I had to bid you farewell.
My guardian angel. My first teacher. My grand old man. My dearest Thaatha.
My best friend. But how naïve of me to think that you’d stay that way forever.
I was given a brief moment to say my goodbyes.
No amount of preparation, counsel and advice would help me muster sufficient courage, to say goodbye. To the one true love of my life. For the very last time.
Heaven knows that even a lifetime would be too short a period to see you. One final time.
There wasn’t going to be a sunny dazzling “hello” shortly following this goodbye.
This was the end.
I was dragged to the very front of the crowd, before the living throbbing entity could swallow me whole.
Dazed and confused as I was, I frantically prayed that the ground under me would cave in and transport me to a parallel dimension where I’d still see my grandfather alive. And I’d still see the world in color instead of black and white.
I put out my trembling hand and touched your pale sunken face. I kissed your forehead.
It was like dry ice. Third degree burns straight to the heart.
I was frozen.
My heart, The Titanic, sinking to the icy cold depths of hopelessness. After just a brief touch of the iceberg of your mortal remains.
My lungs were stripped of oxygen and I feel my lungs collapsing in.
My life. Ditto.
Numb. Unfeeling. Definitely no healing. Ever.
It was then that I felt cold. Really cold.
Chilled to my bones. Chilled to my very being.
Everything had stopped. So very still. Absolutely inert.
This was my zero Kelvin.
And I’d do anything to never go back to that feeling again. Anything.
I step into the shower and turn on the knob.
I wait for the hot water to pound on me.
Head. Body. Soul.
Hot here is an understatement.
Its hot enough to scald, burn and leave a trail of blisters in its wake.
Hot enough to kill a small animal.
Hot enough to cauterise your emotional internal wounds.
But it is comforting. To boil in your very own personalised hell.
To let your aches and worries be burned away.
After all, we all are addicted to the pain.
These hot showers are my desperate everyday attempts to thaw my glacial soul.
At least a few fragments of it.
Thirsty as it is.
For warmth. For reassurance. For closure.
How I envy the flames that he was consigned to. They got to tightly embrace him in their arms.
For longer, much longer than I was allowed to.
How blessed it must be to be able to hold a Man.
So perfect. In the truest sense of the word.
You left too soon Thaatha. Much too soon.
This world didn’t deserve perfection like you anyways.
So until I am blessed enough to be embraced by the same flames that held you so tenderly,
I will try to find solace each day.
In the shower.
Written by: S.Vibha (Biotechnology)