Daniel, born in the country of love, Italy, was a man who never expressed how he feels directly. He loves rock music yet sticks to classic jazz. Daniel was a pleasant man with a smile that never fades. He loves the sunrise and doesn’t sleep till he saw it; he’s a night owl. Daniel is a person who still had hope in humanity. He saw his customers as people just like him, and he liked helping them by sewing their shoes. He was educated, and it was not his family business, yet he had always been fascinated by shoes. He saw the boots as pillars and foundation for a human body. He loved to work at something that makes people stand on their feet. “Looking at people’s shoes, how tidy they are, gives me an insight of how their personalities are” Daniel believes. He likes to mark the shoes he sewed with his signature under the sole. It was “D”. He lives next to a flower shop run by Mallory. She was a good neighbour, and he did speak a few words with her. They sometimes share how their day went on. Slowly, he lost something. Maybe a purpose? He stopped noticing the faces of people. All he cared were their footwear.
It was a beautiful morning, and the flower fragrance from Mallory’s shop was the only thing that lightened Daniel’s mood. He went into his shop, and his employee handed him a pair of heeled shoes. “The sole is broken” he said. “Your soul is broken?” Daniel asked confusingly. “The damn shoe!” his employee said sighing. Daniel smiled and looked at the shoe. It was of a woman. Right away, he looked at it, amazed. “Well, it’s a beautiful shoe” Daniel said. “Of a beautiful woman” his employee said. “It’s not just beautifully designed, it is beautifully maintained. Look how there are no signs of scars on it! This shoe was never abused, Ezio!” Daniel exclaimed. “People here don’t care about domestic abuse, and you are bothered about a mishandled shoe?” Ezio asked curiously.
“This shoe my friend is obviously a year old, that’s the reason why her sole broke” Daniel said. “Did you ever receive someone giving you a year-old shoe to repair?” He continued. He was enjoying replacing the sole. He thought of it as a favour he was doing to its owner. He finished reviving it, but he didn’t sign this shoe. He thought it would be better untouched. “Don’t take a single penny for this shoe! It’s on the house, Ezio!” Daniel yelled. There was some curiosity in him to see who this owner was. He was waiting for that person to arrive and claim those beautiful shoes. The doorbell rang, and a person entered, followed by a flower fragrance. Daniel looked at her footwear, and it was spotless and shining. With a smile, he just lost in his world as he need not look at the person’s face. The scent told him that it was Mallory. But he still looked at her face and the way she greeted him with a smile. He never observed how beautiful her lips are when she smiles. They looked like rose petals, and he felt like she was a walking Rose! Something about her attracted him so much.
Days passed, and he started observing how Mallory treats her customers with tenderness. He began buying flowers in her shop, just to look at her and get greeted by her. Ezio felt weird, looking at Daniel’s desk with beautiful flowers each day. On the second visit to her shop, she handed him a piece of poetry that she wrote.
" These flowers are special,
they are a part of our one-trillionth cousins.
For plants are coeternal,
our family separated far back aeons.
Feed them with water,
for they feed you with a day of happiness."
That is the moment he fell for her! She broke his walls. He never saw trees as his family. He grew his scope of humanity, he felt like he belonged to the enormous family of cosmos. Right then, he knew that he loved her. He grew lonely. In fact, Daniel was always alone, but this is the first time Daniel felt lonely. He craved for her embrace. But Daniel is not the guy who spoke his feelings out. He framed her piece of poetry in his home. He looked at that every day and tried to write something as beautiful as that. The room was always filled with scrapped paper rolls. But this day, after a year of loving Mallory and observing her more and more each day. He understood that she didn’t write poetries to her customers by thinking about what to write for hours. She just wrote what she felt. She has no walls that stopped her from knowing herself. Mallory is that rare human being who knew her “I”. Many philosophers couldn’t figure out what self is, but Mallory, she instinctively knew who she was and what she writes. “What am I?” Daniel thought all night. The morning he woke up, he didn’t have a constructive answer to that question, but he felt like he knew who he is. He dipped his quill in ink, put it on paper. “I will just write what I feel,” he thought, and the words flew like a river.
"On this morning of the sun behind the clouds,
I write a love note to you;
Every breeze of the time passes,
And I fell you as the dew;
Am I falling in the love doses,
That I have no clue;
Or should I tell that I see roses,
But all I see is the smile of you;
I feel so romantic in my proses,
When I recall your pink cheeks and those eyes blue;"
He wrote those words and his face; he was blushing. He put it in an envelope and rushed to Mallory’s shop. He went inside, and she greeted him. “I was waiting for you” she said. Daniel was puzzled. “F..for..for me?” he asked hesitantly. “Yes, your flowers are ready! Is this not why you came? Is there something you wanna talk, Daniel?” She asked, and Daniel’s heart was thumping. He did not dare to give her the note. “No, just the flowers, thanks!” he said. He picked the flowers from her, and when he was leaving “That’s a good dress” he said, trying to build his courage up. “Oh! this is a present from my cousin.” she said, looking at her dress. “Surprises are beautiful, aren’t they?” Daniel extended the conversation. “Well, it would have been if I did not already predict it” she laughed. “I like unpredictable things” she said. Daniel smiled, and he knew what to do.
That night he took up another note, and he wanted his love letter to be a surprise. He wanted the kick out of her searching for him. He added a note asking her to find him, and he observes her daily. He put it in a rose plant. “These petals; her lips” he thought. He put the pot in front of her shop, and he was waiting for her to look at it. And when she took it, his heart skipped a beat. She read the letter, he could see her through the glass walls. She blushed, smiled and was happy. He was singing songs in his mind. Then she came out holding the pot and letter, straight up to his shop. “I got caught!” he thought, and was scared. “Daniel” she called in ecstasy. “See what I found at my doorstep. It’s a love letter”. “Is this your first love letter?” Daniel asked doubtfully. “Yes” she replied. Daniel could see the excitement in her eyes. That look remained with him the entire day. He was sleepless that night, and he wrote another note. “I’ll meet you when I finished this poetry” he wrote in the earlier note.
*Hey, the bracelet is to compliment your look. You look gorgeous today. Did you water my plant?*
"I feel like standing between two worlds.
You are stuck in my heart with some glue;
I wonder emotions can be those,
Turning into feelings as they grew;"
He wrote and put in his mother’s bracelet. It was the memoir of her, and now he will see it on the person whom he loves the most. He put the note at her doorstep.
Their days passed with the routine of letters, and the poetry kept growing. Every day she would read Daniel what she had received that day, and he sleeps imagining how she blushed and how she smiled for his letters. But the poetry had to end someday, they had to meet. Daniel decided it was the day she knew who he was. He wanted to be it on a note too. He wanted her to read him what he wrote. He wanted her to realise that it was Daniel all along and he wanted to record that moment with his eyes. The quill was already dipped in ink. He put it on the paper.
"It was I,
right in front of your eye.
To look at you smile,
I can even run a mile.
With the note comes no material,
But something better, it is I, Daniel."
He sprayed his perfume on the letter, like a clue. He wants her to find him by the very scent of it. He put it in his draw. He couldn’t sleep that night. He was excited to give her this completed poetry of their love. “Together we can write many more” he thought. He was dancing to the records of his favourite romantic songs all night. It was morning already, and he got ready when the sun rose. He was all prepared. He put the envelope in his breast pocket of the jacket, close to his heart. He started walking, feeling the fresh breeze of winter. Everything around him looked lovely. Even the drunk fool arguing with his wife on the road felt lovable to him that day. “Du𝅘𝅥𝅮 Du 𝅘𝅥𝅮 Du Du Du Du Du 𝅘𝅥𝅮” He was singing. “I’m singing in the rain! I’m singing in the rain 𝅘𝅥𝅮” he was singing it out smiling. “How beautiful the world is” he thought.
But little did he know, that Vierri, who worked at the docks, was in a bad mood. Vierri’s wife was hospitalised. He worked all night, and he can’t quit. His economic class and his un-education only allowed him to earn meagre wages. The work was endless, two days straight since Vierri had a good sleep. “I will help her cure” he thought. He was driving a truck of load, and it was a cold winter day. The winter blues are gloomy, and the sleep demon hit him in the eye. His eyelids felt heavy, and it was hard to open them. When he opened his eyes, it was because of a bang. Only then did he realise that the truck was on the pavement and under its tire was Daniel.
The poetry was complete, but it couldn’t reach Mallory. It is up to her and her deduction to find that Daniel was her secret admirer. It is for her to finish the poetry herself.
This is a tribute to the person who have taught me to write poems and encouraged me to write stories. This story is another side of the story “Incomplete Poetry” written by Chandini Kola. Click here to read her story.