Sometimes days turn into nights and nights spilled into months and we hadn’t seen each other. I knew she wouldn’t venture out; neither did I wait for her glimpse near her house.

Sometimes I knew curfew was the villain of our love, so were the people on streets in curfew and here was I dying every moment to see her, missing her- so must have been she.

Sometimes I was on the verge of tears, frustration, and anger.

Sometimes I would sneak at my phone just to see if towers are back.

Sometimes I would die to see her name pop up on my phone.

So must have been she!

Sometimes I looked at shining curfewed moon, wondering maybe she too is looking at her; so our eyes are meeting.

Sometimes I would allow moonlight to spread on my bed like a quilt dreaming in the sleepless nights: it is she.

Sometimes I would hug the darkness of night while tossing and turning with ceaseless thoughts about her; unable to sleep.

Sometimes I would think of myself as river and her calm shore.

Sometimes I would think of myself of pepper permeated breeze of summer’s night touching the peppered lake of her eyes.

Sometimes I would like a crazy man kiss every inch of motionless air thinking it must have touched her.

Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night and eat cakes thinking she is there with me when it was my birthday.

Sometimes when yellow tepid sunlight of morning arrived in my room, falling on my face I got scared like waking up after nightmare because her voice was caged, her light that used to wake me up was clouded.

Sometimes during the day, I would imagine us like those birds high in the sky.

Sometimes during evenings when the air was more pepper permeated, flash bangs roared high in the sky I would imagine us as those birds returning home in the orange-streaked sky.

Sometimes while looking at Indian forces I would cry because they used to spend whole boring days on streets talking endlessly to their loved ones and sometimes I felt pity for them, while holding us up, chasing us, thwarting evolving love stories, snatching loved ones.

Sometimes I wanted to snap those mobile phones and tell them what it is not to hear the voice of your loved one.

Sometimes dreadful dejection overwhelmed me. Depressed I was confined to my room without any communication living all day with freedom songs and slogans blaring from mosques.

Sometimes I sketched our beautiful dreams amidst bullets, blood, corpses, coffins, chaos, cries, disappearances, deaths, pain and protests.

So must have been she!
I was yearning for her.
I was missing her.
I was missing her voice.
I was missing her giggles.
I was missing her smiles.
I was missing our morning talks.
I was missing our late night goodbyes.
I was missing our morning voice.
I was missing our tired evening voice.
I was missing our laughter.
I was missing our fights.
I was missing our missing each other.
I was missing us.

So must have been she!

I knew our seeds of love were planted in the war zone. I knew the uncertainties of our love. It is a place where every day someone’s loved one is snatched. Notched and preyed upon like a piece of meat. I feared what if she ventured out?

So must have been she!

And then I received news that in those peppered lake eyes, pellets are floating.

To be continued…

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