Writing prompt: IGNORAMUS, INKY
Provided by: J.L.Campbell and August. Visit them! Also inspirational were the video and pictures I’ve added in the post, which remind me of Spring. The Palash picture taken from here. I still need prompts for M, N, R, S, T, U, V, W,X. Please drop me some 🙂
Thirty years is a long time for first-time lovers to get back together again. Not that Nathan and Iti were doing that. It was just a simple breakfast, Nathan knew, a meal at a shabby little seaside restaurant in Tenerife between people who had once loved each other.
Iti’s inky long hair showed streaks of gray, but she wore it long and open. As a teeenager in Kolkata, she used to sashay around in pigtails.
In her hair sat a crimson Flame-tree flower, in vivid contrast to her mane of hair. A branch had broken off the tree outside the restaurant in last night’s storm, and the blooms still hung fresh. They would wither before long, and to Nathan it had seemed like a waste to let them be.
“How old are your kids, Nathan? You told me over the phone you had two,” said Iti, taking a sip from her cup of chamomile tea, her manicured hand brushing off a muffin crumb from her orange sundress.
She had changed from her sari-clad days in India– from that year when Nathan’s dad had taken his family on their first and last trip to visit his friend Girish. Nathan had not seen as much of her cleavage throughout the length of the Indian summer spent in her ancestral home, as was on display now.
He spotted the beginnings of wrinkles on her honey-colored breasts. He looked away, and his eyes fell on the branch of Flame-tree blooms beside him on the white tablecloth.
“Eleven and thirteen,” he replied.
“I have no kids. After my husband and I came to the States, we didn’t want to have any. It is easier that way,” said Iti, her hair beginning to fly on her face in the morning sea breeze. “Does your father know you’re here?”
At that question, something flared in Nathan, “He’s dead now. Gone these last five years. He tried to call Uncle Girish before he died.”
“My father could not forget. It wasn’t my fault alone, though, Nate. We were both there. It was summer… and you brought me Palash flowers. ”
“No, this is the Krishnachura. You don’t know the difference?” Iti’s hand went up and plucked the flower from her hair. She got up to go, and without turning, said, “Don’t call me again.”
Nathan did not stop her. He called the waiter, cancelled his order of sandwich and asked for Chivas on the rocks instead.
He picked up the flowers and held them to his face. Not the same. Though they were orange-red, they did not have the thick velvety feel of Iti’s skin, nor her smell. On the night they got found out, Iti had torn the large petals of his gift and showered them on her tall mahogany bed. The vermillion blooms lay in curved shadows on the white sheets under the moonlit window.
Her voice had smiled in the dark, “Fulshojya, we call it Nate, the bed of flowers. Wedding night. And Palash flowers are the flame of love, of spring sunshine, you ignoramus!”
The last glimpses he had of her were of swollen red eyes, and a face as orange-flame-red as his own.
Neither of them had realized that Palash flowers gave off color, that it was the flower Indians used to color each other on Holi.
Nathan tossed back the Chivas, paid, and left.
The waiter grabbed the withering Krishnachura blooms, took them out and tossed them below the tree drooping with flaming blossoms.
This old song mentions both Krishnachura and Palash as Flames of the forest, and the rise of passions and colors in Spring:
I still need prompts for M, N, R, S, T, U, V, W,X, so keep them coming! I’m tweeting A to Z posts at #atozchallenge There is also the A to Z Challenge Daily with links to Tweeted A-Z posts over the last 24 hours!
Thanks and shout-outs to organisers Arlee Bird (Tossing It Out) , Jeffrey Beesler’s (World of the Scribe), Alex J. Cavanaugh (Alex J. Cavanaugh) , Jen Daiker ( Unedited), Candace Ganger (The Misadventures in Candyland) , Karen J Gowen (Coming Down the Mountain) , Talli Roland , Stephen Tremp (Breakthrough Blogs )