The day I brought my result was the last day I had seen Smitha.Though it brought back the feelings of my first love but a sense of responsibility over powered it. Quietly I walked away. With my report card and certificate in hand, I bid her goodbye. Praying the Almighty to bless her with a good life. Things went exactly the opposite way I had planned .
We moved into a different city. I joined a new school. Though things started to move at least in my life, it had completely come to a halt in my mom’s . Change of place, new surroundings, new people nothing worked out for her. My aunt came to stay with us for some days. Still nothing changed.
It seemed as if she had fallen into a deep hole from where she had no idea how to come out. Her health worsened day by day. And finally we had took a decision to seek professional help. All these affected my studies a lot. It did affect Anwesha too. So my aunt took both of them away with her. Thanks to her never ending support during those days of our misfortune. Nobody except her came to our rescue. Family. They call themselves to be family. Yes, only when it’s about their rights. Not their responsibilities.
I shifted to the school hostel. Buried myself inside the pages of my books. Lost myself among formulas, equations and biological names. The dream to see myself as a medico, adorning a white appron and a stethoscope kept me alive. And there was Smitha, with her name, her smiles, her pleated braids, her curvy fingers and her simple looks that still reminded me of her. Secretly I nurtured the hope of finding her somewhere again in the path of life.
My life changed in an instant. Transforming a carefree teenager to a matured young man.
“In an instant…. Ritesh, Life…changes in an instant”.
The sun was about to rise, splashing it’s colors in the sky. Waking up lazy souls and dragging kids out of their beds. We realized that we hadn’t even blinked our eyes the entire night. Though he had been my roommate since the first day of medical college but I had always hidden this side of my life from everyone. Even from him. My closest pal.
“So this is the reason why you never got along much with girls of our batch. Didn’t like getting linked up. This is why you always advised me to take relationships more seriously and hated my casual attitude.”
“Now I can connect the dots.”
“But there was something else other than Smitha that didn’t change inside me.”
“What is it ?”
“It’s getting late.”I said and we both burst out in laughter. Easing up the serious atmosphere of previous night.
“Actually it was dad’s habit. I have inherited it from him. It seems as if he lives within me with that old habit. And I have taken care to never let him go”
We need to care . Need to nurture. Need to make sure that something inside us stays alive.
Our eyes were losing their strength. I don’t remember exactly when we both fell asleep. But woke up late in the afternoon only when our stomachs were howling with hunger.
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