1.2 In the Arms of Solace
“But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heart breaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin.”
―Mitch Albom, For One More Day
Anita Hassanandani as Kavya
There are many decisions in life that we take: some we take by our choice, our wish and will, some we take under the pressure of circumstances, and some we have to take against our wish, our will. Just to do something that’s right or rather that seems right.
I wonder if not all are right, not all are correct, can we not always do something we like.
Taking the decision to leave after Alicia’s command was mine, I took it myself, no one forced me, neither I was under pressure. Leaving seemed the right time to me, after concluding the entire fiasco. The reason mainly wasn’t her words, I knew I could always neglect her command, and being honest; she never commanded me; it was the words spoken like an advice or rather a word play.
I took the decision to leave, taking her words as my shield, because I knew I might never be able to turn away from him, and it’d be bad.
I have done everything in my might to hurt Gideon, unintentionally yet I have and standing beside him, may give us both pleasure and calm but its harmful for both of us.
He has someone awaiting him, someone who deserves the King, I, I might had shattered between the fine lines of his generosity and my feelings, I might has scattered into millions of pieces to be never mended.
I’m broken, millions of pieces of mine cut me deep every day, I try to sweep them and they cut me every day. And I know, this ache will be my companion for a long time, but at least he isn’t the witness.
He may have my memories; that will fade some day; I want him to save my face as the girl who wanted to put smile on people’s face, rather than a girl who was stupid enough to fall for something far away from her reach.
I may fall every day, I may tear apart, I may bleed in tears, but I feel, my decision is right.
Even, against my wish, against my heart, I think, my decision was right.
Alicia wasn’t wrong, I don’t blame her.
Or perhaps the longing of mine finds a culprit to blame someone.
Walking alone, through the angry chilling wind, still I feel warm. After a long time, heart is at peace.
Because it was him!
After a long time, I had his dream, in between those nightmares, his appearance seems like balm on unseen burnt.
Perhaps that’s how one can define the deepest emotions; the reason of my longing is my only solace through the scariest dreads. I’m happy, I can’t deny, I’m because even through my vague-tale dreams, we meet, even from afar we see each other. He is with me, may not be holding me through my pain but his presence still lingers like fragrance of sandalwood and musk.
I look through the awaking morning, empty streets now filling with joggers and venders, starting their days with afresh, each one speaking nothing, but with one glance, I find myself trying to comprehend what’s behind their concentrated face. Some looking happy, some looking content, but deep down I know they aren’t. No one is.
A sigh slips my lips and I look away, trying to reach somewhere through my gaze which can be my peace while I enjoy the warmth of mine.
The distinct ring of my phone crashes through my peace; groaning through the vibrating earpiece; I pick up the call.
“Walk?” I smile through the crisp query before allowing my back some rest against the bench back.
“I’m about to return.”
“What does the report say?”
This time, the faint smile I had maintained so far falls; with the passing years, I’ve seen my brother’s extreme nature, his worry and care through his indifferent face. Although, we have maintained our life this way, groomed our present accepting the natures of each other, yet every time his stern hard tone affects me, and I hope if only we can change it but then Present is the outcome of Past, which is like a line on stone—unchangeable.
The heaviness of my thoughts distracts the silence between, instead, I look around for a positive scenery as I focus on my brother.
“Good, so far. Just a few necessary lifestyle changes, that’s all, Kavya said.”
I sigh, he won’t believe until he looks for himself, “I’ll send you as I reach office. But they state the same.” My nails wiping off the cool dew drops from the iron bench as I hear him sigh.
“Are you planning to extend your stay?”
“Nah! I’ll probably be back by tonight. I don’t think she’ll tolerate me further since she isn’t happy about novel’s ending.”
His husky chuckle rings through my earpiece resulting a smile of mine.
“Told you, historic fiction isn’t your forte.”
“And here I find you lost again.” I plaster a grin, coming out of my reverie, taking the mug from her along plate, before she flops down beside me.
The active screen of laptop yearning for my attention blinks before falling back to resting mode and I realize; I’d been zoned out into my reverie while working.
Her eyes twinkle in soft amazement, “Still there?”
Instead, I shrug, almost hissing as the warm tea burnt my lip for my haste sip.
Kavya sips from her cup before leaping for remote to switch off the mute LED, her entire attention directing toward me, “Had a thought on leaving?”
“Countless times.” I answer, nonchalantly.
Despite myself, I let gloom shadow over my eyes.
“Some days, many; some days, few, and there are days, there are none.”
“The person who seized the grudges of her life, brought her family to her, she kicked her out of her Kingdom. She is cruel.”
An amused scoff escapes me, I smile despite the burning ping of memory coming to sear me. I can see how upset she is with Alicia, of course, she would be, after all, she had seen her best friend breaking and weeping for countless times and each time, we can only recall Alicia’s final words and wonder why. Every time why she passed such decree for me.
“She is Princess Alicia.” I whisper looking back at her.
Silence prevails leaving us both to wandering in the valley of thoughts; hers, in my worry and mine, trying to shut off the forbidden magical chest which holds the moments of my real fantasy.
Before I choose to break it, placing back the mug on table, I pull on her arm, “After office, I’ll head straight to home.”
I smile at her nonchalant response, “I mean at Mumma’s. Bhai called and I…”
A sudden look of disappointment flashes on her face which she hides in a sigh, “This is unfair. We planned to work on the event together, and we haven’t started.”
I pout, squeezing her palm, “Yeah, that’s why you’re coming with me. Reach there straight.” I grin as she takes her turn to make face.
Yours or mine, the words lost their meaning long back for us. We have molded our life in such manner where hers is mine to call and mine belongs to hers; whether home, things, belongings or people. My family has accepted our bond and her as ours whereas her Mum calls me her daughter.
Letting out a sigh, she nods almost unwillingly before her gaze falls on the scattered files with a frown. I can’t help but shake my head at my messy manners; unless it’s work, I’m tidiness obsessed.
She gazes over the figures with keen interest before casting back on me.
“How is office?”
I heave out a sigh, shutting my eyes close. I know what’s coming but despite efforts I can’t dodge it, if not Kavya, my mind will be pestered by my thoughts.
Instead I focus on her, hearing her sigh, “Any news on Jason?”
The concern in her tone is obvious, so is defeat in my slumped shoulders.
I sigh again, shaking my head, “Nothing.”
“It’s been three months now.”
Leaning back, I slump my shoulders in real defeat, after all, three months isn’t a small time; and desperate efforts somehow reaching to the shore of hopelessness.
Since I have come back, my first task had been finding out the mole in Greefy Inc., although this mess of legal action has been set off, finding about that mole and Cryptic Friend has become my prime motive.
With this and Jason’s absence, I get few moments off from my pain.
“You still…” I shake my head, already grasping what she refrains from speaking.
“We have discussed this already, and my answer won’t change. Jason can never betray me, or Greefy Inc., not only as a colleague but as a person and friend, I know him. There is something else, a huge problem.”
Kavya returns me her silence. Sweat forms in my fidgeting palms as fog of thoughts clouds my mind; the anxiety attacks me in core for my friend.
“I hope he gets back soon…and safe.”
Please god let him be safe!
The beauty of night is spellbinding; it embraces everything that comes to take shelter in its peace. I never realized the marvel I had just at my Terrace.
I turn toward the voice instantly, my heart already filling with warmth.
vThrough these years, I have come to find my solace near this voice, my safe haven in the shelter of its warmth.
Now that look at her, I can’t help but somewhere compare our features, people praise my looks is actually her fair complexion, how we make face at something nonsense around us, how I smile with tight lips sometimes like she does. I have come at peace with people’s compliment since ages that I’m a copy of my mother.
I’m in many terms.
In physical appearance and some traits, I’m her heir, while my anger and passion are my father’s gifts to my personality.
I find a huge smile crawling on my lips as I walk toward her almost stern eyes, knowing I’m in trouble, it couldn’t keep me from grinning like Camel around her.
Does it happen to every child, all their burdens I feel leaving once they find their mother around them, biggest problem looks tiny and fragile with her assistance, the world which actually pushes us to become stone, all walls of courage melts—crumbles down once she pulls us in her embrace.
Why mothers are so different, I have always wonder but could never seek answer, perhaps because having her makes all questions right and fade.
“What have I done now?” I grin while she makes an annoyed face, and I leap just in time to peak on her cheek as she swats me away.
“Do you remember, we are leaving early in morning?” I bobble my head at her stern mumble.
Her plans, I’m equally desperate to follow and fulfill.
“Then are you going to stand here all night?” I continue to grin at her frowning face; the night is at its peak; the surroundings are submitted into peace offering silence yet I’m awake and she is worried.
I cringe at realization; and Mumma places her hand on mine, dragging us both to the swing. The warm wind of night soothing our company; the twinkling sky offering the midnight.
I turn to the woman, who has a slight frown on her features, with time, these lines have come to take a permanent place on her forehead, a sigh slips her, “Not feeling sleepy?”
I hold back an urge to scoff, it’s a ritual now.
Many nights, I’ve spent at Kavya’s just to hide myself from my family, because, one look and they’ll read me and then stress will eat them. But then, I can run and run but can never hide for they live right inside my heart.
I tighten my grip on her palm, holding on to her warmth, with her, it’s always truth, “Either dream or nightmare, sleep drags me to something which is not real. Neither happiness nor terror, I don’t want to indulge into.”
For my unsettling dilemma, my mother has smile to flaunt, “Can you stay awake all your life?”
Silence prevails and she sighs, “Life may be hard, hurdles and fears will cross your path, but they won’t go on their own, you always have your choices in life; passing them means you have to face them; running and staying away, you only procrastinate it.”
She isn’t talking about my dreams but the pain and sorrow I’ve dragged within my heart.
Strangely, I feel weak all of a sudden, and my frail voice attest it, “I’ve brought them on me, now, they are a part of me.”
“Yes, you’ve. They are your part now; so, can you run from it life long?” she smiles; the one which has her victory and my defeat.
I heave out a sigh, “I—I’ll recover…it’ll fade, it’ll go, someday.”
Yes, someday, I’ll recover, it’ll take a long time, and I’ll give myself as much time it takes.
“My dear Sapphire, are you trying to fool me or console yourself.”
Sapphire, the name only she used for me; this name holds a significant place between us; the name she has given me, because for her, her daughter is a gemstone, precious and rare, holding the powers to change the destiny, of her own.
Also, this name reminds me of our memories; weaved in pain and hopes, tears and dreams, desires and shattered reality. Yet, the unconditional love and submission of a woman for her family her love. The mere glimpse brings the flood of thoughts, wrapped in our past, the sleeping emotions, awaken in my eyes.
I look away, the warm gaze of my Mumma can shake the cold mountains, her daughter has learnt to be strong but she has never taught me to lie, from self.
“I hope you find that day but more than that, I want my daughter to be happy, bring me the girl she was before being devasted by her heart.”
Her hope brings me to smile deceiving the thorns of pain.
How can I be same Mumma, love changes people; good or bad that depends; for me, apart from the searing of my chest; I’ve been better, he never hurt me, in fact he has cherished me in his warmth. Gideon is my solace, my peace and my hope.
“Will she ever be,” I look up at her serene face, my safe haven’s trying to decipher me, “Like she was?”
Love has played a significant role in changing our life, our family, I’ve seen the flower to grow, bloom and wither and resurrecting like a phoenix, “Glowing and falling, both are our decisions, Sapphire.”
She gets up from the swing, stopping it; my eyes shoot up with her movement.
“At least try to sleep, you need rest.”
I smile at her, she leans forward, before placing a kiss on my forehead, the feeling of it, is ethereal, nothing can bring so much comfort, it’s like heaven is blessing me.
Despite all efforts, a lump form in my throat, which I swallow hard.
“Your reports are up; you must rest too. Let your children take worries, please.” I plead her through my eyes, in response, she just sighs, shaking her head with her comforting smile.
“Good night, dear.”
I watch her retreating figure, and a defeated sigh escapes me; she won’t, like a warrior of her life; she’ll never let us be worried with her stress, her problems and tears.
Taking part in all our problems, solving them with every ounce of their capabilities; why parents deny to share their burden with their own children. Can’t they trust us? Or they just don’t want us to be worried?
Whatever the case, they forget, the kids will be worried regardless of their decisions; they think they hide it well, but no, we see, notice and reflect.
Just sometimes, only if they can let us in, like we do.
Like I did!
Since the moment I found her at home, one glance of her, and all my courage and strength left. The pain and longing, the wounds I was hold with un-failed strength, all of it amplified in my misery, at her one glance.
What I couldn’t confess to self since long, the moment I touched her warmth, I collapsed, shattered and crashed under my searing pain. All my walls crashed at that moments, and all emotions which the ever-numbing pain gave me turned into river of tears, I cried, cried and cried until I was tired and cried again.
There it took my mother a moment, just a moment to understand the pain of her daughter; and she worded which I was afraid to confess in the privacy of my own confined conscious.
That, I left my heart to the man who owns my soul.
She pronounced what I couldn’t catch all this time.
I won’t tell her; I can’t tell her about Gideon’s world. No. In fact, none around me, absolutely no one will know about the mystery of nature which is prohibited.
Because for them, it’ll start with curiosity and will end up in dangerous jeopardy.
Though she asked more of him, a slight curiosity for her stone heart daughter’s choice and I told her, all that I knew of Gideon, a gem which is precious and shines brightest.
Then we settle down with silence, silence which was comforting for me, and for her. And it also meant the charm of Gideon is about to fade, because I’m back, in a reality which is far away from his fantasy.
I tried, I tried a lot, but even after this time, I’m unable hold back the sob that cracks through my throat at his one mention, a whimper of pain sears my chest when I find his Caribbean blur eyes in my subconscious.
Yes, its love. Yes, it pains. Yes, I’m in misery.
Yes, I hope it fades. Yet, I cradle it. Yes, I wish for another chance.
Despite the proclaimed destiny, I hope for a miracle.
August 16, 2020
Decisions; may form in blink of moments but they hold the power to bring changes of life.
But how one can comprehend what future has when past guides the path of present.
And we met Miracle’s Mother.
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