Diary of a Lost Wanderer: Starry Nights
Lying on the parapet wall I aimlessly kept staring at the star studded sky. Was I looking for something? Perhaps yes, I wanted some answers. Suddenly I saw a star breaking and almost instantaneously my mind went back in time, to my childhood when I was 12 years old.
My summer holidays were on and we were travelling to my native place- me, my brother and my mom. Dad couldn’t accompany us. Due to some urgent work at office he had to cancel his plans at the last moment. Just on the verge of turning a teen, hormones were playing a rage inside my mind. Suddenly all that wasn’t there became so visible. It was as if I was standing on the doorstep of adulthood, confused whether to put my foot in and enter or just enjoy my childhood a bit more. It felt like unable to decide I had decided to hang in between for a little longer.
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All of a sudden my childhood companions were now boys and girls. Crush, dimples and smiles ruled the conversations instead of which game to play and how to defeat the other team. Life was taking a steep turn and if I didn’t hold on tightly it was threatening to topple me over! At my native place we all slept in the open mainly due to two reasons – one the extreme heat (we are talking about a time when air conditioners weren’t a norm) and secondly it was a nice way to catch up with the entire family as the kids would have holidays and all would be a bit relaxed compared to the rushed schedule they followed during school days which ended with them holed up in their respective bedrooms.
Songs, dance, jokes, parody… the list of performances for the night were endless and no one actually remembered who slept off when. But yes it was one of the sweetest sleeps one could have with cool breeze ruffling your hair, a sweet smile playing on your lips and your heart singing a song of joy. It was sheer bliss. One such night after everyone was asleep; I woke up to have some water. The bottles were empty, so I had no choice but to walk all the way down to get it.
Rubbing my eyes, in a half awake – half sleepy state I tiptoed my way downstairs. Half way through I heard some whispers, my instant reaction was that of fear for I felt it was some ghost or thief. But as I kept on moving the voice became clearer. It was my mother’s voice; she was on the phone talking in a barely audible tone to someone. I could catch fragments of the conversation, “ Ya….. I will be there. No.. They won’t be there with me. I will come alone… You….” I guess she sensed my presence for she turned to face me immediately disconnecting the call.
“ Whhat do you want? Why are you not sleeping? Is it some stupid game of yours at this hour in the night?”
She was fumbling for words. My voice was completely choked up. I was fighting back tears and I didn’t know why. I just barely managed to whisper, “I want some water mamma…” before rushing into the kitchen and then bolting upstairs as fast as my tiny feet could take me. Something in me snapped that night and since then the distance between me and my mom just kept getting wider and wider. The cracks became more deeper with every passing year as I failed to understand what went wrong even years after I knew what I had witnessed was not normal.
That incident left such a deep mark on my psyche that I spent most of my teenage and adulthood in trying to decipher something that was beyond comprehension. I had a series of broken relationships and I never understood why people left me. I had no friends and all I could think of was, “Imagine you are so bad your mom also left you… she never wanted to be with you. How can anybody else be with you?”
I spent years rotting in that hatred, killing myself bit by bit every day. I was a complete mess, till I met him. It took me more than a year to believe he was for keeps. He wasn’t there to widen my cracks or hurt me more. He was there to fill each of my crevices and cracks with his love and make me whole. He was there to hold all my broken pieces together tightly in his embrace, never to let them fall apart. He had come to connect all the dots of my life and with his magic wand turn it into a fairy tale I never believed in.
He was the one who didn’t show me any dreams or promise me the stars. He was the one who made all of them come true and made me live them every moment. As for the stars, he ensured my eyes shone every moment with joy. It had been 5 years of togetherness and everything else seems like some bad nightmare that never happened.
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Just then I remembered the falling star and decided to make a wish, “Let us be like this forever!” I felt a sweet tender kiss on my forehead as if to say “Amen”. He truly completed me.