It has been a year. Doesn’t feel like it. I sit in this empty house staring at its emptiness which seems to reflect the emptiness in my heart. I close my eyes. It reminds me of that day again. The day you left me for dad. You always wanted to go with dad. He beat you to death. Or was it the other way around. Did death beat you to get to him first? I don’t know. But death sure stormed into this house to leave me devastated. I have been alone many times in life. I felt lonely for the first time. I open my eyes. I still do.
The vacuum in my mind has not filled. The scar in my soul has not healed. The hole in my heart still bleeds. They say time heals everything. May be I don’t want it to. I have spent days in this house mentally recreating the magical moments we shared right here. They make up most of my life anyway. I don’t have much else. A stopped clock, a broken bat, a spider web, an old calendar, a torn slipper, a coffee mug, a dusted picture: all shake me up and take me back in time. I don’t want to come back.
While I feel lonely in the house I once ran riot in, I feel out of place in a crowded city that I never left. The three of us have been to almost every nook and corner it has to offer. Now I wander the streets thronging all our spots hoping to find you. It brings pain and joy at once. I see you. I see us. And then I see me. Alone!
I have been back to that day several times. I am there again now. I see you are cold. Very cold. As cold as dad was. That doesn’t seem to affect you. You seem to be sleeping rather peacefully. Like any other day. Your right eye opened ever so slightly. I touch you. You don’t stir. I kiss you. You don’t flinch. How can you be sleeping in this scorching sun? They say you can hear me. Can you? You seem at peace. Just like dad. There seems to be a faint smile in the corner of your lips. You are probably excited to see him again. What about me? Am I being selfish?
It is déjà vu again. I take you through the streets of Pondicherry one last time. But for the first time it is not on two wheels but four. And for the first time you are not touching my shoulder and asking me to go slowly. Why don’t you? I promise I will listen this time.
We stop somewhere. This place looks familiar. A little too familiar. I don’t want to get out. I am forced to. I see dad has reserved you a spot right next to him. This is not the first time fire and smoke have engulfed me. This is not the first time I have lost my sense of time or place. But this is the first time I have been truly shaken. I stutter through the ceremonies as my brain projects flashes of our times together through the lens of my eyes. You burn outside while I burn on the inside. I take your ashes to the exact same spot and watch you swim towards dad. I know you will miss me but I am also happy for you. A wonderful life comes to an end and hopefully another one starts.
It is not that simple for me though. I come back to present day. The house is still empty. And so am I as I still keep searching for bits and pieces of you to hold on to.
It seems like death has taken a liking to me. Not literally, at least not yet. But it has been around in my life for the past few years. It has given me a lot of scars but at the same time it has brought back so many memories that had been locked away in all corners of my heart and mind. Childhood, boyhood and adulthood flash through my eyes. I don’t seem to know the difference between smiling and crying anymore.
It is like we are pen friends. Did I just call death my friend? I guess he (or she) is. I hate him for taking away the two people who defined my existence. Life barely seems to tread along without them. I hate him less for making it painless. For them. It has been a world of pain for me and I will have to live with it.
A kind request to you. Don’t write to me again. Next time we meet; it should be in person.