She saw the foreign city sprawling ahead of her – enveloped in darkness. The buildings were like silhouettes in a shady lane. She saw the blazing orange headlights in the streets below. She liked it there – on the parapet of the roof, with her legs dangling down towards the lower terrace. She heard nothing but Katy Perry telling her loudly in her ears, “Baby, you’re a firework.” Her eyes were fixed on the Himalayas in the backdrop. The clouds and mist were circling them in the hues of fuchsia and violet. She could feel the gentle breeze brush her hair and sometimes splash a little at her cheeks.
She liked it how she was. She knew someone might be searching for her at the moment. She, however, could care no more. She was content at the moment. She did not seek any company. She needed no books to entertain her. Her I-pod was enough. And she liked the song it was playing and she had no intention of changing it. She liked the weather. She was not in a moment for even a warm garment to secure her from the cold she was going to catch soon. Her brown jacket was lying carelessly beside her. She loved the way she was – a firework. She wanted no more or maybe just to stand on the edge of where she was sitting and dance, shout on the top of her voice. She wanted to tell anyone who was listening, that she indeed could light up the skyline of this city. If only, it were the stray dogs in the neighborhood. She couldn’t care less. Instead, she played safe.
She looked down and saw her red floaters stuck only by her toes. She loosened her hold on the right one. It fell – floated through the air and landed on the lower roof. She let the left one fall too. She sat there bare footed, without any jacket – still listening to the music in her ear.
She felt the drops on her hair – just the slightest flick of her locks. And then, she felt them come down in clusters. She let them be. She let herself be. She let the drops swipe her face, glide down through her cheeks. She allowed herself to enjoy the tingling of those water drops, which were stuck on her nose. She didn’t wipe her face. She let it all be.
Suddenly, she swung her legs and climbed down. The phones still plugged in her ears. She picked up her jacket from the parapet. She ran through the terrace to the other end. She twirled with her imaginary partner and let her jacket enjoy the whirlwind of the wind. It fell on the concrete floor. She did not pick it up. She went about dancing and shouting on the top of her voice, surprising even herself.
“Baby, you’re a firework.”
It was still raining and she was still dancing. She was jumping and laughing. She looked up in the sky to see how the clouds had covered the crescent moon and the few twinkling stars. She shouted to the sky that she was a firework.
She felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned and saw her cousin standing there with a blue polka-dot umbrella. She nodded her face as if to ask ‘what?’ The girl merely said that mom was calling and safely made her way, hurriedly, to the warmth of their home. She, however, took her sweet time. She drooped down and picked up her wet jacket. She threw it carelessly on her shoulder. She jumped, a few times, in the almost flooded floor as she padded her way and climbed the stairs. She slipped but she cared not. She was bare-footed but she liked the cold water tingling her feet. She picked up her floaters and walked to the door. She still listened – humming along.
“Boom Boom Boom, even brighter than the moon, moon moon.”
She swung open the door. She entered the dry foyer. Her white tee shirt was clinging to her soaked skin. The song had ended. She waited for the door to shut behind her. She pulled out the player from her damp Levi. She powered it off.