that one day I’ll know what she went through. She wouldn’t tell me but I’ll know. She won’t write it down or speak of it to anyone but I will know. She won’t hide it in a poem or leave behind a secret keeper but I’ll know. I can’t doubt it. The universe has strange ways of wrapping shows up even if it takes one hundred years to do so so I will know even if I don’t live to be a hundred years old. That’s because I already know and, probably, I am subconsciously feigning ignorance because once I know I can’t un-know it, unsee it. It will over shadow all the falsely cheerful realities of life and take into it’s arms all my hopes and dreams of a better world and hide it away for some other world.
She told me that I’m being too clingy. To life. That it will slip away like a ballet dancer and jump into someone else’s arms to keep the act going and that I am dumb for having hoped for more. She told me that after all that she saw here, she doesn’t find herself obliged to remember anything at all. Tit for tat, she said. It won’t remember me and I won’t remember it. She told me that she will start her new life like she started like one; like a baby with a broken maze for memories, no language, no sign of culture or traditions, no recognition of the sky or the daisies and sunflowers or the stars that she loved so much. She told me that it will be okay that way.
And of all the mad things she told me, one was that she hoped that I will be loved like she never was; that I won’t grow to hate myself with the surety and conviction with which she hated herself. She said that I look like her. But that’s okay and so does the mirror and the shadow of her mother. And that’s okay, she said.
“you will hear them say things you would never want them to say and act the way you couldn’t bear to think that they ever would and that’s okay too”, she told me and then looked so wistfully out of the window that I guessed that it’s not really okay but what can one say? She told me that her life went up and vanished like cigarette smoke in a joyless twirling and she looked happy enough while saying it as if her own life had served to be of some aesthetic value to the world.
She told me that she isn’t greedy but would begrudge me that sweet pain in her chest; that no matter how hard I tried, I wouldn’t be able to feel what she felt ; “no matter how badly you fall from your makeshift castle in the anchored artificial skies, I won’t share with you the only thing I’m allowed to carry with me to the world beyond the world”, she said. I didn’t know why she was being so pompous. It’s not like I fancied having some sort of a pain in my chest. But she knew what she was saying. Medals, souvenirs and evidences.
She told me to move on and stand on my feet like the ghost of myself. Carry on, be the utter nuisance that I wished had disturbed my dark tangled thoughts and set them in some sort of a queue, at least, if not a perspective.
Why did her hands dissolve into mine when she held them up the cheeks and cried into the palms of a stranger that I was to her? It is as if she was breaking her own promise of betraying whoever betrayed her. I was too dumbfounded to raise these questions, not even when she smiled her sad smile and hid her face behind her dirty gray veil and left, maybe, for another one to tell her regrets to.