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Subhalakshmi Gautam

Inspirational Romance


Subhalakshmi Gautam

Inspirational Romance

Begin Again

Begin Again

8 mins 21.8K 8 mins 21.8K


It was the first thought that came to her as she woke up.He was gone.And, soon, this bedroom, the house in whose eastern corner it sat, and the tiny garden outside with its gnarled old red hibiscuss and the half grown mango tree they had planted together, all those would be gone as well.It was the strangest feeling ever.

She had no idea how she fell asleep the previous night.The proof of her lonliness was visible on her pillow.But it didn't bother her.Nothing really bothered her anymore.For the one person, she knew wouldn't hurt her for the world, hurt her the most.
"He's not coming back" she said to herself.

The phone began to ring and she didn't have to look at the screen to tell who it was.Prepared for another "get-on-with-your-life" speech, she received it.
"Hi, Beta" Granny said, in the most concerned voice.
"Hi" she said, not even bothering to fake the slightest bit of happiness in her voice.
"Are you going to college today?"she asked, already knowing the answer but hoping otherwise.
"I need time, granny"
"It's been a month honey. You've already missed three weeks. I don't want you to miss anymore classes sweetheart. You are a very brillaint girl. You don't want to lag behind, do you? That wouldn't have made your daddy proud"
"But daddy's gone" she said with the quiver in her voice and hung up the phone.

She went into his study, where he used to sit around in holidays, where he introduced her to books for the very first time, which turned into her passion.
She could see it all, he sitting on his chair, she on his lap in her favourite pink frock. She was just eight then, and he? Young and handsome as ever.
And there, right under the table lamp was his dairy. She ran her fingers through its brown cover. It was like a piece of him. A piece he left behind.

She opened the first pages, it was all about his medication. A familiar sight of his last struggling days came to her mind. The pain in every inch of his body, the coughing and the puking blood, the hunger and not being able to eat. It was like her worst nightmare come true.
She sat in a corner, put her head on her knees, hugged herself tight and cried, screamed and threw all the frustration that she had inside.

It has been this way for a month now. She woke up, move about the house like a ghoul, ate only when she couldn't take the hunger anymore, fell asleep wherever she had been crying and wake up again to repeat the same.

After losing all her energy, crying, and not finding the much needed peace of mind, she decided to get some fresh air.
She made her way to the living room slowly. There was something that got hold of her attention. A framed picture. A framed happy picture, from last summer, when she, her dad and Reyan went for a picnic.

"I guess daddy's not the only one i miss now" she thought.

Reyan happens to be her best friend since the very first day of third standard, when she moved to this city with her dad after her mom's death. He knew hee inside out.
The news of her father's death came all suddenly to him, for given the closeness between him and her father, it was when he was in his final stage, that she told him. She didn't find it necessary before that. She had hopes. And also beacuse she wanted to spare him the pain. After her dad's death, she hasn't seen him. Not even once.

She walked past tge neighbourhood and into the park. And in the far end by the lake where only a few people went was her bench. Her bench. Sitting there and watching the still lake, she found solace, whatever the situation be.

She went and sat there and watched tge swans swim. There was a man feeding them. The man was always there feeding them. The man with a lot of hair.
"man bear" Reyan used to joke.
She smiled at the memory.
And just when her thoughts started creeing back to her dad, she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned around to see a face as fimiliar as it was welcoming.
It was Reyan. He hasn't shaved.
"That's strange. He hates not shaving" she thought.

He came and sat by her.
"Hey Kia"
"Hey stranger"
He smiled, "i knew i'd find you here. You hadn't even locked your place" he said handing her the keys.
"I've got nothing more to lose" she said in a voice that was barely audible.
The guilt in Reyan triggered in. He didn't know what to say. Kia saw his handsome face drop down. His dimples disappeared.
"About your new look. You tryna compete the man bear huh?"
His smile returned. Her favourite sight. She put a finger in one of his dimples and smiled. Something she always loved doing.
Reyan loved it too but only when she did it. Reyan knew it's the best time. He had to say what he came to say. His face grew serious. He looked her into her brown eyes and took her hand in his.
"I'm sorry" and shd felt a teardrop an her hand.
She didn't get it. "Why are you sorry Reyan?"
"For being the most selfish friend in the world"
"No, you're not" she said even though she partly agreed after she got what her was talking about.
"The last month was horrible for me. Parvateshvar Uncle's loss was the most heartbreaking thing that has ever happened to me. It left me in such a miserable state I barely talked to anyone. On top of that, I blamed you beacuse you didn't tell me soon which left me with little time to prepare for such a big blow. I never wanted to talk to you, you know. Like it was you who gave him that cancer. It was slowly that i realised I wasn't angry on you. I was angry on fate. He was too young for this. And when i realised this, I realised what a terrible person I was. I wasn't there when you needed me the most"

Tears refuse to stop flowing from their eyes now.
"But now i'm back Kia. I'll take care of everything that Parvateshvar Uncle has left behind, including you."

All this while Kia had been looking down but the last line made her look him in the eye as she knew she was about to hear what she has always wanted to.
"I love you Kia. And I'll never ever leave you alone again"

She was speechless. She didn't know how to feel. Did she love him? Yes. Unconditionally. She has always loved him. But she didn't know what to say just now.
He squeezed her hand tight.
"It's okay Kia. Lets walk you home now."

When they reached her doorstep,he hugged her, so very tight, something she was in dire neet of these days. He started walking out. She watched him leave.
"Atleast he'll be back" she thought.

"And yeah....Kia?" he shouted from the driveway.

"The last time i met your dad, he said he wrote something for you in the last pages of his dairy. He asked me to tell you, incase you haven't found it out yourself"

And as soon as she shut the door, she let the tears flow.
"A letter" she said in ther lowest voice. As low as it might be, there was a sense of joy in it.
"I get to hear from him again.I get to treasure his thoughts"the thought made her as happy as when Reyan said he loves her for the first time. Maybe even happier.

She rushed to the study, picked up the dairy, opened it from the back side and there it was "A FATHER's LAST WORDS TO HIS LIL GIRL" neatly titled.
Her tears wouldn't stop flowing. She kissed the first page knowing her father's hands were the last to touch it.
She wiped her tears gathered herself and started reading it.

"After the death of your mother, many a times suicidal thoughts crossed my mind. But I had these tiny little hands that held my finger tight and wouldn't let me go. What i mean to say is, there's always something to look forward to. However small it be.
People told me 'it-was-time-to-move-on' and all the other kind of nonsense but the truth is sweetheart, people don't understand. Listen to me Kia, it's okay to be as hurting as you are right now. It's completely human to feel that way.
You know, I did get a little worried about you when i got to know what was about to come. But the way you handled everything around me, left me with no doubt. You are a very strong girl. I know you'll grow to be a very beautiful woman, inside out. I know you'll be as brillaint in your academics as you always were. I know you'll live you life. I know you'll take care of eveyone around you.Granny, Grandpa and Reyan.

And yes, as much as I hate to say it, Reyan deserves you.Being with him will bring you happiness.
And lastly baby girl, NEVER GIVE UP. I have that faith in you and i know you'll never let me down.
I'm proud to have a daughter like you.
I love you Kia"

She woke up and it was dark, her father's dairy was in her hands.
She knew what she had to do.
"i'm going to college tomorrow" she texted to her Granny and Reyan.
There was an instant reply from Reyan.
"Great news.
Can't wait to see you"
"Yeah, me too" she blushed at the thought.
" you...?"
"Ofcourse i do, you idiot"
And her lips curved into a beautiful smile.

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