Wednesday, 19 June 2013

What Have You Done?

The street runs from Carlton House, through Piccadilly, and into Oxford Circus, where at the top, the Church is its crown. Although every building in that street was old, the church was the oldest; a spire that rose into the grey London air like an anomaly. To this day he uses that church as his compass as he exits Oxford Circus Station. Direction is his weakness.

You were supposed wait by Margaret Street, she says, by that spirally building - did you get lost?
All Souls Church, you mean.
It's a church? They walk.
Yes. Nash's only surviving design in this street.
Who is Nash? The hazel of her eyes looks in question.
Adorable, he laughs. It is a crisp laugh that belonged to old men, men who returned to laughing like children when all their troubles troubled them no more. Weren't you supposed to be born and bred here?
Well Mr-I-know-it-all, I was actually born in Lahore.

He hadn't noticed how flawless her skin looked against the grey of London. As a child he had an affair with roses and there was a rosy hue always hanging about her cheeks. He stops. She stops. What? He brings his hand up toward her, and like a tailor who sees a rare piece of silk, carefully runs his finger along the length of her face, from cheek to chin. White silk turns red.

Now look what you've done... she murmurs, looking down.
Is the floor more interesting than me?
You'd look into my eyes. It's what you do.


She stands before the mirror and brushes her long brown hair, her blouse still undone. He is in bed, he would pick up his camera but he prefers to use his eyes. It's 5.30 and Thirleby Road has turned dark - the light before the mirror shows him her beauty. He notices that she is buttoning herself up, this makes him uneasy. He does not like clothing in the confines of four walls. And now standing behind her, for every button she did, he undid one. Stop it! He does not stop. They are all waiting for me back home! He turns her around. You have to stop! His hand disappears behind her. Stop…she's reduced to a whisper. There is skill in his fingers. Her breasts are free. You've unhooked many before, haven't you? He does not answer. He's that tailor again, his eyes flashing, running his fingers unto his fabric. White silk turns red. She sighs - now look what you've done…


John Nash, he says, looking at the fire with dim eyes, was the man who designed much of London during the Regency - even the Queen's palace - and consequently, our Regent Street.
How do you know all this? She lifts her head from his chest, looking up to him.
He does not answer that question. But you know which is my favourite?
Regent's Park.
Yes, Regent's Park.

Her milky, rosy hue is a stark contrast to his rusty brown. She notices this and smiles. His dark eyes replies. Two countries of the same land, he says. She feels romantic, he feels cheerful. I'm bridging the gap between our countries, he continues, one Pakistani woman at a time. She smacks his naked chest hard. The sting makes him laugh his crisp laugh. The duvet hides her breasts but not her shoulders - he likes it this way, he fancies that she is wearing a strapless dress; something she would never do outside these four walls. He lays his weight upon his elbow and watches her. His eyes tell her what his mouth will not. He is captivated.

You're looking again, she says, nearly turning away.
I've seen all of you my dear - why turn?
The idea that a man is looking so intensely, as you do, makes me blush. You speak with your eyes, smile with them. When we talk seriously, they grow dim. When we are intimate, they flash. It's all your eyes, and they can say so much, yet say nothing at all.

With a single stroke, he pinches the fire from the candle. His eyes flash. Now look what you've done…

The room darkens.


  1. This is precisely what I needed to read. Thank you - and goodbye.

    Lovely writing, as always.

  2. It felt like I knew most of this.

    I could see images form in front of my eyes. And it seemed like a revisit.

    1. I'm glad it evoked good memories for you.

  3. All of what riddleinninesyllables said, plus more.

    This was that.More.
    Symphonies. You create symphonies with your words.

    1. Thank you :)

      You're very kind. I haven't heard from you in long. Writing doesn't happen to me as often as it used to but when it does, I'm happy a little bit of a good thing got made. I can't seem to access your blog by the way - I hope it's not closed?

    2. I just got more used to writing in 140 characters.:) I blame the Blue bird.
      Couldn't write the way I used to, on the blog. It lay dormant, made me sad every day. So I tucked it away.
      You're lucky you're still able to create such masterpieces. Don't stop. I love coming back here. :)

    3. Ah the blue bird isn't conducive to writing - I still wonder why I have one. Perhaps you should return to it - it might give you joy.

      You're very kind in saying they are 'masterpieces' - but they're all mostly work in progress. Parts from the novel. I only hope I can finish it off soon.

  4. No matter how many times I read this one. I always feel my heart to skip a beat and longing for more when you blow the candle. I hope you write a sequel- if not in writing but perhaps in real life.

  5. Sigh. I need to stop visiting here, especially at lonely hours.