The Strangers

She was sitting alone at the bar counter, indulging her fluttery eyes with Picture of Dorian Gray, carefully leafing through the pages with her porcelain, slender fingers while listening to the soft and mellow Bill Evans’ Blue in Green and slowly sipping her Soixante Quinze as it produces more cold mists on its glass.

He was there, alone as well– making his way towards the nymph with a light blue-coloured silk dress. The scent of expensive alcoholic drinks and cigarettes are wafting through the air, combined with the chatters and fine music revolving the room, and the pale lights and gloomy yet sophisticated interior…these things only made her standout, like Sir Ernest Cassel’s pink diamond on a Strawberries Arnaud.

The band kept playing, and it felt as if he was being pulled towards her on every note from the music and her fragrance. Lily, was the first note. Elegant, refined. A woman with a pure heart and full of aspirations. Iris. Second note. Dominator. A woman who is free-spirited, a wanderer. White musk, last but not the least, was the base note. Classic, mysterious. A woman with a mind as vast as the forest, and as deep as the ocean.

He found himself finally standing beside her, but his presence was of no significance to her realm.

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” He said. At last, the woman folded the page and closed the book to grace him with a glance. He was pleased to see her smile so vividly.

“Not a sparrow falls to the ground without him seeing it…but if it falls, just the same. What good is seeing it fall?” She replied, and he chuckled. “The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain, his least known writing.” he answered. “Would you mind if a being out of the pages accompany you?” She smiled once again to reply, “not at all.”

He sat on the bar stool at the left side of the woman and called the bartender for a Martini. She placed the book on the other side and entertained her drink. She took a sip, and the man took his when the waiter handed the drink.

“Austen.” She said.

“Fitzgerald.” He answered.



“What a philanderer,” despite of such remark, she chuckled while he took a sip from his glass. “I can see it just by knowing your preferences.” She added.

“Milady, a romanticist and dignified one, why do you come here to read books knowing that you will encounter a ‘philanderer’ such as me?” he quoted.

She laughed, her eyes fluttered and bit her lip. “It’s not bad at all. But if you didn’t know Wilde nor Twain, my eyes wouldn’t leave my book.”

Their conversation started almost twelve midnight and ended at two in the morning, leaving both of them drunk and blabbering things that still made sense to them and not for others. They didn’t go back to their respective houses, instead, they went to a hotel, slowly held themselves between each other’s arms and swayed without music– just a drunken memory of the fine jazz from the bistro as their background.

Hands started to have their own will and wander, lips slowly reached out each other. They ended up peeling each other’s raiment and making love– to him, they were strangers just a few hours ago and are now completely open with one another, sharing the same thoughts, lust, rhythm, passion as if they were a single soul separated by fate only to find one another full in age and of wisdom.

Light came streaking through the oak-colored window blinds, bringing such intolerable agony in his eyes that caused him to wake up from a deep sleep. He rubbed his eyes, faced the other side of the bed only to find out she was no longer there.

He was back to reality indeed. The sound from the busy streets– cars honking from traffic, sound of people protesting against the parliament, the chugging sound from the nearby train.

Without her, the room looked very dull and dark, and cold with its monotonous colors of autumn. It felt, as if, he was not whole – he was missing something, and only she could complement him.

He roamed his eyes on the dreary environment and laid his eyes on the lamp table left with a note.

“There could have never been two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison, no countenances so beloved.”

Reading these words hurt him more, because the nymph with the light blue-coloured silk dress never opened her heart to him.

Not even a second.



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“Everything is just an illusion,” he said, smiling at me. The wind on a 16-story building was cold and strong that it almost blew me off my feet. He leaned against the railing and looked at the people below. I followed.
None of them could notice us and take even a short glance.
“They don’t care about the people around them, including us. Because we are not part of their world. They go on with their lives thinking that each day is different and new but the truth is, they just go around in circles. They are bound to do certain things, and discard those that they are not made for.”
I stared at him and he returned my gaze.
“You know what? I want to be a bird. I believe I can do it. If I won’t try to fly then I wouldn’t know, right?”
He stood on the railing, tiptoed. He closed his eyes and spread his arms.
He let the wind blew him away, and fell head first.
Now, people took notice of him. He has become a part of their illusion, something that is hard to forget. Everyone below paused. Mouths were open but there was no sound. Eyes stare blank, like machines that hang from a glitch.
I wish he really became a bird in his illusion.
But in mine, he was just a rotten egg who thought he became a chick.
An now his yolk is spilling on the streets.


featured photo: Artwork by Asano Inio