What keeps you going on the less happy days? What keeps you from letting one night turn into yet another morning? What pushes you to breathe one more time even though it pains every time? The belief in God – whatever your religion may be, wherever your faith lies? Or is it destiny? Or karma – that you will get what you give around. Or are you one of those who believe in the power of humans and the ability to conquer the world – the rising supporters of humanism?
Me? For me, hope keeps me going – the hope that one of these days, I’ll figure myself out again. Someday the sun will be brighter, the world more colorful and the day happier. The hope that this too shall pass and l will survive it like I have all these years. Hope. It’s important not to lose hope.
As he watched her walk away, he muttered abuses under his breath. As she walked farther, his voice became louder, hurling out the abuses loud now. It made him angry and unlike her, anger did not make him cry. Anger took him away from the pain, it made him feel in charge. He was no longer the helpless one. She may have broken up with him, but he was the one who would decide what he felt. And he chose to be angry. She looked back at him; the passersby were staring at her. She felt uncomfortable. Where there was pain in her eyes a few minutes ago, now there was shame and fear. Her confident gait was now hurried and skeptical. He broke her heart, twice now.
She sat by the shore. The cold water rhythmically wet her toes now and again. Some more and then no more. She inched closer to the water. She sadly stared out at the man in the water, helplessly flailing his arms around. She wished she could help him. But she’d just come out of the water for him. She’d tried dragging him to the banks. She’d tried calling out for help. She’d tried hauling him over herself. But after a while, there’s nothing she could do. She saved herself from drowning. That is all she could do. He didn’t want to be saved. Yet he wanted to live.
“Let me please help you,” she cried out. She pushed her drenched hair out of her eyes. Sand was stuck on her wet palms and legs. He didn’t reply. He struggled without making a sound. He didn’t cry out for help. Her dress was soaked. It clenched to her contours. She was breathing heavily. She was struggling to breathe as he was struggling to die. She dug her fingers in the sand and dried leaves around. She sobbed uncontrollably. Her lungs were searing with pain.
She looked up after a while. There was no one in sight. The water was rippling in the middle. The waves were becoming smaller. They would soon die. Just as he had. She stared at the water. Her tears were drying up. After a while, she got up, turned around and left.
She couldn’t kill herself over him. If she did that, his death would be a waste. After all, he had just killed himself over his love. She couldn’t repeat his mistakes.
Every single day, I was sitting in the corner under the tree – protected from the harshness of the Sun, the stares of Man and thorny ground below. I was waiting for the days to end, nights to fall, life to go on. One of those days you came along like a breath of fresh air bringing the whiffs of flowers and scents of freshly baked cookies. I was wary. You said you only wanted to talk to me. You were sad. You wanted company. I was sadder. I know what you felt. You told me about tales of long lost men and those voyages of the seas, the lands in faraway places and the Heavens where Gods can be. You aroused in me the desire to live, the want to know, the need to talk. I hesitated, stuttered, stammered, paused and then there was no stopping me. I was bubbling with newer energy each day I saw you. I waited for the nights to end and days to come now. One day you didn’t come. I waited all day long. There were no flowers to smell around me. The second day you didn’t come, I ventured from under my tree. I couldn’t see you all day. The third day you didn’t come again. My heart broke when I saw you laughing down the street, playing with people whom I had heard about. You forgot about me when I couldn’t stop thinking about you.
I went back to my corner under the tree – protected from the harshness of the Sun, the stares of Man and thorny ground below but with a heart split open to bleed. Again.