Some feelings in the world are indescribable.
Like the feel of the first rain; the rich smell of mud after it. Like the sound of wind rushing through the trees, the sun peeping out on a cloudy day, a warm hug.
The feeling when she first looked into his eyes.
The feeling when she looked at him for the very last time.
No matter where he was, the first rain always brought him memories. Some he wanted to cling on to that were drifting away and some others he wished to abandon, but they clung to him like the smell of smoke long after the fire is gone.
The rain poured furiously but there was no petrichor. The absence of earth around irked him. He distrusted this induced rain that fell on blocks and blocks of buildings and roads. It made him miss the smell of mud back home, which in turn made him miss home. And missing home made him weak. Feelings made one weak and he needed to be strong.
The first rain reminded him of home – more specifically the last day he spent there. He had been so young and had been trying to prove himself as requisite. Now, looking back it made him wonder whom he was trying to prove himself to - the others or maybe it was himself? His aunt, the clan’s leader had convinced him to marry. He had been hesitant but had agreed finally. He wanted to please her and his family. He wanted to belong.
The first time he saw her, he had no words to describe how he felt. No, he didn’t fall in love. He didn’t really like her. But, there was something about her that he couldn’t put into words. He didn’t know how to describe what he felt when he saw her. He always looked into people’s eyes when he first met them. He didn’t know why he did it. Maybe, it was because he felt conscious of his own. Her eyes were light brown. At once he saw kindness, but there was strength in them too. Kind and strong – a powerful combination.
On his aunt’s insistence, he courted her a few times, though he didn’t really like her. And then they were married – for a few days. She refused to stay with him and ran away their first night together. She was caught by two of his aunt’s guards. She was locked up and he refused to see her. He was hurt and it surprised him. The head advisors insisted he killed her by his hand. That was the rule. Anyone who insulted the clan’s leader and family had to be punished – by death. She had insulted them by running off to another man after being married to him – the heir. Marriage was an immense matter in his clan - especially that of an heir.
He finally went to see her two days after their wedding. She was locked behind bars and it looked like they had starved her. When she looked at him, he didn’t see regret in her light brown eyes. He saw courage and the kindness that she always had in her.
Do what may he couldn’t forget her; what he did to her. He could still remember the crowd’s shouts asking him to kill her for insulting the heir and his clan. He stood at the centre of the crowd that night as she was dragged towards him. He stood still. The air was dense with the voices of hate. Their anticipation crackled in the air like fierce lightning. It made him anxious. He couldn’t understand what he felt; he was overwhelmed.
He looked at his aunt, who nodded once. He looked at his wife of two days, who smiled like she had already forgiven him. The first rain of the year made its presence. He lifted his sword as she shrugged off the two guards holding her in front of him. She stood straight, her eyes on him - only him, even though above the crowd’s voices, her father’s pleas for forgiveness were heard.
He steadied himself with a deep breath as he remembered how she didn’t love him and how he didn’t love her. He looked at her – really looked at her. The drops of rain on her hair sparkled as the light from the fire hit them. She smiled and that’s when he realized he might have felt something for her. Something he couldn’t completely describe. But, she had betrayed him.
Her eyes never wavered from his as he plunged his sword into her heart. And as he did, he felt like he lost his too.
Perhaps Ah’n had felt something for her. Maybe, that’s why it had hurt when she’d run.
He didn’t have the words to describe what he went through that night – though he was sure he’d lost something very important in him. And, the first rain always reminded him of that night, no matter which world he was on, no matter which part of the Universe.
He had killed a traitor and the clan had praised him. He’d gathered respect from them and lost something in him. Even after a long time, he remembered the last look in her eyes - for him.
Ah’n couldn’t escape the torment of it.
Even after hundreds of years.