When I opened my eyes, it was dark and cold. I was lying on the ground, on the grass. I could feel something cold running through my body. Ah! It’s drizzling. I was trying to recollect what had happened. Oh shit! What have I done? I’ve slept. I’ve overslept! What have I done? I lost it. After all this effort, I’ve lost it all.
Sunsets have always been my thing. I’ve watched a lot of them. Watching the sun leave the world from the top of Lover’s Leap Mountain all by myself was one of my greatest dreams since I was a kid. I’ve always enjoyed my own company. But having had typically overprotective Sri Lankan parents, I had to wait 21 years till I was permitted to travel alone. Having lived 25 years on earth, I had the privilege to travel to Nuwara Eliya all by myself and watch the SUNSET, just to end up disappointed. I’ve missed it over a small nap.
I’ve never been disappointed in my entire life and here I am feeling disappointed in a way. I decided to leave. I couldn’t keep on blaming myself. It was 6.50pm and the sky was filled with thick black clouds. There was no use staying here now. Just then I heard a thin, bird like voice behind me.
“Saman?” It didn’t take me a second to realise that it was a girl.
“Oh Saman. You finally came.” And with that, two ice cold hands wrapped me tight from behind.
“Oh Saman, I knew you would come back”
I froze. I froze against her cold hands. I froze out of shock. I couldn’t move and had to wait till the girl turned me towards her.
BANG! I had a feeling as if my entire world exploded.
I COULDN’T BELIEVE MY EYES!
What was that, standing in front of me? She was definitely not human. I didn’t know if I should scream or cry. I was lost in words. She cannot be human. No way!
She was a replica of heaven. I could not believe if there were anyone in the world as angelic as her. In her long white dress and hijab, she looked like the Goddess Venus. I just couldn’t believe my eyes.
When a smile started forming in my face, I could see the beautiful smile on hers was fading. I knew the reason behind this, I was not Saman. But who is Saman? In that moment I wished I was someone else, anyone she wanted me to be.
“What’s wrong?” I asked in the most pleasant tone I’ve ever used in my entire life.
“I thought you were my Saman” she said. “You felt like him. I thought it was him” She started trembling. She was shaking. Her white skin had gone paler. I quickly took hold of her to prevent her from falling. The minute I held her, my entire body froze. My nerves were sending frozen signals through the whole entity of my body. She was way too cold. For the first time in my life, I started truly worrying about another. I was worried about her. What I did next surprised her. It still surprises me, even now. I removed my jacket and put it over her, to keep her warm. And I hugged her tight. As I held her in my arms, all I could feel was love. She who made me chilled was making me warm. Even though she didn’t hug me back. She didn’t withdraw. I kissed her head and stroked her hair. Thoughts of love started bubbling in my heart. After a long time, I let go of her. I stroked her face with my hands.
“I’m sorry, you are not Saman” she said with a sob.
“I’m sorry too, I’m Sahan” I said.
She sat down on the grass, and I followed her. She looked into my eyes with her glimmering eyes filled with tears. Keeping her eyes locked on mine, she took a long breath and started telling me a long story. It was her story.
“When I was 22, I got into an affair with a boy. I loved him more than I loved anyone else in the world. He loved me too. We were the happiest couple. He was the apple of my eye. But our parents did not approve our love. We tried so hard. They never accepted us. We were of different races. When nothing could be done, we decided to run away. This waterfall was the place where he proposed to me. We agreed to meet here at 7pm. I waited for a long time. 7 became 8 until it slowly became midnight. I’ve been staying here since then. One day he came with a woman I didn’t recognize and proposed to her in front of me. He pretended to not see me. Years went by and I still wait for him, but he comes with more people. He has 3 kids now. He never seems to notice me, neither his wife nor his children look at me. I thought today, he finally came to me, but it was you.” Tears rolled down her eyes as she concluded.
I was shocked. I didn’t have anything to say to her. Anger was raging all over me for the betrayal Saman inflicted on her, I badly wanted to hurt Saman.
I looked into her eyes, feeling love travelling all over my body, I said “He is not worth it.”
She gave a sad smile, “I know.” She looked at me, her eyes reassured me that she was ready to let go. “Thank you, Sahan, I can find peace now.”
I gently kissed her forehead. I could feel her ice-cold skin had become warmer. We laid together on the grass and fell into a deep sleep.
I woke up the next day, to the bright sunlight kiss. But I couldn’t find her next to me. Where was she? I panicked. I quickly got up and started looking for her everywhere. She was nowhere to be found. I took my stuff and climbed down the mountains, looking for her while going.
Then I saw an old woman near the tea plantations, just like her. But she was very old. I went to her and asked about the girl.
“Do you know the girl who lives in the mountain?”
“The girl who looks just like you. She looks very younger though. She was there last night. She was wearing a white coloured dress. She was there with me the entire night, and now she is not there.”
I could see the woman’s face paling.
“Is her name Shameema?” I asked, suddenly realizing that I did not know her name.
“She was my twin sister who died a long time ago. She jumped into the waterfall when her lover betrayed her.” With that she went inside her house and brought a picture. A picture of Shameema. The Shameema from last night. My Shameema.
It all made sense to me now. “I can find peace now” was what she said.
I waited for her for a long time. I visited the waterfall several nights. There was no trace of her.
I spent the rest of my life, living it with the people I loved. It was Shameema who taught me the importance of being with people we love. My love for her was ever increasing.
Peace was my next destination. With the firm belief that I can only obtain peace after living life, I lived my life to the fullest, cherishing the small moments I shared with her, with the hope of attaining peace at the end.
Rtr. Lihini Jayawardene
Share this content: