BOUND BY LOVE

Purbachi Barua

I met her every Sunday , when she would race up the steps of the library just to meet me.

For I was more than just a chapter in her life. The feeling was mutual , I saw her through all  of her phases –  whenever she was angry , sad or depressed , she always found solace in my words.

This ‘ affaire ‘ started when she was just a wee little six – year old  tightly clutching unto her grandma’s wise withered old hands , and onto what she later realized was her first trip to the library .

What was once a secret relationship (in fear of her stepfather’s wrath lest should he realize that she was spending most of her hours with me) only strengthened with time.

The pink walls around me turned beige,

Twelve years had passed.

She was in college now,

Clearly she had moved on.

But every now and then she would pay me a visit equipped with a foamy cup of coffee on one hand and a clearly pungent smelling salad bowl on the other (which she almost managed to convince me ,  was just a healthy snack )

The world around me collapsed , when I overheard the librarian telling one of the regular customers that ‘ she ‘  had enlisted as a Nurse in the Army and hence had to take the train outta town. I hadn’t heard from her ever since .

Broken?

Doesn’t Even Describe what I was feeling.

Fully devastated?

More likely.

The stormy grey skies with ominous clouds,

White solemn letters everywhere,

They all hinted at the ultimate foreboding,

She was no more.

The postman pulled up sheets of her obituary from his grubby backpack and shared his sorrow with his librarian friend ,

And I didn’t even have the courage to glance at them.

To be honest at that moment ,

All my words were rendered meaningless.

I went back to being unloved, untouched and uncared for .

Until ,

One odd day ,

A little girl ,

Retrieved me from the forgotten corners of the sanctum ,

And ran her warm little fingers over my old tainted pages.

She was her granddaughter they said ,

And I couldn’t but stifle a smile ,

It was happening all over again ,

A new chapter had begun .