Starting Over

“Oh Look, it started raining mother”, Adriel spoke with sheer happiness. He was convinced that this would put on hold or even better call off their plans to meet Dr. Len, but finding surprises has always been his strong suit.

She did not reply, he called out one more time, but still she did not reply.

He went in to look.

Kaya had been working hard as a mother and a receptionist in an ad agency. Things have been hard and life a little difficult after Josh died. It happened that morning, that dark morning, that’s how she describes it. She loved nature and knew the drill which it’s various associates namely, sun, moon, trees played every year, every season, every month, but after that day, she barely remembered as to why she was so in love with nature, why she ever thought of sun as god’s ultimate gift to earth, and hailed trees that only belong to the soil,  pretending to sacrifice their movement to foster mankind.  May be her doubts were an aftershock or may be she never really understood how rough things are around, outside her small solicited heaven. But she had reasons to believe, to blame and curse nature for it’s role in the misfortune, for she felt cheated, felt unsafe, for she had lost her husband to the dark morning, when the sun was playing, hiding behind clouded shackles, dim, and trees meant to stand, lied proudly on ground, silently as his car hit the trunk on road and rocketed off the hill, the repercussion an aftermath, a tragedy. A man died that night and so did the belief of safe havens.

“This was not supposed to happen”, she said. “Light was to be present, it was daytime, where was sun and why was the tree on the ground, lying? Why did nature lie?”. Her questions were never-ending, she had to blame someone after all, nature was perfect for at-least it won’t respond.

“They were perfect, happily ever after since college, seems like yesterday when they married and came to this locality, they were so happy, darlings, so happy”, the house-maid exclaimed.

Five years down the road, memories are still alive, though she has recovered gradually and understood, adapted to life’s concerns, for her child and his good, but still she often feels the random jitters, trying ever since to handle better. The irregularities in events have affected her greatly, she has been more careful and watching. In the process she has obsessively developed fear of anomalies in natural pattern. Kaya knows of it, her compulsive disposition to stay at home, inside, when daylight absents in day, when winters are not chilly, when global warming hits breaking news, she has even been watching Nat-Geo extensively. Not so long ago, it was a Sunday, day to go out to the parks, the gardens, sit and relax but then she pronounced, “No! No Adriel, we cannot go out today”. “But mother, it’s Sunday”. “No, we cannot, it’s rainy season now, but why has it not rained, I don’t feel good about it”. It was indeed idiotic, and more so delusional on her part, to expect rains, monsoon did strike late that time, and it’s hard to understand how could she have gone out if it were raining, just did not make sense, but there’s no answer when conscious is secluded from rational thoughts, instead decisions are made inclined to possible fear of misfortunes, possible obsession.

But that day is long gone, and today is another, she believed such a philosophy before that dark morning. Today she is to take her son Adriel to Dr. Len for regular dental checkup. It started raining and Adriel knew that his mother would cancel the plans, after all it was raining. This was not the time, rains are due for next month, these are one of those adamant showers that ruined his birthday last year when they took to home and not celebrate out, and the other time, when she could not catch the very important flight and lost her job, and one more, when she was bleeding but refused to get medical attention from hospital ten blocks away, these random rains, yes, he remembers. He was positive that meeting the doctor is no more on cards, but he asked anyways. He was happy, doctors did not appeal him much, he is 12 after all, not that big a boy.

“Mother, what’s the matter? Are you there?”. He went in, after she did not respond, after a while.

Adriel’s words reached her ear and things changed. The jitters had once again found their way, it was back, the fear and her obedience to the deceit. Another day was to turn out just like any other day for today, but as she stood there in front of this big mirror in her bedroom, she took a glance at her face, she felt chained, felt kept, broken and pathetic. The silence was too deafening to her ears, it was as if the mirror had procreated her whole life as an exhibition to be glanced upon by no one but her, to feel sorry about, to demise the essence of her entire existence. The burden of grief she had carried for years, for years she dejected her own intentions, never discussed with her own self, to not choose to make that decision of life, to avoid, not improvise and take it for what may, closure was never an option. But, this day unlike any other had answers she never dare find, the rumbling drops from her house top to the ground were as clear as it could be. She took to the mirror as if she had traveled back in time, to Josh, to how it all was, the love she had forgotten, how he looked at her, how they used to  sit for hours just looking into each others eyes, she could feel his lips caressing her, her lips responding as if he were present. She had escaped in those memories, incognizant of the mirror she stood before, just the old time back again, open eyed, dreaming, the tears shedding like rain from her pale blue eyes, there was no stopping them. But suddenly reality struck back, all illusions of felicity were shattered as she stood there, watching herself, tears pouring from her eyes, woken up from a dream she never wanted to end.

“Where were you?”, asked Adriel, innocence dripping from his face. “Mother, are you crying? Why?”. “Rain will stop, we can go after!”.

She did not reply as if paralyzed from the shock, staring his face like forever, she felt incapable to provide for him, the burden was starting to weigh her down, her eyes were not capable of anymore tears. She moved to the window, as if Adriel was not even there. The “window of opportunity”, he called it, Josh had written it above when they long ago moved in the house. He used to tell her stories, his wonderful theories, to see the world for the beautiful place it is, the sun that shines, the clouds that rain, trees that whistle as the wind finds its way. She looks out, the rain still rolling on, but to her amazement sun is glittering as well, as if it had come just for her, from behind the clouds, to tell her how sorry it is, how it has no control over those short instances of time, nature’s nature just isn’t all that simple. She still wasn’t sure, but it changed it all, as she turned back, she found the color that lacked, she discovered a rainbow from the opposite window, right behind her, she wondered if she was looking at it all wrong, if she ever looked through the window, the right one, if there is any other way, the brightness of the rainbow was so alluring that her face felt it, her heart spoke of it, the color that was pale had returned once again. She could not help but wonder how things took turn, how life changed and most of all, she stood surprised how she failed, stuck in those memories for ages never realizing they belonged in past, and past alone. But change was essential, she had to, she must.

Took a deep breath.

“Don’t worry sweetheart, we’ll take a cab”, she replied with assurance in broken words after a long pause. “We will go today, no matter what”, she added hesitantly, as if trying not to, but something that is required.

She did not speak a word in the cab. Adriel wasn’t happy, but they reached Dr. Len anyways. He has been their doctor, regular visitors they were.

“How are you here? I thought you wouldn’t come”, he said with surprise. He knew her condition, he had been seeing the pattern for a while now.

She looked up and said, “It’s time now”. The doctor failed to understand what she meant, but she knew in her heart, to take a leap of faith,

to “start-over”.

15 thoughts on “Starting Over

  1. Cheers and applause! That was great and so true to life itself. Sometimes life gets knocks us into solitude but then we remain there longer than we should and make our own lives more frightening because we forget how to live. Losing a loved one is never easy and I’m sure its even harder when it is your own flesh and blood (the two become one). However, it is not cause for us to stop living and it is when we realize that we began to breath again. I really like this story, do write another.

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  2. “Nature’s nature just isn’t all that simple,” – she gives and she takes, in both ways she takes away our breath with her natural changes… I’m glad she chose to take a deep breath.

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  3. Hello.
    I had tears in my eyes reading this. Such a heartfelt write filled with deep emotions and sadness. She carrying around the burden of grief for so long and her little boy not understanding her tears and her “illness”. It brought back memories of when my dad died and the state of limbo my mom was in for so long.

    I love how you ended it with her acceptance and readiness to move on.

    Wonderful piece of writing.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  4. jeff mentioned in his comment, and you replied, that english is not your native language. on one hand, this can cause some issues with technicalities such as syntax and spelling, but i was way more interested in how you used language creatively in this story. i’m not sure if you meant the sentence “a man died that night and so did the belief of safe heavens” to say instead “safe havens” but i love it the way it is written as is, and even more important, the emotions you were trying to convey behind the words came through in a visceral way. great job.

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    • I meant safe havens, silly mistake, a typo, corrected it.
      I am glad you liked my take on this Amanda, I’m not great on syntax since I neglected grammar when they taught, I write what comes naturally, I wish to get decent in that department though.

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