Stories from Agha Gate

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With its numb fingers and nippy breath, recedes December down in my heart. I walk to the window that swings open with every gush of wind and shuts even forcefully. I cannot recall when and how did the latch break. It’s the little things we ignore that cause the most inconvenience. The specters of the past resurrect in the maddening chill of this weather. I suddenly remember things I had shoved in the outhouse of my heart. Reclining in the armchair, I close my eyes to surrender to these involuntary thoughts. They rain over me. Incessantly. I remember the little yellow lights glowing on the roof of the Agha Gate Café, where we would sit for hours and relish the dreamy Posset. The lights would dim after ten at night, and they would light the candlesticks on the table. I remember your hazel eyes fixed on me, your hands navigating towards my thighs under the table, my hand interrupting yours further and that hearty laugh we would break into together!

Agha Gate had watched us happen and grow in love. It had witnessed me waiting long hours on window side table. It had witnessed you sneaking inside and pecking on my cheek secretly, It had also witnessed me getting surprised each time you did that. The warm roof lights cascaded on our interlocked fingers, the wooden table top kept our hands steady. Everything at the Agha Gate conspired to unite us, every time, everyday. On the way back home you would hold my cold hands and place them in the pocket of your overcoat. Your hands were always warm. And your lips, weightless on mine, yet touching every chord in my heart. How gentle was your love. Your balmy fingers mapping my naked back. Your stubble ticking my collarbone when you would come closer to kiss my neck. Everything about you was maddening, no different that this weather. We would make love amidst the borrowed books from that library across the street, among the piling bills and boiling milk on the stove. Waking up to the burnt milk and unread books gathering dust. Grabbing our coats and running down the street, to Agha Gate, to relish the Possum, where space and time melted. Where the bills were steady, milk unburnt, and love effortless.

Now I walk alone back home with my cold hands in the cold pockets of your old coat. Agha Gate has watched us fall in love, and fall harder. I take the same street back home. I wait on that table under the same lights, so you know where to find me, when you do.

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