Everybody has something to hide. Maybe brave is not someone who can reveal the deepest of their heart but the one who manages a smile irrespective of things going on in their lives. The one who has to battle over the choice of forgiving and hugging back the past and starting all over again. Or maybe it’s the one who has to breathe in the fume of a shattered dream and yet hope things will turn out okay in the end. Because being brave is all that’s left to fondle with.
“Azhim, choe gi ming gachi mo?” I looked up from my half blinking screen and met with her dark brown eyes. I admit, I was speechless that fleeting nameless second.
“I am Jigme Nangsel Choden.” She continued before I could even utter a word. She flashed me a half smile. Whether at me or my dumbness, I wasn’t even sure. But it sure was heart warming. Her smile, I mean.
“Umm wow. Great name.” I commented, tucking the loose strand of hair behind my ears. “And I am Chimi…… Nice to meet you.” I added after a pause. The reason why I didn’t talk unnecessarily with people was because I wasn’t good at making conversations. That was why I always prefered walking home alone than be squeezed in a cab full of annoying strangers.
“I don’t have a mom.” She admitted bluntly.
“Oh. Sorry to hear about that. If she was here today, I am sure she would have been proud of you.” I reassured her brushing my fingers gently on her glowing cheeks.
She shrugged simply.
“Do you have a mom?” She asked me after few seconds.
“Is she dead too?”
“Well….sort of. She umm abandoned me few years ago for a..umm stranger she thought she loved.” I smiled vaguely. “I think he was a wonderful person. Hadn’t it been that case, I don’t see why she would have left me.” I added that real quiet feeling rather stupid. I mean, what would a girl of her age know anything of “heart break” and abstract thingy called “Love”??? Even I have trouble comprehending such theories of life.
“Don’t you wish she was here with you?” She made me feel like those freaky person seated for a job interview. The only difference being that I could choose not to tell her the truth and manage to walk off without being caught.
“I haven’t met her for years.” Of course that was a lie. The last time I’d seen, she was in one of the shopping mall; on the verge of living a decent livelihood. Or still in search of her Mr. Whatever, I really didn’t want to know.
“Don’t you love her?” I bit the corners of my lips feeling a sudden chill down my spine. Gosh, I hadn’t seen that one coming.
It had almost been a decade living in the absence of a mom persona. Often in the late hours, I would be curled in between the sheets letting out silent sobs until my hurt, my wrath, my anguish would dissolve along with the tears. And there came a time when I resented every little things that reminded me of her.
The pain that I thought would rip me apart became the only reason that let me survive.
Our heart is such an amazing thing. You don’t have to carry forth the memory of the person who mattered once in your life. Because it’s there. Always in there. Just waiting to be remembered.
“No. Not anymore.” I looked past her frail features, forcing shut my mind from re-visiting the past I had stuffed in the darkest corner of my mind.
And what’s worse than feeling you could have atleast made the one you loved to stay back and you don’t. You don’t because you knew they wouldn’t care to. Or if you’d just asked, wouldn’t they?
“You know what I wish every single night?”
“That umm…you want to be in ummm… disneyland?” I was a big time failure in guessing department but I gave a try hoping I might surprise myself. But no. That tiny flickering hope vanished the second she shook her head; her curls landing softly on such tiny shoulders.
“No. I tell myself I will come home one day and find her waiting for me. And when she finally does, I will let her know of all things she’s missed till now.”
“Aren’t you….mad at her for going away like that?”
“Yes. A little. But not enough to walk away from the hearing of her name. I can’t help wishing she was here with me.”
What can be worse than realizing you had waited in vain and realizing you have held on too long for nothing. Will it tear you down? Saw you in twos? Or will you go on believing there’s an end to every misfortune?
“Are you mad at her?” She wanted to know.
I felt a lump in my throat.
“I am so so sorry girls, I had you waiting.” In emerged Thinley, fully drenched and seeming a bit breathless. “I don’t know what’s wrong with this rain. Have to pour down on me just when I am without an umbrella.” He complained like a kid.
I smiled at him.
It had started pouring down heavily. And almost suddenly, I wanted to feel the droplets on my skin. Let it trickle me with it’s chillness. But I supressed that urge and rather concentrated on my irregular heartbeat.
From the corner of my eyes, I saw her slumped down in the backseat. Her eyes locked out the window and it was hard to undersand what was going inside her head.
“Did I missing something? ” He ran his fingers through his wet trousled hair; sounding hesitant.
“No.” I shook my head lightly.
It would be a lie if I tell you I have always lived my life in fantasy, because I didn’t. But the minute, I met with Jigme’s eyes, I knew how close I was getting there. Her sparkling eyes lit the corners of my sore heart. As if she knew what I was thinking, she grinned at me in response.
“Thinley drop me by the old post office. Will you?” I turned to look at him. Hearing me, his eyes widened in disbelief.
“Isn’t that where-”
“Where my mother lives? Yes” I nodded quietly.