I looked at her, my eyes brimming with tears. I didn’t have to say much, I think I couldn’t have said much even if I had tried. I just looked at her, my face pale as a ghosts; my lips moving but no sound escaping them and she seemed to know. My throat was constricted, my eyes felt like balls of fire. She said
“Hold your tears! You don’t want to create a scene, do you?”
I shook my head no. Then she held my arm and led me away from the crowds into an empty room; found me a tap and went out to look for some tissue I could wipe my face with. Then she spoke kind, comforting things while I cried my eyes out into the sink.
The first image that erupts in my mind as I say the word Markhor is hers. The beautiful scenery of Mushkpuri peak that soothed my eyes and calmed my restless soul, the rugged landscape, the juicy and soft, glittery green grass that I rested on with my friend and companion of three days comes to me next.
While the world raced on, she and I sat still beneath the loving shade of a pine tree, oblivious of the rat race for just a little bit, having a casual discussion, resting our tired legs, drinking Tang and letting the undisturbed wilderness of some part of Nathiagali restore us.
Sometimes we know people for years yet we can feel so lonely in their presence and sometimes we meet a new person and within minutes it feels like being at home with them. Maybe she fell off a similar tree when she was two as I did when I was two. Maybe my friend and I hadn’t become friends; maybe it was our scars that had befriended each-other.