Stella stood there, in the middle of her room, holding a picture, a pleasant picture of her parents and her…….picture of a time when there was peace , no fight over dreams, no fight over rights, no tears, no sorrow!
There were too many noises in her brain, too much to be able to listen to any one of them. It seemed as though she was standing in the middle of a desert……her mouth was dry; her brow was frowned, sweat trickled down her neck. She felt as if all the blood in her body has rushed to her brain, it seemed as though her body foresaw the war and its qualms before Stella could have even thought about it!
There was a tension in the air, taut enough to be able to break every axe that came to cut it! For the first time in her life, Stella heard silence cry and wail…..it pierced through her ears. She tried to swallow the saliva in her mouth, it was thick, very thick…. she almost choked on it.
The picture that she held in her hands was the first attack of the war, straight on her heart, salt for her wounds! Her heart beat went very high; she was scared for her life. Her pulse was rising, higher….and higher…..higher enough for her to hear it, it ringed in her ears. Her heart was begging for help, warning her for the storm, telling her not to step outside!
She was boiling, as though she had the worst fever ever known and then…..she felt cold, as cold as ice, frighteningly cold. For a second she wondered if she was still alive. Scared, she immediately kept the picture back.
It was hard for her to face her parents, even in a picture! Those smiles added fuel to the fire of her guilt!
She shook her hands, rubbed them against each other and then rubbed them on her face and her eyes. Closing eyes was not scary for her now, the world outside was as dark as the world within!
She picked up the picture for the last time, hugged it and then kept it back without looking at it. Those smiles could have tied her down but she strived to be free! She picked her bag and started towards the window but stopped dead at her spot….turned back and then looked at every single thing in her room. It was not just a glance, she wanted to record every single detail, capture it with her eyes. Her room was special, it had seen a lot…..it had seen her cry, laugh, break down, then pick up her own pieces to fix herself and then move forward. Here, she was looking at it for the last time; she knew that she will never be back! She looked at everything, closed her eyes to picture it in her mind, gave a deep sigh, and then opened her eyes again to bid it a smiley goodbye. Her eyes were already teary; the smile appeared like a rainbow formed on a very gloomy sky!
She then rushed back to her window and escaped, without ever looking back!
The noise immediately caught Stella’s attention. She was lost so deep in her memories that it took her a few minutes to realize that she was in a hospital for the treatment of her friend and that seven years have already passed since the night she eloped! Her eyes fell upon the letter in her hands….just a piece of paper but felt as heavy as a huge metal boulder. She swallowed her saliva; it was just as thick as that night, tainted with her guilt, enough to choke her!
With a very scared heart, she started to read,
It has been a while, I know! I know that I should have tried to reach you sooner! I know that I should have never allowed our relationship to stoop to this level in the first place! I know that you deserved the right to explore the world with your own perspective …. but …..alas! I don’t know why I tried to stop you then!
When I was young, my mom always used to teach me about the importance of nurturing relationships with love. She used to tell me that a relationship is like a piece of glass, you heat it with the warmth of your love, give it some time and then mould it into a vial. This vial contains your guilt, sorrow, happiness, failures, achievements, flaws and beauty. The more love that you provide it; the larger it grows, holding more and more parts of your life. But, if you lose your patience, become greedy and try to stretch it forcefully without giving it the love and time that it deserves, it breaks, spilling all that it once held, and you….you end up losing a huge part of yourself. Since the night you left, her words have been a hymn for me!
But, I am not writing this letter to dwell on the past, I am writing it to inform you about something very important, something that I am guilty of…..”
The paper was torn after that. She was trying very hard to hold back her tears, her lips were twitching. She felt helpless, ran her fingers against the torn end of the paper, hoping to read whatever was left unsaid, turned the paper and found something more….
“I am sorry, Stella! I know that I should have told this to you earlier, but…I just could not find the courage in myself!
I know that I have disappointed you, sorry again. Maybe I do not deserve an apology but please try to grant me one if you can.
Your loving father,
Stella could not hold her tears back! A stream trickled down her cheeks. She missed her father too! She wanted to meet him, hug him, tell him that she has already forgiven him and say sorry for giving him so much pain. She wanted to say so much, hear even more, wanted to be that loving daughter again. I wish she knew where he was!
A hand came on Stella’s shoulder. She turned back to find John. He felt like an oasis in the middle of a desert, like a drop of water on barren land. She immediately hugged him and cried…..cried…and cried on, like a baby!
What was Stella’s father trying to tell her? How are the events going on in the house related to him?Find out in the upcoming chapters of “When I walked through”. Follow the blog to receive an e-mail every time we release a new chapter.