It was on her drive back from her second failed trip that she noticed the bird that perched on her car’s side mirror at every traffic signal. At first, she thought she was imagining it, then she reasoned with herself that there must be so many crows in the area, so what if one sat on her mirror and looked straight at her. Then she thought of the time she read an article about how smart crows were. The writer of the article, had said that apparently, they even prank fellow crows. That must be a really good measure of smartness.
‘Uggh… we’ve been driving for 3 hours, can we take a tea break?’, said her bestie sitting beside her.
Sure, I’m the one actually driving for the past 3 hours but you’re the one who wants to take a tea break. Yeah, let’s break!
Kimi was yelling in her head but she nodded silently and pulled the car up next to a tea stall on the road side. Her other friend, got out from the back seat and stretched his back.
‘Good thing we decided to turn back, this road sucks.’, he complained.
‘Yeah, imagine driving back at night in this road.’, her friend said.
Yeah, right. Your back hurts and you’re ‘thankful’ we turned around because it wasn’t your plan, it was mine. No worries, it was just something I waited for over 2 weeks.
Kimi kept quiet and just nodded her head, but her stomach and her chest was constricting in a tight knot over the fact that another weekend, another plan didn’t work out. She reminded herself not to think about it knowing for sure that if she even acknowledged these emotions or thoughts, she would burst out crying right then and there. And it didn’t bother her that she would cry in front of her friends, but she was bothered that if that happened how would she drive back home, she would be quite shaken. So, she took a big swig of lukewarm tea and looked away.
She saw the same crow sitting at the far end of the rocky bench she was seated on. She was almost certain that the crow was looking right at her. She was even more certain that it was the same crow that she saw crouching on her mirror few kilometres before. He had a lovely shiny black coat and beady eyes, but what was most distinctive was that he had this little nick in his perfect coat right above his left eye. At this point she realized she was staring at the crow and he hopped a little closer to her. He slightly cocked his head and cawed really loudly, or just enough to wake her out of her reverie. She looked at her friends and they indicated that they were ‘ready’ to make the treacherous journey back home that she got them on. Nodding again, she walked back to her car and settled in without shooting a glance to the crow.
The rest of the journey back home, the two friends, her besties chatted with each other and mostly cribbed about how bad the road was, how hot it was, how it was a bad day to go to the beach, how they should have checked the weather… basically, how terrible this entire plan was, rather how terrible Kimi’s plan was. And all she did was nod and occasional allow tears to rush to her eyes till she fluttered them back to the corner of her eyes.
At the end of the day, she found herself in her home alone, sitting near her tiny window and holding a hot cup of tea. She looked at the tea as if it were some secret potion, cooked up in the deep trenches of a dark foggy forest and it had the potential to wipe away all her sorrows and all her disappointments. She took a soft slurp from the tea so as to not burn her tongue and swallowed with a sigh. For a moment, it seemed like it actually did work. As if on cue, the crow flew down to her feet and sat a few feet away. Like last time, he just stared directly into her eyes. Kimi looked at him and said, ‘what is it? Why are you following me?’
The crow made a strange noise that sounded like it escaped directly from its tiny throat. Kimi shook her head and said, ‘Don’t ask. Every time I try to take my happiness in my control, some shit happens, and I end up feeling even more sad than before.’
The tears were making their way back up again. Force of habit, she fluttered her eyes and pushed the tears back to the corners. The crow did a bunny hop towards her and she moved to keep her cup down, he hopped backwards when she bent down. She smiled and said, ‘Don’t worry. I won’t hurt you. Though, people think otherwise. At least, I won’t hurt animals. Or that’s what I think. What do you think?’
The crow took a long look at her and flew away and Kimi burst out laughing.
I can’t believe I was talking to a crow. What’s worse is I can’t believe that the crow also didn’t want to chill with me. So much for taking happiness in your hands.
Kimi reached out to her cup of tea and took a sip of her hot tea and for a brief second saw her reflection in the cup, her two sore and sad eyes stared back at her. Two failed trips and a talking bird later, she realized she wasn’t mad at the world or her friends. She was mad at herself for being sad and that moment there, sad and alone with a tea cup was better than being elsewhere where she couldn’t even be aware of her feelings. Once again, her eyes welled up, but she fluttered them rigorously. Force of habit.