A young married woman, a mother faced with a cruel reality of her life, as her family crumbles down.
In one of those dark, scary and quiet nights, when you open yourself up, I feel a little more myself during nights. I ALWAYS do. As if the darkness of the nights provides me solace that I am not alone.
Last night was one of those nights when my heart yearned for midnight conversations that end with the rising sun, when you talk about that loser you met during fourth standard who made fun of your name or confessed that you had always been a little scared of people. It is those nights, when you wish to get drunk and weep all night in the lap of your soul mate because you have been stronger throughout and now is the time you must take rest.
Nights have always been my favorite.
There had been a million things bothering me that rose like dead from the graves last night. They wanted to be let loose, to be freed as it suffocated like dying after death. Those scary things that you’d never dare to speak in daylight.
It was one of those nights last night.
So, that is the thing with me. My intensity of pain decides my behavior. When I am not much in pain, I just go quiet and unravel myself deeper with no need for any help from outside. I come up with a solution without letting people knows I was in pain.
when things have reached the volcanic heights, I laugh for no reason, crank dirtiest jokes and ultimately ask for help.
I was talking about the stupidest of things last night with my husband , Ricky on Highway while he was driving the car. All I said began with – “Do you know / Do you remember?” and it seemed to be endless. I don’t know where those things were coming coming from , vague memories of childhood and things that were lost long back.
Ricky had been listening patiently, pretending like he heard those stories for the first time. This is one reason I married him. He always has a leaning shoulder and a listening ear to offer. He is one of the most wonderful life partners any woman could have.
“Are you Drunk ?” he looked at me with a frown on his forehead.
“No, No… No.. It’s just that I missed you so much that I could not wait a day more to see you. I was looking at our pictures and decided to leave that very moment. I hired an auto and asked him to drop me at Pune Highway. I called you thrice but You…” Ricky kissed me on my lips to stop me from saying anything further.
“I am sorry baby, I am not the Perfect Husband. I never will be,” he said.
Tears came rolling down my cheeks and I held him in my arms like a baby. We never realize the worth of something until it’s gone. Life keeps us up on our toes throughout and we miss out on most beautiful moments of life in pursuit of making a few more dollars. We don’t realize that Life is way more than paying bills. We forget to live while we are alive and miss it once we are dead.
“I sometimes wish, if only you could see yourself through my eyes. You’d know that there’s nobody on earth quite like you that fills my soul with happiness that it can’t contain in itself and nobody ever made me feel the way you do. You might not have been the perfect husband, but you were perfect for me , an exact replica of my imaginations. You truly were my Dream Guy!” I said hugging him tighter.
“I was? Am I dead,” Ricky said.
No, but I am.
He abruptly pushed the breaks on the car and hit a tree.
“What the hell are you talking about? Have you… have you lost your damn mind? Are you drugged? What on Earth makes you say that you are Dead. Is it Funny to you?” he screamed at me.
I broke in tears. Grasping for breaths and laughed at my insanity – Dead don’t breathe. “I am a corpse lying in our bedroom. I am not alive anymore Ricky. If you don’t trust me, take the keys, go home and see for yourself ” I cried.
The bustling sound of the wind and trees made him shiver , he was scared . As if the darkness of the night had scattered all around him, shaking him inside out. We were damned by God. Nobody wanted to see us together and he heard their prayers and took my life away. I did not have the chance to see my love for the last time before I took my last breath.
Only when we die, we realize that we had never really lived, not for a day, neither for a moment. Death comes one day, to all of us – uninvited.
“Ricky, look into my eyes and promise me that you shall not stop living. You would be the best dad and never let our daughter, Nikki miss her mother. I shall always love you . I would look down upon you from the stars above your head…” I said but he did not stop crying.
“This can’t be True. You are not my Sophia . She can’t leave me, she never would. She loves me way too much to die, to leave behind all our memories and just vanish. We had promised little princess to take her to Disneyland on her birthday. She would be so upset Sophia. Please come back, Sophia. I won’t be alive without you either. You can’t leave me like a living corpse. Sophia, Please tell me this is just a joke. Please…Please….Please…Don’t Go,” he pleaded and wept.
I left him breaking down into pieces on a lonely road into the darkness, never to return. As I stood in the corner of the room, I saw them hugging my lifeless body. We wept together at my death. I wanted to return. I needed my life back. There were many things left undone, many things left unsaid, all I wanted was a day more to live with my family. Angels could not give me any more time and we started our journey to heavens. They took me through a large tunnel which was disturbingly bright. The light that was emitted into the tunnel was beyond human toleration. I missed my skin, my bones, my hairs and my body that I wore for thirty something years.
The weirdest part about leaving bodies is when you leave it, the pain leaves you. Only the times when I laughed as hard as that I cried were left in my memory. As I moved through the tunnel, like a huge screen featuring the Movie of my Life, I saw moments that took my breath away. It was December 25, 2009, when Ricky proposed me. I saw him nervous, restless and panting, sitting in the church kneeling in front of Jesus and he said, “If she says no, I am coming up there to stay with You.” Only If I knew what he did that night before proposing me when I was alive. I saw Nikki when we left her crying at her first day of school. A boy hit him on the head and she told nobody about it, not even her teacher. She cried sitting at the stairs and said – I hate you Mom and Dad for sending me to School. I wanted to get inside that moment and hug my little angel and tell her things.
As we kept moving into the tunnel, it started getting darker and colder. I saw my mother working in the kitchen and she was calling out my name for help. Suddenly, she realized that I am not home anymore and that I am a married woman now. She burst in tears and cried for hours as I died here one more time. My mother is the most beautiful woman I know. She gave us everything even before we asked for it. She is the Epitome of Love. Whatever I am/was till yesterday was because of her. The strength is what I inherited from her. I could hear voices of people. They were calling my name. They were talking about me. Some of them were glad that I died. Some were in deep anguish. Everyone becomes a saint after death. People finally stop saying bad things about you once you are lifeless. It was one moment when I felt glad I left that world where people said things they never meant and did things that they never intended to do. I was FREE from chains that kept me entangled throughout my life. An incredible energy had overpowered me and I had moved beyond materialistic chains- beyond Ricky and my daughter.
I saw God with my naked eyes.
He kept his hands over me and said, “Your time has not yet come. Angels made a mistake. Ricky needs You,” and vanished.
Pic courtesy: Morguefile
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Wish – a son remembers his mother poem by Amitava Nag
The Separation – a short story by Maya Khandelwal
The Last Night of My Life – a short story by Nikita Goel
Rise and Shine – a touching mother’s musing about her daughter by Santosh Bakaya
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