One of the most important realisations in life is that nothing is permanent. Everything changes and nothing lasts forever. Everything from our emotions to our thoughts and feelings, from the cells in our bodies to the plants around us, is changing and decaying continuously.
--Today, write about impermanence of life in less than 30 words.--
Researchers believe that keeping secrets can lead to feelings of loneliness and can also lead to isolation, in extreme cases. Also, holding secrets takes energy so it’s tiring to keep a secret, sometimes impossible whereas revealing information can be a step toward recovery.
--Today, write a creative piece about your secrets.--
The laptop screen is on timer. It flickers a second before shutting off. My phone pings. "1000-2000 words" flashes on my screen. I bite my lip for a minute, until my phone's screen times out too. Where I am living, everything seems a warp. Like, give it five minutes and it is out: my laptop, my phone and now I guess my own self. I try not to zone out and focus on the lines I have so far.
"I am sorry I had to...." My letter begins with that. It seems more of a compulsion on my side rather than a choice I made. Who was I apologising for? For the part of me that wanted to be free? Or the part of me that is afraid, my version of "free" isn't something others would love.
"PM Modi has taken the covid vaccine. He says...." Outside the TV blares with the evening news. Before, it was "Gosh, Covid," and now it is "ah, again Covid?". I guess we all run out of being in the news sometimes. My mother slams my door open with a look of disapproval. For starters, my bit lips don't look pleasing to her and next, there's me snacking in front of a 2000 word assignment, of which 200 are what I could cough out.
"You need to go for your evening walk." My mom doesn't say it. She commands it. And, for a change, I don't protest. There's no part of me left fighting anymore. I click my pen shut and fold the note neat, carrying it in my hands, occassionally using my index finger to tap it. I plug in my earphones and switch off my mobile data to go offline. My playlist is pretty much small and I know, the songs shall end soon. So, I care little of staying alive in the walk.
My terrace is a square shaped chess table doubling for a floor. The only sight of humanity is a large rectangular window opening into what I called the "nobody home." Yeah, nobody lived there for long. The aloe plants outside seemed to be the only one there and much like me, they were left uncared for too.
I walk around a while in that corner of the square that doesn't face the window. The songs take on slow but my emotions catch on fast. My eyes prick with tears and I could feel my nose turning peach. I didn't had to cry actually, but there wasn't any use controlling it anyways so I let the concert continue.
I kicked over a stone, as the tears I produced subsided enough for my eyes to see clear the drowning sun and the blushing sky. There are birds returning home, in a V and at the end, I see a bird trail off its gang and make its way away from all of them. Maybe it just needed the chance to get away from others so it could stop flapping its wings and finally fall down without blaming the sky. Just like me.
I made it closer to the parapet wall. I clutched the note I held. It was time. The evening was pretty and the city was pretty much drunken on its shades. The TV shall keep me alive for a day after which I shall be a distant memory to many. I take one final glance around at the terrace, collecting the pieces of me that had lived so far.
Amidst the trail of these memories, I see the light come on in the rectangular window. A guy appears in his shirt and trousers, with heavy books, heaving it on a bench. "Choosing the easy way, hon?" He says, ruffling his beard, while looking at his books.
Hon? Why did he think I could be a typical romantic nickname holder? And easy? What is he talking about?
I face away from the window. He gets up and walks towards it. "Hey terrace-crier," he calls. "Excuse me?" The peach is replaced by apples. Anger does different things to me.
"Yeah, I saw you crying." He replies and continues after a pause, "couldn't help but say, though you look cuter in tears, it isn't good enough to cry everyday."
He has been stalking my vulnerable moments each day. He knew I cried daily, on the terrace, walking less, panting more.
"Whatever," I reply to cut him short. I couldn't execute my plan now, lest he leaves. So, I turn back to the terrace doors, crumbling the paper in my hands.
"I wanna read it," he says. "What?" I reply, strangely inching closer to the window again. I guess I just needed to read my emotions in a different voice.
"Give me the suicide note," he says. I glance down for a minute and hand it over to him.
"Number 11?" He chuckles. I don't reply. "And romantic!" He smiles. "Oh am sorry you got the romantic out of the lot. Maybe you should read number 6. It is more horrific, like you." I blast out.
He doesn't say anything. We stand there for a while, his nose in my note, while my eyes wander around his window. They center on his lips that seem to have been bit. Guess I have company.
"You know," he starts, after a read of the note, "the note is really good. Boy, if I were you, I would stay atleast to publish this on my grave," he replies. "Your writing is too good to die just because you don't wish to live."
I don't answer.
"One more thing," he says. I watch him open eyed, as he opens the grills of the window and makes a tiny dive to my place. He lands near my feet, his leg hitting mine as I swerve back and he catches me by the hip.
No, our eyes don't look at each other and we don't fall in love. So stop thinking that :)
"One more thing," he continues. "You shouldn't use this parapet wall. It doesn't work," he says, pointing to the one I had stood at and shows me his bit lip. "The tiny stones on the roof below peck you, and they are not worthy love bites," he chuckles.
"On the other hand," he continues after a pause. "The one on this side of the terrace gives you a good fall," he says as he takes me to the side I had been walking.
"How do you know?" I ask. "Been there, done that," he chuckles. A chill goes down my spine and I turn back. He's gone.
There's no one there. The window is closed. The aloe plants bask in the last rosy blush of the sun. The bird seems to have joined the V again.
"Your writing is too good to die just because you don't wish to live," echoes in my head, as I take slow steps to the terrace doors, creaking it open with a smile no longer fake.
When I die like a flickering summer, lay my sins on a bed of mercy sprinkled with rose water flowing from the angels' fountain, the nightingale shall sing no sad hymns, no soul shall weep, for my departure isn't a death sentence nor a dead-end.
In a grave where daisies and petunias touch the amber skies and play hide & seek with the lemon sun I yearn for eternal rest,
Wrap my flesh in silk forgiveness, in my grave plant prayers & lavenders together with anecdotes and poems, pin a profound epitaph, engrave a Chronicle of this spectacular journey, my pilgrimage from Womb to Tomb.