejected dresses lying in the corner in a heap looked at the Maroon fairy with sad and jealous eyes. A brief nap was considered but abandoned. 

After an hour and more the Maroon fairy took one last look at herself in the mirror and twirled in joy at the sight of herself. A thousand pictures from a hundred different angles were clicked and her phone sighed in relief when the ordeal was over.

An uber was called, her mother kissed her goodbye, her father beamed at her and the Maroon fairy with luminous eyes and long hair, with shining earrings and black heels climbed into the car and took off.

Her friends and the cute guys from work were waiting for her at the place where they were giving away free beers. Hugs and kisses were exchanged, dresses were admired, the colour of the nail paint was noticed and complimented. Banter about nothing in particular started and a sort of gay abandon settled over the group like a transparent cloud of happiness. 

Lunch and drinks were ordered and the noise of their banter carried over the sound of cutlery and clinking glasses. A surprised Maroon fairy and one of the cute guys from work exchanged glances, then smiles, then words and then stories that went on through the evening.

It was suddenly dark by the time they finished lunch. All of them swayed and rocked towards the dance floor that they had never once noticed all afternoon.
The Maroon fairy was tipsy but bravely managed to reach the dance floor hand in hand with the cute guy. The dance floor was never ending, stretching for as long as she could see, the entire gang crowded together even though there was a lot of space on the floor.
Confused but drunk she blissfully drank the alcohol that somehow never stopped appearing in her hand. Her feet moved, she swayed and danced the dance of a Maroon fairy in heels, happy and beautiful. She looked into the eyes of the cute guy as they danced together to the slow tune of a song whose lyrics she couldn’t hear, his arms around her.

Someone tapped on her shoulder and she turned around and saw the cute guy approach her from one end of the dance floor, smiling, walking, running and then suddenly shouting. 

She couldn’t hear him clearly over the music but as he ran faster she could make out that he was calling her name; smiling, running, shouting, frowning and then suddenly as if the cloud of happiness exploded she could very clearly hear her mom’s voice and the blurry form of the cute guy. 

He disappeared completely but she could still hear her mom screaming her name, confused she opened her eyes.

She stared at the ceiling where a 3 winged bird flew humming a monotonous tune that had put her to sleep that Saturday afternoon.

She woke up bleary and blacked eyed, kajal smudged and stuck to her face; disheveled hair and an old T-shirt and pant that was half drenched in sweat and half dry. A pattern of one of the flowers from her pillow case imprinted on one of her cheeks.
She looked at her phone, a notification with people standing in line to buy alcohol caught her eye and she groaned. Completely shook out of the dream and pushed into a quarantined world. 

She looked sadly at the heap of clothes waiting to be folded in one corner of her room. Then her mom screamed again to check if she was awake. Coffee was ready with a few words of wisdom about laziness from her mom. 

The Maroon fairy sipped coffee and tried to remember the detail of her dress, on the dance floor, the face of the cute guy and  finally gave up. 

She thought of thoughts about wearing a bra and shorts and about the greatest invention of all time as she folded clothes on that Saturday afternoon.

Image Source: Vaishnavi