Share, Will You?
We stopped by a shop. She looked at the display items, and then at me.
Her hopeful eyes glittered, and lips smiled slyly. I would have given everything to witness her vivacious smile.
“Koel has the same Barbie doll, daddy,” she said, pointing her finger at a doll.
Smiling mirthlessly, I slid my hand into the rear pocket of my trousers and mentally calculated the money I had. Buying the doll would not let me afford a taxi home, I contemplated.
“Sia, I’ll get you a prettier darbie doll, from a better shop.”
“It’s called a Barbie doll, B-A-R-B-I-E,” she laughed dulcetly. I laughed too, at the misery though.
My eyes nearly watered. I could enunciate erroneously, all the time, to witness her laugh; throwing her head back with her eyes closed.
“But, Koel doesn’t let me play with hers, daddy,” she grumped. “I want one too, and then, I won’t let her play with mine,” she stuck her lower lip out.
“No, sweety, you won’t do that. Remember what mommy used to say – always share and make others happy whenever you can.”
The tiny mole on her upper lip, just beneath her nose reminded me of her mother. Hers was exactly identical. Genes! I thought.
“But she left me and you. She’s bad, I hate her. I don’t want to remember whatever she taught. Also, I won’t let Koel play with my Barbie, whenever I get one,” she spoke all of it in one breath, just like her mother used to.
Crossing her arms and squeezing her torso tightly, she stepped an inch further, ignoring me.
Coming closer, I picked her up in my arms, and walked. She resisted initially but then hugged me, burying her face into my neck.
“Mommy isn’t bad, Sia. Don’t be mad at her. Trust me, whatever she taught will always be of use to you, like, it has been to me,” I told her, coughing due to puffed breath. Carrying her all the way was more exhausting than I’d thought.
Reaching the toy shop, I halted.
“Grab whichever you like,” I told her.
She grinned, picking up a doll dressed in a pink colored frock, just like her.
I paid and emptied my pocket, still holding her in my arms. I walked her towards our home.
“This is lovely, daddy, thank you,” she said kissing my cheek. I smiled.
“So, will you let Koel play with you now?”
“Yeah, because you told me to,” she whispered and paused.
“Daddy,” she resumed. “Do you miss mommy?”
I looked at her blankly.
“Do you?” I asked.
“Yes, I miss sharing my chapatti with her; sharing our bed and my pink colored blanket with her. Also, I miss sharing my cupboard with her. I don’t have much clothes, you know,” she said adjusting hair of her newly bought Barbie.
“Not being able to share all this with her makes you sad, right? Now you understand why mommy was right when she told you that sharing makes us happy.”
She nodded. Then, resting her head on my shoulder, she dozed off. My shoulder went numb as we entered home, I let her sleep nevertheless.
Oh, the innocence! I would numb all my senses to witness her sleep serenely.
I put her down on our bed, keeping her Barbie beside her.
Taking my shoes off, I lay on the bed, thinking about her mother. She was my last thought before going to sleep, yet again.
She left because she had to. Albeit she also left behind a little part of her own entity – Sia, but it didn’t lessen any ache.
Perhaps sharing does not always make us happy. I had to share her with her Gods, and sadly, there was seldom any happiness in doing so.
Perhaps her lesson was wrong, I wondered.
I did brush away Sia’s question, however, it did not change the reality.
Did I miss her?
The truth, honestly, is that there has been no day when I’d missed to miss her. I can however feel her in my proximity. Physical presence isn’t everything after all.
She has been, and will always continue to be, inside my heart; no matter what. She was my strength when she was beside me; she is my courage when she is inside me.
So, do I miss her?
I don’t miss her in the way that I can’t live without her; I am living, precisely, surviving for Sia. Nonetheless, I do miss her in a way that I wish she never had to leave; we never had to be apart.
We wished to share our lives with each other and live blissfully for eternity.
Perhaps, she has forgotten her own lesson…