Metro Diaries: The Eternal Quest

 

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Emma woke up with a start from her slumber, the distant cries of an animal in pain resonating in her ears. She hated such cries in the night. They broke away all the hope, tearing through it pierced her soul and stabbed her heart badly. At 72, she didn’t need such harsh reminders on the realities of life.
 
She limped towards the table as her wobbly legs refused to wake up from their sleep. Pouring herself some water she collapsed on the nearby chair. “When will it all end? “Her heart seemed to question her now. She was tired of this subsistence, of being into nothing; the emptiness gnawing from within.
 
She looked around her house, it reflecting her life so scrupulously; the empty walls reminder of her empty life, the broken window panes talking about her broken dreams, the torn curtains imitating her torn soul and those bare shelves screaming about her bare existence. Her old, tired eyes fell on the clock adorning the wall adjacent to her. 3: 30 am. It reflected. A stark reminder of how time was running fast and she was unable to keep pace with it. Just 2 more hours and then she had to leave. Maybe today it would be the end, she mused.
 
Source: Google Images
She remembered all that was told to her, all that she had seen, understood and heard. Yet her heart refused to abide by any of that. It seemed to have found a new voice of it’s, that kept growing stronger with every passing minute. After all when it came to him, she became completely helpless.
 
Daniel or Danny as she called him was the only hope in her life. Having lost her husband and elder son few years ago in a freak accident he was her everything. He was her world no that would be wrong to say. He was the sun and she the earth that revolved around him. It was all fine till the day the sun decided to set forever plunging her world into unending darkness. He left behind for her two eternal facts of life – He was and she is; something that she had to face everything and still continue to live.
 
As if his not being there was not enough, he had left behind a huge task for her. A task that haunted her day and night ensuring that she didn’t have a single moment in peace. It was this task that had rendered her sleepless at nights like this. With the D day just few hours away from her, all she could think of was HIM and maybe her.
 
Unable to oppress her countless thoughts, she tried falling asleep again.
 
*-*-*-*-*-*
 
Huffing and puffing Emma increased her pace with all the energy left in her. It was 5:48 am and she had just few minutes left to reach there on time. Her mind reeling in the dream she had just woken up from, so much that she found it difficult to believe if she was still awake or dreaming.
 
Finally she reached her destination. A crowd of people stared back at her as if she belonged to another species altogether. Avoiding their gaze she strode ahead continuously staring at the man standing in the centre. She stood close to him piercing him with her eyes, shooting a thousand questions in each glance.
 
The noise which was touching the sky till now had been swallowed by the earth. Silence had engulfed them all together as each one of them held their breaths waiting for THE moment. Before anyone could comprehend what happened next a resonating sound filled the air. Emma had slapped him and had now broken down into sobs.
 
Onlookers came closer to help her, when she got up and slapped him once again.
 
I forgive you...”she managed to whisper in between sobs. A humming noise surrounded her as the crowd began to talk in whispers. The man standing there, Jon stared at her in disbelief.
 
Jon had killed Daniel few months back in a street fight that had turned ugly and was sentenced to death. He was going to be hung at 6 am today morning when Emma came and saved him from the gallows. He didn’t know what to say when he heard her forgiveness.
 
Slowly the crowd began to disperse knowing there was nothing left to witness, when Emma halted in her tracks and looked back at Jon.
 
Source: Google Images
This morning my son Danny came to my dreams. He told me he was happy and at peace asking me to forgive you for that would hurt him. Till now I was confused how it would feel seeing you die but today he gave me the answer. The guilt of seeing you die was something I couldn’t have lived with. Maybe you will still die, though you are alive. For this guilt will kill you bit by bit each day. But.... I just hope and pray and wish........ You never have to live in an empty house ever where there is nothing that is yours to hold onto.
 
Saying this she turned around and walked away from there, finally at peace having managed to bring it all to an end.
 
P.S: This story is inspired by a news article in Times of India dated 18th April 2014. It is a true incident that took place in Iran where a mother forgave the murderer just moments before he was going to be hanged. I have attempted to weave a story around what must have been her thoughts. It somehow touched me a lot and hence an attempt to recreate it in my own words.

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