There was something utterly serene about watching him sleep. I could do that for hours together. Since he was not much of a happy man and my eyes had to be tormented throughout the day with the sight of his distressed face, I treated them well at night by watching him fall back to tranquility, to calmness, to dreams. He used to sleep like a baby, cuddled up innocently.
Even as we grew old, never did I ever get to witness a day that he spent in complete peace. So in our later years too, I would stay up a bit each night to watch a few moments of his rare placidness.
His last night was special. As I watched him sleep that night, I could notice a tinge of bliss on his face. I assumed it to be the outcome of a happy dream. I too slept away happily.
The next morning, it was found that he wasn’t breathing anymore.
When they were carrying away his body, I couldn’t make myself accompany the procession. Witnessing the funeral pyre burning him down was the last thing I ever wanted to do. I stayed back in our room and started digging around for all his little belongings, in order to strengthen the feel of his presence around me.
I found his diary. Though I had always known that he maintained one, I had never cared enough to peep into it. But right then, I had to. I wanted to.
Most of the pages were about us, some of them were specifically about me. Flipping through the pages, I finally came across something that made me cry my soul out, as well as provided it with some selfish comfort.
The page read, “She likes to watch me sleep. I know that. Sometimes, when I’m in the raw stage of my night sleep, I can feel her palm caressing my forehead. It makes her happy to watch me at peace for some moments. I hope my death, whenever it comes, meets me in my sleep. That will make my departure less painful for her.”
Strange it is, but at times, wishes are granted.
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