Until tomorrow

The car glided on the smooth highway, swarms of dust dancing by the windowpane. He was smiling as he looked out at his translucent reflection and past it into the bright light, buildings glinting magically as the car whizzed past. He leaned his head on the window. She smiled back and he turned to her. The kids were doing well she said. He could imagine his littlest one, trying to help the elders carry water in a chipped old steel can. He would be tittering tottering past the dirty stream that ran all the way from his uncle’s place to home. Always trying to keep up but arrogant enough to believe he could. It made him smile again and she smiled back. The car whizzed by others, everyone in a rush. But to him, everything was slow. Peaceful. She told him about how his mother was trying to be helpful but made things a little bit more…complicated. She made him smile. He could imagine his mother trying to help in the kitchen but making more of a mess. Her bulbous stomach in the way of the pots and pans, knocking red chilli powder all over the dusty floor, permanently becoming a part of it’s design. She would then huff and puff, sitting dramatically down by the tandoor, the whiffs of flour creating a heavenly cloud around her very generous behind. She told him about her new shirt. She had stitched in his name into the embroidery on the right shoulder. He sat right next to her ‘good angel’ she said. He smiled. The car jumped over the rubble, the level road had ended, giving way to a flattened wasteland. He looked up, the glistening high-rises now replaced with cranes in jarring colours like red and orange. The driver honked thrice indicating it was time to disembark. He switched off his phone and put on a hard-hat. Until tomorrow, he thought, as he stepped out into the sweltering heat.

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