Wish I Could

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I was comfortably asleep in my warm bed. Winter was settling in, you see, and a good night’s sleep was a must for proper rest. You were asleep in your room too. That thought calmed me and I felt proud for protecting you successfully for another day, when your phone rang, in the middle of the night.
Walking up to your door, I heard your sleepy voice.
“What? Now?”
Silence.
“Where did you say the blast took place?”
Silence.
“Damn it! Get the van. I’ll be down in twenty!”
You were getting up, gathering your things. You had to rush to the crime scene, I guessed. You are a journalist and you are my best friend. But nights like these scared me.
In fifteen minutes, you were out of your room. Casting me a cursory glance, you said, “I’ll be back soon, dear.” You patted my head and went out.
I didn’t sleep that night, my friend. I waited up, all alone in the darkness, praying for your safety.
I was afraid and nervous. You are all I have and you are all I adore.
I wish I could tell you how much I loved you.
***
Morning came, with no message from your side. The milkman delivered milk, the newspapers came and the kids next door went to school. They waved to me as they passed by.
I was whimpering now, terribly worried.
Where could she be?
I hoped and prayed for your safety as tears streamed down my face. I didn’t get my breakfast that morning and we hadn’t gone for a walk in weeks but I forgave you for all that in that one moment and just beckoned you to come home.
The jingle of keys grabbed my attention. You opened the door and I ran to you, to give you a tight hug and a kiss. You held me for a while, but your mind was elsewhere. You walked into your room to make up for the lack of sleep.
You did not talk to me that morning, but your presence itself was like a gift to me.
You were safe. I wish I could tell you how much I loved you.
***
A cacophony of phone calls it was that day, my friend. Your parents, your friends, your aunts and uncles, all worried about you. You patiently answered all the calls and I admired your strength and compassion for the same.
“Oh, don’t worry Mumma, I am fine. I just gave the firsthand report and returned.”
Your mother, the ever anxious lady. I knew how much you missed her, but why didn’t you ever say that to her?
“It was a damned sight, Nishita! I know I had to report but I just froze! You can’t see death overpowering every facet of human creation in the matter of a few minutes and get back to normal!” Her best friend, Nishita. A kind soul, who always had her back.
“Sir, yes sir. The report will be ready.”
Muffled sounds from the other end.
“I think a thousand words is a good count. I will email it to you, Sir.”
“Yes, sir it will be done by 3 pm. Thank you, sir.”
Your afternoon was occupied with report writing for the blasts and I saw your “focus mode” on and chose not to interrupt you. I had a little schedule of my own.
But I missed your company. I wish I could tell you how much I loved you.
***
I sat on my bed and stared at the wall, thinking about all the cars passing by the building. I thought the sofa would be a more comfortable location. I lay down on the sofa, curled in a fetal position. Sleep came fast and I drifted off to the images of you and me dancing around in a field of tulips and roses.
You woke me up. We ate together but I noticed we ate different things. Why does my bowl have to have that boring, bland paste while you can slurp Maggi off yours? I looked at you, with that question in my eyes.
“We’ve been through this. You cannot eat my food all the time, darling.”
You smiled and cuddled me. I liked that so I let it go. I simply adored you.
That one hour of eating was the highlight of my day because it was embellished with your presence. I showed you I was happy and saw your face lit up in a brilliant smile.
I wish I could tell you how much I loved you.
***
You were browsing through the news channels with a look of fury on your face.
What is wrong?
Your phone rang.
“They cut it! They didn’t take-“ the caller interrupted you.
“But Mumma-“ I heard you begin to sob.
“They cut my footage out. I woke up at three in the morning to shoot a report and spent all day on a write up for the same.”
You were crying now.
I could make that out from the way your voice sounded like you were hiccuping and your tone was similar to speaking into a hollow vessel. Your pitch changed. Your shoulders drooped and your face turned red.
I cannot take this. I cannot see you crying. You hate your hard work going to waste and I hate your tears. I quietly walked up to you and offered you a hug, if only you’d notice me. I pulled you tighter and you looked at me. You hung up and the rest of the afternoon was just you and me, huddled close while I fought your tears.
I wish I could tell you how much I loved you.
*** ***
We are walking in the park, together. It is the best moment of my day. You are happy and the tears are gone. After jogging for a while, you get tired. I take you to the bench and continue strolling about.
A tall, handsome guy walks by you. You smile at him. He smiles at you. I see you doing your flirtatious look and roll my eyes.
There she goes again. They’re never good enough.
You stand up and walk to him.
“Hi.”
“Hello.”
“Why are you alone in this beautiful garden?” he says.
Same old. Get a new line, buddy.
“Who says I am alone?” You’re going with it!
I see both of you turning to me.
“I am here with my best friend,” you say, “my forever companion. Meet Bruno, my pet dog.”
Are you ever not adorable, my friend?
“Hey there, buddy! Aren’t you wonderful?” goes the guy.
Sexy and I know it, brother.
“Yeah, he is. Hey, would you like some coffee?” I can’t believe you are entertaining this guy.
Anyway, none of my business. I can see Patricia, the poodle. We both have our own subjects of compassion.
But I wish I could tell you how much I love you.

 

 

 

~ Shreya Sawleshwarkar | Edited by Afreen Zeb

 

 

 


Image Courtesy: www.pixabay.com


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