This week’s prompt is as follows:
Put your music player on shuffle, skip forward 5 songs. Incorporate the opening line of the song you land on into your piece.
The song I landed on was “Things Are Changing” by Gary Clark Jr. Here’s my take:
Things are changing now and I can’t tell where I’ll be from here on out. The thought scared her.
She flaunted her flaws unapologetically. She wore no make up, save a touch of her usual red lipstick and the smudges of last night’s kohl below her eyes. She fingered the rim of her cup absentmindedly, the steam still rising though the foam had cleared.
Dani’s was rarely more than a third full just past 9 am on a weekday morning, and the peace was welcoming. Perks of working irregular hours, she thought, before catching herself. Perks of not working at all, she corrected herself bitterly.
She stared at the empty chair across from her. It had usually been unoccupied, but today of all days, she felt the emptiness. It was like realising that work was a whole lot more bearable with the boss away on vacation, but eventually he’d have to return. It was merely a matter of fact, something which you’d express little more than vague displeasure over. Just like that today it brought an irksome discomfort; though the solitude that she had embraced before, returned abruptly, wasn’t wholly unwelcome.
So caught up was she in the nothingness of her current existence, that she didn’t notice the waiter approaching her, until there was a clink of china as he set her breakfast down before her.
With one sweeping movement, she transferred her hair from the nape of her neck to the side, the tumble of curls obscuring her face from the window she sat adjacent to. Giving her food a sideways glance, she knew that despite her sour mood, she was ravenous.
Sana got the song “Tum Duur Thay Tou Kia Hua” by Junaid Jamshed. Here’s her piece:
Sitting by the window of the cafe, looking out at the street that was giving away all the signs of life, quite a contrary to the deafening silence and lifelessness of her own heart. People walking up and down that long widening street, under the scorching heat, as beads of sweat trickle down their face, their eyes look up to the sky in a silent prayer for rain. After what seemed like a million hours, she finally got up and headed out after paying the check. Yet another day of sitting at the corner table, lementing over what’s been lost. Only problem was, she wasn’t quite sure what exactly it is that she lost!
Another day, another attempt, another cup of coffee by the same window. Same old faces, longing for the serenity to pour down on them from up above, same hustle and bustle. But today felt a little different, despite everything being the same, nothing felt the same. She could sense it, but couldnt really feel it; Yet! As she tries to mull over that shift within, Sun shies away and hides behind the dark clouds. All of a sudden, as it starts to rain her surrounding changed drastically and yet so subtly. There’s still the same fuss out on the street, yet it’s not the same anymore. Everyone who longed for rain, now that it’s finally here, run to find a shelter! Right there, watching the rain coming down hard on them, seeing God answering their prayers, she found the missing piece!
At long last, she knew what it was that she lost! That hollow feeling in her gut was still there, but she embraced it this time. She had it all, and yet she didn’t have it at all! But she didn’t push her luck. For now it was enough that she’s found the bad root. For now it wasn’t necessary to pull it out yet! She could live with it! For now, it was enough!
As she walks out of the cafe, the song being played inside made her shiver even before she stepped outside in the rain. The words kept ringing in her ears long after it was out of her hearings!
“Tum dur the tou kya hua,
Tum mil gaye tou kya hua,
Veeraniyaan, kum na hui,
Tanhaa tha mai, tanhaa raha“