“You have beautiful eyes”, she heard a soft but profound voice of a man who seemed to have traveled a lot, knowing many places, people and dialects.

Even though she didn’t like the intrusion while she was out shopping for shades, she garnished a smile onto her lips and turned around, “thank you”, she uttered as she looked at a man whose small but intelligent eyes were gazing at her. She wanted to keep looking at him for a while for he had a strangely attractive face with specs of his slightly grown shave hardening the surface of his skin. His eyes were deep and dark, his lips were thick but soft; a handsome face on broad shoulders, any other day and she would have let her heart follow him everywhere.

“If I had eyes like yours I wouldn’t hide them behind shades” he smiled.

“I would rather protect them then” she said with a hint of sarcasm and another hint of telling him to mind his own business, “behind these shades.” She turned around to make the payment at the counter.

“As you wish”, he started to drift away leaving with her a feeling of guilt that eventually led her feet rolling towards the exit. She found him standing by the sidewalk waiting for a taxi.

“I am sorry”, he stopped his waving hand and turned back to look at her. She had wide eyes, shining with hints of dew in the corners, her lips soft and red were of the same shape as her eyes, the skin of her face fresh as the sky after the rain when clouds have given way to the sun. His heart wanted to follow her around everywhere.

“I am sorry for being rude to you in there” she apologized for her unintended sarcasm.

“Its perfectly fine, I understand. I would have reacted the same way if a stranger spoke to me in the middle of what I was doing” he said politely in that charmingly rough voice of his.

She smiled, “so you forgive that easily?”

He chuckled an old laugh, “Yes, but I am going to make an exception now, you better have a cup of coffee with me before I accept the apology”, it had been a long time since he laughed.

Moments fell in abundance and piled up a heap of days; everyday they would add another memory and mount the heap to discover a new scene in front of them. Life had grown wings. He was polite and forgiving; she changed herself to become less cynical and more giving. She even promised not to wear shades for he loved her eyes.

One day, while strolling on the beach, it started to rain and everybody ran for the cover except them. They kept walking along the shore. And then, at a slight curve where manmade cliffs had stretched into the sea, he stopped and stood in front of her. He kissed her and then went down on his knee, taking out a ring from his soaked pocket, he proposed her as the rain drops hit the surface of the sea and the waves crashed under their feet. She laughed with a thrilling chill and said yes.

Seasons changed a number of times adding countless days to the heap. The view from that heap didn’t change as much but added a few harsh words and some arguments to it; his voice had grown harsher and even more so harsher when he found an old letter in her documents. It was a letter from her ex boyfriend; it started with the phrase, “You have beautiful eyes …”

“You still have letters from your old boyfriends?” He said in a voice which had forgotten any emotion but loathing.

“I had just one boyfriend” she said with conviction, “and I didn’t even know I still had this letter.”

“Oh please, don’t tell me things which you know I won’t believe, and I won’t believe because I know it’s not true” his eyes shrunk and grew deeper.

There was no point in arguing but they still did; she thought it would end, as always, with him leaving the room slamming the door behind, but it didn’t happen like that. The heat of words rolled into his head as his eyes shrunk more, his arm lifted, his hand turning into a fist, swirling in the air and landing with a thump on the corner of her left eye. The view faded away and all she could hear was the fuming anger of a man she never knew before.

She looked at herself in the mirror. A dark circle of pain had wrapped around her eye; it was a price too much for her selflessness. She opened the bottom drawer of her dressing table and took out an un-opened bag. She took out the cash receipt and threw it in the trash bin, removed the brand tag and put on the shades to hide her pain.

She walked out the room slamming the door behind her.


~ by Amir Saleem on May 14, 2007.

6 Responses to “SHADES”

  1. I love this story. It seems as though it’s almost real.

  2. Good story, but I feel it raced towards the end. I liked your blog’s feel – it is exceptional – especially the blog’s header picture. I also want something like it – could you please help?

  3. when i read the first line i thought you penned down something i narrated to you from my real life … hmmm i like the oscar wilde touch … writing about womens issue 😛 … its BEAUTIFULLY written !

  4. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  5. I love your site! 🙂

    Experiencing a slow PC recently? Fix it now!

  6. dmn024-


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