Jude smelt like abandoned bookstores.
Her body,
like crisp yellow pages,
and her mouth,
like the unread lines of a book.
Olive, on dark nights,
often wondered where to go;
so on such days he would take a long walk into the garden,
thinking on which line to stop,
which syllable to focus on,
and where to put a full stop.
Thinking which line Jude must be writing on her body.

‘The touch of your fingers feels like soft verses of sin carved on my skin.’ Jude whispered,
stretching out her palm in the empty space,
watching the sky make shadows on it.
Her fingertips reflecting all she could never touch,
she could never reach,
as if in a black hole,
far away from the unexplored galaxies,
the marks on Olive’s skin,
the scar on his back,
the dimples near his bones.
Jude would convince herself, that Olive belonged to her.

So, Jude, on certain days, opened the folds of her skin,
To read the stories carved in her wrinkles,
‘Do they remind you of the parts Olive didn’t touch?
Or the words you didn’t say,
Or maybe the hearts which didn’t collide.’
She would open the folds of her skin,
tear open the flesh,
‘look at the receptacle of love you gathered during all these years,
a part of Olive, you discovered every time you met him.
Oh, how you wish some of them could stay’, she would tell herself.
She would open the folds of her skin,
‘look at your bones which were hollow once,
which were knocked out by people quite often.
Do you see, the living stories of those crisp yellow paper?
Do you see each of those syllables growing out of that page?
Do you see, this life is about both.
Regrets and a few laughs?’ Jude would smile.

Olive stood behind Jude watching her fingers trace her body like maps of emptiness,
her fingers slipping from her neck to her marrow.
Olive on such moments,
wanted to hold Jude close,
and tell her that every end awaits a new beginning
and that he still remembers the night Jude called out to him,
showing him the floors covered with glasses,
reflecting their counter universe.
That he still remembers,
he and Jude were the reflections of the grandeur.
That they will always be the reflection,
of the sky,
of the glass
and each other.

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