the deal - Book 1

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Could this be what Mr D had been talking about? I cannot be sure, but I cannot deny the feeling growing within me, that it is so. And even if it is, how is it supposed to help me? I have no answer, only the faint feeling growing in certainty.

It is beautiful though. I cannot take my eyes off it. Even after the darkness takes over, and returns me to the room at the hospital, I cannot take it away from my eyes. It is like my eyes had soaked in the blueness, and now see it everywhere. Everything is drenched in the blue. Even the white walls of my room are under a shade of blue. Invisible to my eye until then, but having seen it once I now see it everywhere. It is like a wisp of smoke hanging over everything. With tiny swirls, baby gales, oozing out. As if connecting it with the rest of the blue. The blue over everything was same. It had been the same on the car too.

I was in the back, with Aniya sleeping happily in my embrace. I could see the four pairs of eyes on me, and I returned their gaze. Only to be met with teasing smiles, knowing smiles. Like there was this secret that they all knew. I couldn’t help but return the smile, like I knew the secret too. It didn’t really matter though. I was happy.

I could almost hear the silent conversation between the four of them. Catch bits of it floating in the air between them, quiet whispers that were too far to make out the words of. But I could hear them. And I could see the flash of understanding across the four faces, as each took part, replying and adding to the conversation. Maybe because it had something to do with me, or maybe it was something else. I couldn’t know. It took all of me from collapsing into colours of embarrassment. Feigning ignorance was my best option. Thankfully there was Aniya to distract me.

Pulling her imperceptibly closer, I felt the warmth grow in me. Starting in the depths of my chest, and spreading out to the rest of me. And it all started with her present, her whispering in my ear. It was our secret for now. There would come a time when we would have to share, but that was still far. For now, I was indescribably happy with just as we were, Aniya and me. Resting my head on hers, I could almost see the tiniest of smile break out on her sleeping face. And it sent a tide of warm currents coursing through me.

It was always easy for her to find sleep in the car. It was as if the gentle vibrations of the car riding the road was the best lullaby there could be. Unless she wanted to stay awake, she could be asleep within a minute in the moving car. And her sleeping by me was my lullaby, as if her sleep was infectious. When we were little, we would sit between mom and aunt, them watching over us as we slept. As we grew, and the seat started to shrink for the four of us, Aniya and I found our comfort in the back. The entire seat to ourselves, where we could even lay down to sleep. Even at sixteen, we were perfectly comfortable in the back. So easily falling asleep. But we were sitting now, resting against each other comfortably.

As I nestled against her, I felt the change. The gentle vibrations of the car were gone. Replaced by the absolute calm. We were floating. But it felt so much better. As if this was how heaven felt. I wished the feeling would last forever, but it was a wish that couldn’t be.

It was as if I had grown limitlessly sensitive. I could feel everything around me. The subtle changes in the air, the almost too slight to notice changes in the car. And then I saw it. Wrapping itself around the car. The tiny swirls leaping off the blue hanging on the car in a rush. For the briefest moment, everything froze. And then, came the crash.

The colours filling the car were so much more beautiful with the blue shrouding everything. Every piece of glass, every tiny spark. Everything was in the embrace of the blue. When it came to a stop, the world upside down, I saw Aniya by me, and an audible gasp broke out of me. She was wrapped in a thick blanket of blue, darker than everything else, heavier. The gales leaping off the blue were stronger too, bigger. Filling me with dread.

Fighting the pain, I turned myself about toward the front. Toward dad, to the steering wheel crushing into his chest. He was under a shower of red, and above it hung the blue. It was thick on dad too. But even as I kept looking, it started to thin. Like the gales leaping off were taking along the blue too. Sucking it off dad. For some unfathomable reason, it terrified me. I felt like I had figured out something, but couldn’t figure out for the life of me what it was.

I could see the darkness coming over. The incredible pain pushing me into the open arms of the darkness. Looking out the front of the car, beyond dad, through the steam spit out by the road, I saw him. Dissolving out of the night around him. Looking straight at the car with an unflinching stare. Looking straight at me. A shiver coursed through me, chilling my spine. In that moment, there was no more doubt. He knew me. There was also the slightest feeling in me, like I knew him too.

The moment stretched on endlessly, as I remained staring into his distant eyes. The darkness was growing stronger over me, pulling me in. I had almost lost all sight, when I remembered. There was something I had to do. Forcing myself beyond what I could endure, I twisted beyond my limits. Tears were streaming down, scorching my face. I could feel them leaving behind trails of burnt skin. And even then I couldn’t see mom. But I could see the gales leaping off the heavy blue shrouding her. They were enough to tell me she was the same as Aniya, and dad. The attempt to see more spent me of resistance and I fell into the darkness.

The white room is changed. The longer I see, the more the brilliance of the blue grows. As if changing my very eyes, my very sight. It feels like I am seeing the world truly for the first time, and the more I see of the blue, the more of the truth I am able to reach. It feels right, the blue reaching out to me. I feel increasingly compelled to fail the resistance. Yet, there is something else.

It feels as if there is something right in front of me that I am unable to see. And it feels like I can only hold myself responsible. What is it that is so important that I am unable to see? The question tears through my head. I cannot be here. I need to be anywhere but here. I need to throw myself away from the darkness that seems to be returning for me.

The fear I feel in me vanishes instantly as I find myself in Aniya’s room. The invisible glass still separating us. Even though there are no doctors operating on her, even if she no longer is in the operation theatre. Even though she is strapped onto the bed by the many tubes and machines. I recognise them as the same I am connected to. The room is the same too, the same white, under the same shade of blue with similar gales leaping off it. I see the blue around her, the same as in the car. Thick. Heavy. The rush of the gales has subsided, more subdued. But the blue is still very dark. It feels perilously so.

The rush of emotion is too strong. I collapse under it, falling to my knees. Crying. It is unbearably painful looking at Aniya. Hurt. In pain. I can’t even be sure if she is only sleeping or too far gone. The blue around her feeds the fear.

Wiping away the tears, I look at my hands. And what I see stuns me. I keep looking at my hands for the longest while, unmoving. Trying to make sense of what I am seeing. It takes a while to fall into place, for the thought to click in my head. I am looking at what was so important that I wasn’t able to see.

On my feet, I walk to the mirror. And see myself. The blue is around me too, shrouding me whole. But it is different. It is a thin layer, with no gales leaping off it. With nothing disturbing it’s calm. Like it is completely disconnected from the blue of the world around it. Or like they are both inseparably one.

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