A place we called ‘home’.

“The lights were still flickering, and the sun was about to set. I wasn’t sure if I was going the right way. Not that I didn’t know the directions. I knew every lane, every nook and cranny of this city with which I had memories attached that could certainly last a lifetime. It was just that I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing by going where I was going. I turned left from the traffic signal which had still not been repaired. It’s an irony that nothing here had changed, while my whole life had changed in the past 2 years. As I approached the house at the end of the lane my hands and feet already felt nervous, and I felt like bursting. I don’t know if I was desperate or curious but I was surely hesitant. My heart and ears were thumping with the sound of my heart beat and the butterflies started slam dancing in my stomach.

I finally reached there, to the same old bungalow I had grown to call my home two years ago. 

Everything around it was the same, but the house had changed. There had been a big lawn outside the house, with all the types of flowers  one had ever seen. She was fond of them. Too fond. She believed that flowers could bring all the positivity and fragrance in the house. Now, they were gone. Anybody who saw this place for the first time now, would never believe that this land was beautiful some time. The colour of the walls had faded along with the colours in our lives, and the doors had turned wobbly and lose. I entered through the door and my eye caught sight of a photograph, hanging in the centre of the room. The dust had settled on the glass frame rendering the picture unclear to the eye. But my heart knew, that it was our picture, clicked on our first anniversary. My fingers went for the photograph, wiped the dust and there I saw her smile while I held her hand and looked her in the eye. My eyes felt a little sensation and I knew that tears would soon start rolling down my cheeks. The thoughts of regret started clouding my mind. Maybe I had been wrong to come here. At the same time, I wondered that while shifting, how did I forget to take off that picture from the wall? Maybe I wanted to leave something as a mark, or I don’t know. 
I went to the bedroom and accidently stepped on a piece of glass, one of the bits of the broken night lamp that fallen on the ground. The windows were open and so, the lamp may have tumbled from the air coming in. The view from the windows was nothing like it used to be. One of the many reasons she had liked the house so much was because of the view from the windows that one could see in the evening. There was a field where small children used to play football in their school uniforms in the evening and their mothers used to drag them to their homes when it got dark. She used to talk to those little boys and once even invited them for dinner. That day, she told me that as a child she did not have a family like those children had and she felt deprived of all that love and now, looking at the children, she felt that they deserved all the love and care that one could give. Now that I think of it, it isn’t too shocking that even after marrying her I felt like loving her more and more each day. Today, there were no children to be seen, but only a warehouse of a company where once existed the field.

I moved to the other room, that I rememeber as the room where she had kept a small temple. She would pray to God everyday. She was spiritual in every sense. She prayed for everyone, anyone, even for a stranger who had trouble crossing the road, or the children begging. She would forget to wish me luck for the rest of the day when I started off for my workplace, but never would she forget to pray while I have been a person who’s just never really believed in the existence of God. I still wonder what she saw in me. And I still question God’s presence because of the fate we’ve suffered. Maybe she prayed for everyone but forgot to pray for us. I had not taken the furniture with me, because their place was in the house she had loved. They ought to remain here. I looked at the dining table. “It’s sesame”, she had screamed when they delivered it. The sofa was still intact, just in front of the tv. It had been my favourite piece of furniture. Every sunday, we used to watch a movie together at home, mostly horror movies that didn’t scare her a bit but I was mostly a victim to them. To pretend that she was scared too, she would hug me tightly, and would not leave me until the movie was over. I still don’t know if that didn’t mean happiness, then what does. 

I decided that it had been a lot to handle in a day. I looked outside the window and saw that the sun had already set and it was time that I leave. The sleeves of my shirt had been wet by that time as I was repeatedly trying to dry my tears up before they became prominent. I went to the main door, turned to close it and there I found the golden bracelet, that I had brought her, hanging on the knob. I tried to remember if I had seen it too when I had come. It had been there maybe, and I may have overlooked it.  And suddenly, I was struck with a thought that not only chilled my vein but seemed impossible. My legs felt hard to maintain a balance, and soon I fell to the ground with nothing but sobs. It’s just amazingly beautiful and yet so tragic. We had been sync even when apart, and she had felt the same pain as I was feeling. My mind kept struggling to reconcile with the memories of the past, and searching for any hints that would prove my imagination to be true. And I turned to the photograph hanging on the wall, yes it had been true. The windows were open because someone had opened them. The bracelet was there for a reason. The reason was that she had continued to love me just like I still love her. I realised that she had been here too. She had been here too before she died.”

Call me ‘his’.

The sky was almost red, and the sun, on the verge of hiding behind the mountains. 

“You know, the sunset, the mountains, the breeze that makes crisp leaves rub against each other, and us, sitting here looking at everything around, it all seems just like they show it in the movies.”

“It does. She brought me to this place for the first time, and that was the day I knew that this place would always become the crib whenever the kid inside me would cry.”

“So that’s why you’ve been coming here for months now. Tell me, what will you do if she appears in front of you just now? Do you still feel the same for her?”

His face twitched. And he said, “I’ll do nothing. And I’ll feel nothing.”
I turned my face away from him, dissatisfied by the answer he gave. Because somewhere deep down we both knew that he was lying. 
After a pause, he said, “I’m sorry but I don’t know what I’ll be doing. I don’t know what I’ll be feeling. But it won’t ever be nothing. I have to be honest with you. I’ve moved on from her and the hopes of us being together. I’ve stopped dreaming of building my world with her as an inseparable part of it. My aspirations and ambitions are the same. I’m still my old self, strong, merry and confident, working as hard as I can to make a difference in this world. With her, I had started imagining that amidst everything that I want in life, she’s there too. In fact, I had started believing that she was the most important of them all. And moving on for me is, removing her from the list. But yet, if she comes to me, I won’t ever be able to feel nothing for her. I won’t love her, ofcourse. I can’t hate her too. But there surely be a burst of emotions, a myriad of memories that’ll come flashing back, an ache in the heart, maybe just for a milisecond, but it’ll be there. I know. And those emotions that would last for a split of the second, would be strong and would cost me my senses. I don’t know how it’ll pass, but it will. After all, our hearts are fidgets, trying to open themselves while you lock them from the people you gave their keys to, once. After all, you cannot just stop feeling something for people you once felt a lot for.”

I turn towards him, our eyes looking into each other’s, his filled with helplessness and mine with desperation. I ask “So, I won’t ever be her then?”
He put his hands on mine, smiled and said, “No, you are not like her. And believe me, I’m surviving life on the belief that you won’t ever be her. Because she left while you stayed.”

I smiled.