Going through the albums, Rhea saw herself growing up with every turn of the pages of the album. She couldn’t help but compare her current self with her childhood self.
She was happy and innocent back then. She used to love unconditionally. For Rhea, her current self was a sad replica of her childhood self. Her innocence had faded long ago and she could hardly trust anyone.
Such changes had come upon her owing to the influence of various people in various stages of her life. Some of them hurt her and taught her about life the hard way. She never had the opportunity to give them their well-deserved closure.
She walked to her cupboard, tore off a piece of paper, divided it into little pieces and began to write.
To the guy who pushed me off the swing in Kindergarten,
Thank you for teaching me that after a fall, what one needs to do is
to dust themselves and fight back.
To the people who made fun of my feelings,
Thank you for teaching me not to trust people with my secrets so soon.
To the people who bullied me,
Thank you for giving me a voice. Thank you for making me assertive.
To the person who broke my heart,
Thank you for teaching me that love doesn’t always promise a world of peaches and cream. Sometimes, love makes you stronger by breaking you down.
To the friend who killed herself,
Thank you for teaching me what happens to our loved ones after our death. Thank you for helping me appreciate my life.
To the people who underestimated me,
Thank you for making me more confident about myself.
To the person who fell in love with me again,
Thank you for trusting me with all your heart, when I could not trust myself.
To the guy who tried to molest me in a crowded train,
Thank you for making me protect myself. Thank you for teaching me self defense.
To the relatives who tried to question every decision of my life,
Thank you for letting me know that I should never care about what you think. The only people whose opinion should matter to me are my immediate family members and my friends.
With every word that Rhea penned down, she could feel warmth and happiness seep into her heart.
And with every single paper she wrote, she had a smile etched on her lips akin to that of her childhood self in the photo album.