The Moment

This story is intended to be a sort of Rorschach, if you will. Read it and interpret it and your interpretation might help you understand your unconscious. Or not.

They stood out in the open, looking up at the battle in the sky.

“You afraid of dying?” she asked him.

“No,” he said, although he was lying. She knew that he was lying, and he knew that she knew that he was lying.

Then she said, “I’m scared.”

The easy manner in which she said it and snuggled into his arms belied her words and he knew that she was lying too. Her lie made him feel even more fearful but he could not reveal that to her, and so he held her in his arms for a while as they listened to the sounds of distant explosions.

Then a bomb exploded ahead of them, close enough that they fell back into ground, rolling on the grass, until they came to a stop. They were lying in a dale, and neither of them said a word. After a while, the sounds of battle stopped.

“So we are alive,” she said and stood up first, giving him a hand.

He held it but instead of standing up, he pulled her down, seized by an urge to assert his greater physical strength.

She fell down and began laughing and he looked up at her, his eyes squinting because of the sun.

“What’s so funny?” he asked.

“Everything,” she said. “We are alive, the bombing has stopped, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and look at those birds!”

She pointed to a flock of birds that turned and swooped high above them. He suddenly felt dizzy as he watched them and had to look down. She was now looking in the direction of the lake.

“You are not thinking of…”

“No,” she said. And then she added, “But won’t it be nice to get into that cool water?”

She wasn’t asking him of course, as much as waiting for her words to work their magic. He knew already that he and she would jump into the lake soon, but he wanted to postpone it for a while longer, for as long as he possibly could.

May 15, 2010 | 8:58 am | By Dr Shyam Bhat