I glanced at my phone. 10:30 p.m.
We were 15 minutes away.
I felt a little nervousness which wasn’t just nervousness but some sort of mixed feeling of pain and nervousness.
I was coming back to my hometown with my driver, Jefferson who wasn’t just a driver but also my constant companion.
No, there were no special reasons for coming back to this place except my parents. They said they missed me and wanted to see me every time I called them promising they’ll not talk about what happened three years back. So I had to come back.
Since I left I wished I to never come back. This place had been so cruel to me. It gave me everything, filled me completely with happiness and then snatched everything away too.
I looked away from my car’s window which I had been staring awkwardly and looked at my phone again.
And then a few minutes later I could see the street I had known for so many years illuminated in gold by the street lights. The same old white houses and lights.
“This place hasn’t changed much,” Jefferson said.
“Yeah! I was wondering the same too,” I said.
We were halfway across the street. My home was at the last corner of the street. I had decided to stay only for a day and I knew mom would not let me leave the house once I was in. So I told Jefferson to go home alone and take the car with him assuring that I’ll be back in sometime. He didn’t argue but he wasn’t happy with the decision either.
After he left, I walked back and took the left turn through the street to reach a small white gate.
‘Carlos park.’ It was named after some guy named Carlos who was believed to have established it though there was no label or evidence which said so.
I pushed the white gate and walked through the grass pathway using my phone’s flashlight to check for any obstacles. I had been here so many times I knew the ways by heart. Exact and accurate. I kept walking till I saw a small white bench hidden behind the cherry tree in the last corner of the park. It was still there. Empty and desolate as I had expected it to be. I sat down on the grass slowly.
Too many memories. I sighed.
This little corner was her favourite spot. She would come here every Saturday night with me when our friends would be drunk at home. This place had heard and known so many things. Most of my favourite conversations happened here. I remembered once it was raining and we had to spend the whole night under the cherry tree and how the questions of my friends had made me nervous and how easily she laughed it away despite of the cold she had caught that night.
She was beautiful in every way. Her eyes were always sparkling with joy. Her golden locks blowing through her neck when she would put them behind her ear. Her smile. Her every movement. The way she could calm me.
She wasn’t the kind of beautiful you admire, she was the kind of beautiful you fall for and get your heart broken.
She was the one who filled my life with light and when she left, it was all dull and dark. I couldn’t accept this harsh reality. So I ran away. From this place; from everything that reminded me of her. I thought I could escape it but I was wrong. She never left me. Every time I felt her absence, I broke a little more. I felt so helpless and broke, no one could console me. I couldn’t just deal with the pain.
In my life, I had suffered many times but her death completely shattered me. It tore me apart like I could never be repaired. Never.
My phone beeped…
I wiped off my tears and checked my phone. It was mom.
4 missed calls. I didn’t realise it had been ringing all this while.
It started ringing again. I didn’t answer.
I didn’t want to answer it. I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want anyone to disturb me when I was thinking about her. I just wanted to keep laying there on that dead grass remembering how many times her feet had touched it. I wished she could come back and play with my hair, the way she used to do. I wished she could reappear and pull me from this darkness once again, the way she did before.
So I kept laying there on the dead grass staring at the sky; hoping that she also thought about me like I did; dreaming that she was also staring at me like I was from the other side of the galaxy.