His hopes were frustrated. He found himself turning on the sand near the sea as much as he had on the floor in his room. And the lullabies sung by stars too did nothing for him. He let himself cry silently to this sight of his old friends.
Tomorrow, he decided, he would ask her whether she intended to go back to the arena or stay here and, in either case, he would leave – with her or without her. He can’t stay here in peace – nothing whatsoever seemed to be at peace to him at that moment. The mild wind he was feeling, he believed, must surely be suppressing a storm in itself just as he was. And the cold sand seemed so cynical about letting him make it his bed. Even the Sea seemed to be protesting its own existence – and with each tide seemed to be trying to reach out to the moon, who surely was its sweetheart. And the moon, with her half-face, turned towards the sea, seemed to half smile and half cry at her suitor’s beautiful, desperate and futile efforts.
After a couple of hours, he heard her voice “Hey” and shivered as he looked in the direction of the voice. She was there – frowning at him in annoyance. “Where were you? I waited for you in my room, you didn’t come. I came to your room, you weren’t there either. I was worried and asked around. They all laughed at me in their stupid, knowing way, I hate it when they do that, and one of them told me to check here. What are you doing here?”
He had never cared about what others think about him. But her being so annoyed, scared him. Had they planned to meet? She was acting as if he had failed to reach some rendezvous. “Why are you getting up now?” She asked in the same reproachful tone, “Stay lying” she ordered and she went down to lie on her chest close to him, her chin resting on two hands.
He was trying to figure out what it was all about. And couldn’t utter a word for a few moments.
“I am waiting for an answer.” She said angrily at his silence.
“I … I am sorry.” He said in showing his cluelessness as to what was happening.
“Look at you so scared, you are such a child,” She said now smiling, “Tell me how was I to sleep without my lullaby”
“Lullaby … what lullaby?” He questioned, still clueless.
She just stared back still smiling silently.
It is torture! “I don’t know any lullabies. Ask the villagers. They might know. I don’t know any except …”
“Except … well, nothing.”
“Tell me.” She insisted.
“Tell me na”
“I said it is nothing.”
“Tell me or I won’t ever talk to you again.”
Logically speaking, that is what he should have liked to happen – it would be good riddance, he wanted to believe that. But the very idea was terrifying and he ended up telling her about “lullabies of the stars”
And now she will laugh at me!
She didn’t. She asked half musingly, “I never knew stars can speak”
“But they can sing. You have to learn to be able to listen to their silence to hear those songs but …. you must consider me a fool.”
She laughed and said “I do think you are a fool. But those are not the lullabies I was talking about in any case. You can keep your stars, I want my lullaby. Give that to me.”
“But I don’t know any.”
“You may not. But you are already singing them.”
“What are you talking about?”
She moved closer and put her head on his chest, her ear to his heart. “Here.” she said, “now I can listen to my lullaby. Don’t disturb me now, I will now go to sleep.”