A Leap of Time
She was heartbroken. Her dreamy eyes were swollen after crying through the entire night. She buried her face into her pillow and covered herself in her favorite pink bed sheet, trying desperately not to let the sound of her agony escape the confines of her room.
She brought her phone close to her face to check the time. It was almost 7 AM, which meant that she hardly had an hour to get ready and head towards her workplace.
Her head was throbbing and her body was trembling slightly, yet as the single earning member in a middle class household, she did not have the luxury to spend her scarce sick leaves.
Her eyes shifted to her mother’s smiling photograph on the wall. Another spasm of pain engulfed her as she wiped her warm tears and got up.
A thin, balding figure passed beside her silently in the hall way: her father. She consciously avoided eye contact with him. Ever since her mother’s death two years ago, he had surrounded himself in silence, wandering like a lost soul in the house.
She had a relationship of few words and fewer gestures of affection with her father: no bitterness, just the deafening silence of unexpressed love.
As they sat for breakfast, her father asked in his feeble voice, “Are you okay?” Startled by his observation, she quickly said, “I am fine, just a bit of stress I think.”
With a faraway expression her father said, “I think it is something else, you don’t have to tell it to me if you don’t want to.” He looked down and slowly ate his bowl of corn flakes.
She did not know why but her tears rolled down one by one, she burst into violent sobs and buried her face in her palms.
Slowly with a gentle touch, her father stroked her hair. “Are you missing your mother a lot?” he asked with a choked voice.
“Yes, I do, very much,” she complained like a child. “Nobody understands me anymore the way she used to. There was a guy in my office, whom I loved very much, we shared a wonderful friendship and then suddenly one day, he leaves the office, the city and my life, just like that. I tried connecting with him and he says that it is best if we leave it here. Deserting someone is indeed so easy for people.”
“Sometimes people come into our lives to teach us, they might hurt us terribly also yet the lessons they teach us, remain with us forever, changing us for good,” her father said in a husky tone.
“That is not how it is,” she interrupted in a dejected voice. “That is how it is,” he explained calmly.
“Thirty years ago, there was a girl who loved me deeply. During her brief presence in my life, she had touched my soul and then she was gone one day, to a different city , far away from my life.”
Her tears gave way to silence. Slowly, with a trembling voice she asked, “What was the lesson, she taught you?”
“To love unconditionally, just the way I tried to I love your mother,” he said with a faint smile as he slowly finished his bowl of cornflakes.