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Sambhavi Jhajharia



Sambhavi Jhajharia


The Final Adieu...

The Final Adieu...

4 mins

As I reached home, I realised I had forgotten the keys. Raghu, my brother, had them with him. There was still an hour for him to turn up. I sighed. Me and my brother, a year elder to me, lived in a rented flat together. Our parents had passed away when we were quite young, so Raghu and I were more than just siblings. I decided to go to the terrace. Leaning on the railing, I scrolled through the pictures of the evening. I laughed silently, watching us all pile cake on Raghu's face. It was his twenty-fifth birthday celebration--lots of fun with dancing and jokes. Now he had gone off with some friends to give them a birthday treat.

Suddenly, I heard a whisper from a corner of the terrace and saw someone's silhouette. I glanced at the time. It was a quarter to twelve. I squinted in the darkness to see who it was.

'Kashish.....Kashish......,' a husky voice whispered.

A chill made me shiver. Who was it, calling my name in the middle of the night? Quick as lightning, I turned on my flashlight. The beam fell on my brother's face. He was laughing.

'You were so scared!' he chortled.

'It's not funny,' I snapped.

This was just like Raghu. Once, when I was eleven, he went on to pretend I was invisible to prank me. The show went on for five hours and I was nearly in tears by the end. I remember the day as if it was yesterday. This was not because the event was particularly memorable but because it was the day our parents had died. I remember seeing their peaceful faces lying on the pyre and myself crying loudly while Raghu cried silently, with one hand on my shoulders like a one-armed hug, consoling me.

 I said,'I didn't see you arrive on the terrace.'

'Yeah because you were glued to your phone. You didn't notice.'

'How come you are back so early?' 

The smirk was wiped off his face and he grew serious all of a sudden.

'I thought I would say bye to you and then go', he said. 'And here are the keys. You left them in my pocket.'

'Oh right,' I said, taking the keys he was handing over to me and keeping them in my handbag.

'I should get going now. If I get any more late, my friends are going to haul me off this terrace,' he joked.

'Haha! See ya!' 

He walked to the door to leave. Out of the blue, he turned and said ,'I love you, sister'.

Then he hurriedly went away before I could say anything. Frowning, I thought, 'He's in a funny mood today.'

I turned and continued to watch the pictures. After hardly a minute, my phone rang. It was Rohan, Raghu's friend. I picked it up and heard Rohan's voice which was shaky.

'Hello -- yes Rohan, tell -- what happened -- what!' -my heart skipped a beat- 'Do-d-don't joke with me,' I found myself saying.

'B-but--How--He was just here -- How -- No,' I spluttered, my shock and confusion making me inarticulate. I hung up. 

Rohan's words , 'Raghu had an accident and died on the spot five minutes ago....' echoed in my mind. I wished it was a prank but I knew, from Rohan's anguished voice, that it wasn't.

But wait! I saw Raghu with my own eyes just a few minutes ago, how could he die!? Rohan is either joking or lying. Raghu had come, he even gave me the keys. The keys. I jerked my bag open and groped inside it, searching frantically for the keys. They were nowhere to be found. I stared aimlessly at the tousled bag. It took some time for the truth to sink in. Tears welled up in my eyes. I heard Raghu's voice in my head-- "I thought I would say bye to you and then go." 

Oh! Only if I knew what that bye meant. All those good times with my brother ran like a slideshow before my eyes. I cried, tears rolling down my cheeks. The one who wiped them every time I needed wasn't with me, he was gone. Forever. I got down on my knees sobbing into my hands. He always stood with me, always came for me and so he did today. 

I won't see him anymore except in my dreams---

I won't hear him anymore except in my head--- 

Wailing, I raised my head towards the sky and yelled, agonised, 'I LOVE YOU TOO, BROTHER!'

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