She was a beautiful girl. Flawless skin, smooth and shiny, voluminous black tresses, that shone when the sun struck them, doe like innocent eyes that sparkled in response to kindness and politeness and flashed at rude behaviour, pink soft lips that had a permanent glow and a soft pout.
She was sitting next to a window pane with her forehead on it. The morning had seen a slight drizzle and the glass still had the remains. She had washed her hair and the waves were left to natural means of drying. Her perfume mixed with that of her shampoo was just the right mixture of a heavenly whiff. Her slender fingers traced the patterns of the cotton dress that she was wearing and sometimes swayed to the softness of her hair. By the looks of it, she was waiting and nervous.
Suddenly, she jerked her head to the left. She had picked up some distant flicker of noise. She jumped up from the cushion that she was resting on. It was earlier than she expected. She would have to hurry. She does not want to appear “not ready”.
She marches straight to the bed where a frill frock lies. She takes a minute to admire it brushing her fingers along the soft layers of cloth. She puts in on, slightly fumbling with the zip. Then she brushes her hair and adorns it with an accessory already kept aside. A puff of powder and a dab of moisturizer. On her way out from the room, she brushes her hand on the fresh bouquet of red roses that still nurtured dew drops within their womb. She reached to the knob on the door and turned it open. Her face does not betray the tumultuous waves of emotions she felt inside, she would have none of it.
There right before her, was the person she had yearned to see. It had been such a long time. She had longed to see the handsome face, the eyes twinkle, the lips curve into an honest smile and the forehead crease. She had longed to hold the fingers and go for long walks in the garden. And when those came, it more than made up for the lost time.
Her brother was home. The 15-year-old little girl couldn’t believe that he had been away from her from last 3 years. And what more, he had come back on her birthday! There could be no better gift. She was so happy. She hadn’t felt so overwhelmed with emotions in a long, long time. She dashed into his waiting arms and he hugged her close. She felt a tear or two fall on her neck but she assumed they were tears of happiness. They could not let go of each other. She did not want to open her eyes – it was so good, it could have been a dream.
She heard her name being called out. She ignored it for the first few times. But when the voice grew sterner and louder, she opened her eyes just a bit and relinquished her hold on her brother.
At first she could not place herself with the surroundings. Why there were people dressed in white and peering over her anxiously? She could distantly make out two sincere faces that were shrivelled with age and agony. She wondered how she got onto that bed as she had stood a second ago. And where was her beloved dadu? She had just got him back in her life. He had held her close so lovingly. And then she screamed. A scream that weighed heavy on pain, loss and death. A scream that told anybody that heard it that the person was suffering not a physical pain – but an emotional one.
It was too much for the parents to bear. They had seen the same sight for the past decade and half. After the loss of their son at the age of 22, their ageing eyes and emotions had been subjected to this sight almost every month. The father prayed that the girl be relived of the pain. This was her birthday after all.
The 28-year-old girl screamed and screamed. And then suddenly there was silence. A silence that was painful to bear. She had been sedated. She would sleep for a few hours before she took on her usual routine of visiting every room in that hospital in search of her dadu.