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If Only

By Nikitha Reddy

There wasn’t any need to open your eyes to confirm that it was the break of another day. The morning’s oxymoron worthy duo of warmth and coolness that filled the whole room said it all. The spring zephyr flowed in through the wide open window and pretty soon was engrossed in playing with her long tresses and caressing her.  She woke up, but the first thing on her mind was not that fun-filled zephyr. It was his body cuddled against her. Her first and last love, her world, her man. She opened her eyes and gave a gentle peck on his lips. His lips curved and he opened his eyes slowly. “Good Morning!” he said and returned it, but it was a tad bit longer and a little more passion. If only kisses lasted forever! They would do nothing but kiss each other then.

That day was like every other day. They had to force themselves out of bed, blaming the world for having to stay apart the next ten hours. After that it was the same old melancholy of every day work that keeps them away from each other’s embrace and at the same time, old, yet never boring wonder of what they would have done without the other. Yet life was perfect.

Watching her gracious walk as if she were stepping on thin wafts of solid air, seeing her tiny hands work their magic as they endeared anything that needed her mystical touch, taking in her mind-baffling distinct scent as she stood near him neatly fixing his tie, every single thing about her, for that matter her stillness or her every move brought him rapt delight.

“Do I really have to go today?” he asked her gently wrapping his hands around her slender waist from behind. She giggled and kept quiet. That wasn’t something new.

“Come on! I’m sure my associates wouldn’t mind my slacking for a day.”

“Let’s see. Six days in the past one and a half month… Yeah, you can stay at home.”

She took his bag and had to practically shove him out after kissing him goodbye. She leaned on her back against the wall, let out a sigh and started her usual countdown. Thirty six thousand seconds to go.

But three thousand seconds was all it took to change her life forever.

A lie… It had to be a lie. She didn’t even notice the phone that slipped from her hand and shattered. After that the next few moments were like a dream for her, only it was mere episodes of a tragedy. Next thing she knew was her husband’s totaled car lying among shattered glass panes, lodged between a truck and a tree. The sepulchral collage was hanging by a thread. Even the slightest supple touch would have had the capability to tear it apart. She pushed down the brake on reflex.

He was right in front of her, yet it surely wasn’t him. This impostor was cold, expressionless and void. It didn’t matter though. The dream-like life had ended and her life ended with it. Everything seemed like it was all a part of a mechanical chronicled nonsensical mime without any feelings. She didn’t crack. She didn’t blink. She didn’t make a sound. She didn’t cry. She didn’t flinch. She didn’t curse. She didn’t speculate. She merely held the car handle and froze. She did that for whole two hours until her neighbour came and walked her to the car and took her home.
Days and months passed without a word from her. What was once a lively face showed no sign of life. She had become a living dead. All she did was gaze into the space with her soulless eyes. If it weren’t for her sister she would have long been dead. Therapists lost hope for she never spoke a word nor moved. The hypnotists had no chance for she stopped listening. Death would have done a favour to her actually; one of the kindest things it could have done.

“Sally is dead. She committed suicide. J, Handle the situation. No one should know that it was a suicide.” Natalie put down the phone before she could even get an answer. Questions…people will never understand even if she gave them the answers; they just can’t. She knew she was right to have given her sister the lethal dosage of sleeping pills. She did the right thing. What others think doesn’t matter. They weren’t there for her sister like she had been. She had seen it all.

World felt surreal at that moment. It was all empty, peaceful and non-existent at the same time. She could see her sister and her brother-in-law holding hands and smiling in the eye of her mind. They are together, they are happy.

She stood up and dragged her unwilling feet to her sisters’ cold dead body and held her hand. The warmth surely didn’t linger around.  Not since 14 months, 5 days and 20 hours. It had died with her jija, the love of her sister’s life. The serene face seemed even more beautiful with a teardrop clinging to the eyelash, which is never going to bat again, and a smile on the lips, which can never move with the same elegance they used to.

“You must have been in middle of a sweet dream. Wonder how bright and tranquil it was, sis…” 

If only…


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