"What are you doing out here so late? Its cold!" He said as he crept up from behind, so silently that I wouldn't have realised he was there if he hadn't spoken.
"Oh! Nothing really." I said, as I shifted to make place for him. "I wasn't sleepy, so I thought I'd catch some fresh air. Besides, I have this here to keep me warm.", I said wrapping the blanket tighter around me, faking a smile to conceal my shivering.
He didn't utter another word, just settled next to me. I could tell that for a few seconds he was looking at me, searching. Waiting for me to speak. He did not get anything in return.
I usually loved nights like these - dark and moonless, dotted with countless stars. The soothing silence, vaguely aware of the sound of crickets in the distance, sitting barefooted in the balcony, lost in my thoughts.
But this was no ordinary night. Winter was just around the corner, and it was beginning to get cold. But I didn't care. It was here that I found solace from the heated argument that we had, an hour ago.
He knew how sensitive I was to cold. My teeth would chatter at the slightest dip in temperature. It was due to this, that he'd decided not to have an air-conditioner at home. He had been so considerate then, why couldn't he be rational now?
The neighbours were awake. The light form the opposite house cast our shadows on the balcony floor. From the corner of my eye, I could see that he was still looking at me. I pretended I didn't notice. I went back to tracing the constellations my father had shown me, when I was curious little a child. The Sickle shaped Leo, the inverted S of the Great Bear.
'How could he say those things to me?' 'Can he not see how I struggle every day?' 'Living apart for 7 months in a year is bad enough... How can he ruin even the remaining time we have?' 'Why is it OK for him to have work commitments, but not done if I have a friend to attend to?' 'I left my home to live in this strange land for him' 'This is not working. I'm never going to talk to him!'
I had begun to shiver again. He probably realised it before I did, because he had already grown close and circled his arms around me. Then, he protectively tugged me closer and I rest my head on his shoulder.
The neighbour's lights went off and it was completely dark now. I was grateful for it. Now, he wouldn't see the angry tears that had begun to flow. He instinctively raised his palm to my eyes, which surprised me, because I was sure I had made no sound, not a single sniff. Each gesture was a quiet sorry, each touch- a silent promise.
Not one word escaped from either of us. I began to melt right there in the cold, in his arms, and then, I let him carry me to bed... to warmth!