As my breathing turned laborious with every tick of the smallest hand on the clock, the touch of the metal felt colder against my burning toes. I had wound up in a hospital bed after 87 rounds around the Sun, give or take a few, depending upon my father’s memory. I tried to move my feet away from the bedstand but it required too much energy, much more than I could expend. Tears rolled down my face, tickling my hot face, nestling in my week-old stubble, but there was none to wipe them. My hands lay by my side, feeble and wrinkled. I reminisced the touch of wrinkled hands on my skin over the years – the grandmother who nursed my fevers, the mother who taught me to cross the roads, who I later accompanied to hospices, the wife who died in her sleep while she held my hand. That touch of wrinkled skin is what I longed for again, as I lay breathing my last, my skin on ice and fire at the same time.
“You don’t know anything about me,” he said.
“I know. But I am trying to. Doesn’t that count?”
They had started as lovers, failed and then tried becoming friends.
As she sat by him at his hospital bed tonight, she thought of this conversation. Ten years had passed since then. They were no longer lovers and barely friends. But when she came to know he was ill, she dropped everything to be by his side.
Sitting across from the bed was his wife. Her hair had greyed too early. She looked at her, sending the wife vibes of strength. They both knew of their role in his life. And his honesty would bring them together as friends for life.
As her hand moved across the sheet,
She created the man she always wanted,
Putting her dreams on paper for all,
She wanted the world to worship him.
She gave him deep dark eyes,
A mane of hair enviable even by women,
A nose as straight as a string,
A smile to floor with just one look.
In his hand, she gave him a knife,
The dripping blood adding menace to him,
“It’s time to get back to your cell,”
The nurse said taking her art away.