Evening was waiting around the corner, eager to stride in. These days, she felt, she was in huge demand. A little girl in her tattered rag of a thrown away, once fancy dress, was whispering to herself, coaxing herself into believing that the day would end in a while and make everything alright, that another day would pass and the war would be over soon. Very meekly, bending over her ware of glittery bangles, she murmured, “Let it be evening soon”. Something pulsated inside Evening. She wanted to accompany the little one to her cottage. She suddenly wanted to sit on her haunches and watch the child glow and glitter, playing on the snow with her peers.
The street-lamps were a new bunch in this out-of-the-way little village but its humble ways had taught them to forego conspicuity. But they were a young lot and the charm that self-admiration presented was yet to wear off. And they had had a rather tedious job of keeping still all day long. They couldn’t wait to see the snow turn a beautiful mellow yellow under the haze of their diffused light. And when the throbbing gang of children,bathed in their light, looked up in admiration and frolicked happily, they felt extremely important and contented. Impatient to explode into life, they beseeched Evening to glide in. Evening was amused.
The old painter was still trying to paint a masterpiece, something he could pour his years and dreams into, something that would capture the sense of his thoughts and the essence of his being. It could be a trifle, but it should be a masterpiece. Tonight he wanted Evening to set in early and seep into his painting of the brightest star in the purple heaven overlooking a group of children playing on the snow, glowing and glittering in the puny haze of the yellow street-lamps. He had told his young daughter, “Evening will set in early today dear. Come back home before it is dark.”
The boy would be going away the very next day, Evening overheard anxiously, to a war. He had bought Daisies for his girl, but she wanted testimonies that would last longer. Evening felt she should throw her maternal arms around them but as the last crimson rays of the sun fell on their faces as they kissed, and she caught a rainbow in her tear, an overwhelming wave of sorrow inundated her. She lamented her power of uninhibited vision, sometimes unwilling. She crept into the shadows of an old ruin to catch a breath. The whiff of cold air whistling through the narrow openings between the crumbling bricks was a little surprised to see the lost look in her eyes when he shook her soft dark hands.
The crimson sun dropped behind the line of the white snowy field. Evening shook her head and trudged in.