Stung by a memory

He had left behind a note. Not one specifically for her, but it would do. Or so she thought. It was addressed to his parents. She didn’t know that.

It lay perched topmost on her mind. Her to-do list lay forgotten and all she did was day-dream of its contents. Would it carry words of endearments she had grown to love? Would it outline their future together? Would it be enough to hold on to nothing but that for two long years?

She rushed to his house, with fingers eager to caress the scrawls. His handwriting was illegible as always. But one could see that he had made an effort. It started off quiet neatly but wavered in size and clarity towards the end. One could sense him getting edgy and impatient. There was only so much he was willing to bare of himself.

The letter spoke of gratitude and sought forgiveness. It conveyed emotions that she never thought he cared much for. Childhood anecdotes that she had not been a party to, family dinners that she had only heard of and the camaraderie between the siblings, she had only glimpsed at in photographs.

She read the note with trepidation. She was afraid of what she wouldn’t find in there. She glossed over so many thoughts and feelings in fear and anticipation. He had mentioned the neighbors, the grocer and the neighborhood dog. But she was already on the fourth page and there had been no mention of her as yet.

Her heart sank. She didn’t have will to continue reading. All of a sudden, she felt like an outsider in his life. Sitting on his favorite chair, reading a note he left behind, handed over to her by his mother, but four pages and reading, not one mention of her.  She tossed the letter aside, wiped away a lone tear before it left her cheek and offered to make his mother some tea.

Years later, still stung, she wondered if the absence in that letter had been a deliberate choice. Was it a subtle hint or had she just been sloppy while reading it that she had missed her presence in it altogether!

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