I am not certain. It might have been shortly after our eyes locked or in the moment I decided to sit behind her. The Professor philosophised about the Greek and Indian conception of soul. I philosophised about her hair. The result was the same.
Her skin made me repel. It was too perfect. From every perspective I occupied, it presented me the same unearthly shimmer. Like a sheen of oil it was boasting with iridescent colours, making my eyes squint and my mouth water. How does it taste to lick along her neck? How does it smell to breath between her breasts? And how do they make love on the planet she comes from?
She was fidgeting her long elf-like limbs as the first words gushed from her mouth. „Who are you? From where? Have you been to India? I like your vest!“ Electrified and undirected she shot her loud outbursts into my ear. I couldn´t listen. The sounds of her eyes drowned out her words. Two turquoise violins singing wild and fierce, engraving their melody into my soul and filling me up with the cold clarity of a star-filled night. I shivered.
When a lamb gets caught by its predator, it pretends to be dead. Trapped between the playful grip of a child and the wielding claw of a lioness, I choked my whimper. She was playing with her prey, unaware of the terror she caused. Funny how the instinct of survival can hold your breath until you´re close to dying of suffocation. Terrified by the force of her nature, I fell silent, wondering if my pounding heart was hearable to her catlike ears. Never have I witnessed a power-play of God, but this must have been his grande finale. Her mighty tusks were snarling at me, gleaming in the mysterious blue of a moonstone. The cavernous throat threatened me with its endlessly deep abyss. A tugging invite to fall in love.
We sat down in the dry savanna grass. Right leg on top of the left. Straight spine. Soft gaze. Was I mirroring her or was she mirroring me? And would it make a difference to know? Her gestures were restlessly orbiting around her stories. Big and weighty stories, blown up by the continuously running pump of her imagination. She is a dreamer, just like me. Maybe that´s how we´ve met before.
We stood up simultaneously and leaned towards the same side for a hug. My face came close to hers. My breath formed a patch of dew on the glass. Or was it her breath? For a short moment we stood there, drawing symbols on the pane, playing with reflections of the sun, peering into the depth we´ve created. Two mirrors facing each other, enchanted by the endless self they perceive. Philosophy of soul. Greek conceptions. Indian conceptions. Her hair.
Now I was certain. Walking away I knew that she´d turn around only if I do. But my joints turned to stone, and my skin grew stiff bark, protecting me from this neck-breaking, life-risking, death-daring twist that was imposed upon me. I heard a raucous voice emerging from the ancient ember burning in my deep. The voice was screaming our names, promising rich rewards, if we´d jump into its flames. It was impossible to ignore its cry. It was unmistakeable. It was inescapable. Call it divine. Call it sacred. Call it fate. No matter what it was, it foresaw my destiny. Thick chunks of rock and bark broke off of me as the voice commanded my body to move. The me I knew crumbled to dust and the wooden chippings fed the fire licking along my spine. I never knew that falling in love feels much like dying. I turned, she turned, and we dissolved into flames.