The Parting Gift
I was eating the little pieces of freshly plucked guavas dipped in chilli and salt while she was having the morsels from the leftover meal, which he had a few minutes ago. Never had I seen my mom and dad dining together and here I was watching my grandmother eating from her husband’s plate.
“Why do you eat from his plate?” I asked her, tracing my fingers over the rim of the glass. With a heart-warming gummy smile, she asked me to take a nap before going out for the evening prayer at church.
Though I was more like a loner at this place initially, I somehow started liking the transformation from being a spectator of a sinking relationship to being welcomed at a delicate dimension of paradise. I was more fascinated than happy, at the little gestures that manifested what innocent love was like. This vacation was definitely the best thing my parents could do to me before getting separated.
“Grandpa had promised me that he would take me to the plantain fields. We aren’t coming to the church,” I said.
“Oh dear, he would take you before we leave for the prayer,” she said while she took my plate and walked into the kitchen.
After having the tea with grandma’s special boiled sweet potato and chutney, he took me to the plantain fields. Holding his hand, I walked along the mushy ridges with plantains’ on either side. The child inside me could no longer resist breaking the cold walls to run towards the landscape. It looked as if it had been sketched by the pastels that I’d abandoned for the hate of colours which I’d thought to be intruders in my dull life.
“I don’t want to go back,” I said, splashing the water and swinging my legs in the canal.
“It will rain soon,” he smiled as he was tying a plantain to a pole, supporting it from falling.
I felt guilty for having spoiled the initial days with them, by huddling under the blanket and talking back with silence.But, unlike my parents, they checked on me, fed me, and lent a hand to the deprived child inside me.
Drenched in the rain, I pressed my face against her bosom as she was drying my wet hair. I felt the warmth of a motherhood I couldn’t experience. Every moment that I’d spent with them was churning in my mind when the very thought of going back to the city hit me. I lied to them that I wasn’t feeling well when they asked me to get ready for the prayer.
I watched them going to the church until they disappeared into a dot.He was holding the umbrella towards her side, as a part of him was getting wet and I don’t know why I ran behind them, knowing that I wouldn’t fit in.