I remember it, I remember it so well like it was just yesterday that you made the promise. Twenty years ago you promised me that you would come back for me, when you told me no matter what anyone said, I was worth it. That I wasn't a waste of time and every moment with me had been precious and you would not trade it for anything. That I was your life. But now, when I look back to it, I know you lied. It's not like I didn't know it back then because I sure did, but I WANTED to believe that you were being honest. You know, I never blamed you. And though I knew you had lied, I believed that it was because you didn't want to hurt me, that it was because I was perhaps your biggest mistake and you wanted nothing more than to have never met me, that you regretted each and every moment with me because I was what was holding you back. And I always believed your promise that you would come back, I still do.
Every day, I hope that you will come back, back here -just like you promised. I never left the town in the hope that if you were to come back, how would you find me? I never stopped missing you. I wonder sometimes, did I find too much meaning in your words? Perhaps you hadn't meant what I inferred. Or did I put those words in your mouth? But never do I doubt your promise. Ever. I know you had meant it and you had meant to keep it. I just fear that I might not be around when you do come back. I was just twenty-two when you had made that promise. Time had passed and I even got married but you didn't come back. And you know something? Twenty years later, and he is still not my number one man, it’s still you, just like it always was and will always be. How could you not come back? You promised that you would come back! But life isn't over, not yet. And I still look forward to tomorrow, hoping that it would be the day when you return. Some days, on the days I am feeling extremely excited, I hope and even pray that you'd come back to keep your promise that day itself!
Maybe in the evening, and then I can tell you about everything you missed out on. But then I remember how you hated evenings, so surely you wouldn't come today's evening. And so, I look forward to tomorrow morning, yet again. Did you like the city too much, perhaps? I remember how you hated my tardiness. But then how come your ever-so-punctual self is so late this time? I get very tired of waiting sometimes. And sometimes I feel annoyed and angry, and I tell myself that when you come tomorrow, I will not talk to you and give you a hard time but then I think about your smiling eyes and the anger, the doubt, and everything-it all fades away. I have a daughter, I named her J, after you.
She has your kind eyes and loves me, just like I loved you. She refuses to even let her father raise his voice at me just like you always protected me, from all those boys. She reminds me so much of you. Sometimes, I see the early morning sun rays coming into the room through the window and the way the sun rays bring the light in and I can see those small dust particles floating around, it looks so mesmerizing. You were the only one who knew that despite me being my gloomy self, how much I loved the sunshine. I remember telling you that I wanted to catch it and you had told me that we could do it together, that you would help me. But that day, when you were leaving, when you made the promise, you told me I had to do it alone, somehow. So, I did it. I caught the sunshine! How? Well, do you remember how I loved the sunshine but hated going out in the sun? Looking at the sun hurt my eyes.
Seventeen years ago, I went out in the morning, closed my eyes, and directly faced the sun with my arms wide open. I caught the sunshine that day, I caught it inside me and I decided that I would always keep that sunshine with me. And you know something, that sunshine has helped me ever since and has helped me in the darkest times of my life, just like you have always helped me in my darkest times. Just like you, that sunshine no one could see it, but I knew it was there to guide me through the dark - always. I remember it when they were taking you to the city for treatment and you promised me that you will come back to me. You knew that I would never let you go if it wasn't for that promise because you knew that I knew that you always keep your promise. You yourself didn't want to leave but you were forced by that bitch. I know you loved me and didn't want to leave but that bitch didn't understand that. And me? I was ready to lose you for some time than to lose you that bitch. You didn't come back like you promised. It was only three years later that the news came that you were gone for good, that I had lost you to that bitch-your cancer.
Maa used to tell me that you were the brightest star in the night sky but I was twenty-five then, I knew that the brightest star couldn't be you. Stars are too far away from us and you would never go that far since you had promised to return to me. Three months ago, I have been diagnosed with the Hodgkin Disease. Like, can you believe it? What were the odds that I would have Lymphoma like you? Apparently high.
Last week, we told J about it and she did not take the news well. Had I been like that when it had been you? I suppose that is why you had made the promise because she too refuses to let me even get out of the house. She cried so much .I told her that she had to be strong for me. But still, now, she is too careful about me. If there was anyone that I loved as much, after you, it would definitely be her. She refuses to accept it or to let me go and you know what? I have promised her that I will never leave her side, I will never leave her alone. I told her that cancer can't take my life, after all, SHE is my life. I have lied, and I guess deep down she knows that. The doctors say that it might be too late for me and I might not have a lot of time left. So dad, please come back soon, before I have to leave.