Ten years since I left this town, but, nothing seemed to have changed. The muddy playground where I used to play football was still full of children playing football, cricket, or badminton, and some of them swaying around on swings. The benches were occupied by the elderly, watching their grandchildren playing.
The road outside the park was lined with stalls selling all kinds of food. From pani-puris and chaats to kulfis and golas, this place boasted of a wide variety of street food. When I used to stay here, my favorite were the golas- crushed ice flavored with different colored sherbats. I loved the combo of rose and kala-khatta. Ah! Those days were fun.
I decided to have golas on my walk back home. Moving upwards on the hilly road, I saw the birds chirping around, going back to their nests as evening was setting in. Walking through the greenery, I reached my favorite place in the town.
It was the edge of a cliff. The area was full of lush green grass. I remember spending hours here, capturing the beautiful scenery through my brushes and paints in my drawing book. In my fast-paced life, I had lost all contact with my passion. I sighed.
I moved ahead towards the only bench present there. The green colored wooden bench had now become patchy brown.It had also aged. On nearing the bench, I saw someone sitting there. Curious, I walked to the bench.
I was surprised to see the person sitting there.
She stood up and smiled on seeing me.
She still looked the same. Her
“How are you? Long time it has been.”
“Yes. Indeed a long time. I’m just the way you left me- sitting here and waiting for you.”
My happiness now subsided.
“Please don’t start that topic again. It was just our past. I’ve forgotten it and moved on. You should also do that.”
She started walking away, towards the edge of the cliff.
I was now scared.
“Wait! Where are you going?”
“You could move on because it was you who left me. I never stopped loving you. I had dreamt of a future with you. And, you left me because you wanted to focus on your future.”
“Planning for the future is not a bad thing to do.”
“Woah! And, what about my future? You meant everything to me. You took away the meaning from my life when you left me.”
I didn’t know what to say. She was now on the edge of the cliff.
I let out my hand to her. “Come here or you’ll fall off the edge.”
She smiled. Spreading her arms wide open, she jumped.
“Swati!” I shouted, but to no avail. The cliff was too high for anyone to survive.
Shocked and not being able to react, I moved back. My leg trippled over a rock, and I was about to fall when a hand grabbed my hand. It was Swati. Her eyes now swollen, with prominent dark circles. Her hair was unkempt and her skin pale. I shivered. She was not the Swati I had just seen. I didn’t know who was real and who wasn’t.
I somehow gathered my senses to ask who she was.
“I am Swati.”
“No. You’re not. She just fell down the cliff.”
“I did. Not now, but ten years back, just a week after you were gone.”
I felt a lump in my throat. I could neither think nor speak a word.
I was just on the edge of the cliff. Her hand was the only thing I held on to for life.
She spoke. “I always loved you but you never did. You considered me a hindrance for your future. So, you left me. But, I can’t. Your life could never be mine, but your death will be. You will be mine.”
She let go off my hand. Falling down the cliff, I could just see Swati waiting on the ground, hundreds of feet below.