I was so preoccupied that day. It was cold. I hurried to cross the road concomitant with my subconscious mind in memories of the past.
My father had died in a war and the government had gratuitously given my mother a cottage in the countryside. I was ten when we shifted there. Mother had arranged for my home education so I seldom would go out. Mostly played in the backyard. Mother would go to the city on Sunday evenings to buy groceries. One day I met Elle, she was nine. I invited her to play with me. She always had an exorbitant amount of kohl in her eyes. The way she talked was a little abrupt and rude; brusque. Considering her to be bourgeois, I inquired where she came from. She said she made her own grotto a few miles from here. She had a peculiar sense of humor. She was skinny and I would often take a jibe on her appetite and she would on my corpulence. Ah, that is how girls are. Aren’t they!
Thence, she visited me every Sunday. We would play hide&seek and sing very funny songs together.
My life had become so much better. The first thing mother would do when she would return is to ask me to come inside. It would exasperate me. I had no other option but to imbibe all my anger and say bye to Elle. She would stand there without vacillating her eyes, watching me leave. It was nothing until the day mother decided to move to the city. It deluged a heavy ache in my heart. I cried incessantly all the way in our carriage. I peeped out of the window and saw her there and I waved at her, crying. She stood there, just hollow. My mother pulled me and wiped my tears and assured she means no ill-will for the house could have only been baleful and it is all for my own benevolence.
I have been here for the past sixteen years now. I still miss her. I sometimes hear her voice back in my head singing that weird song. What was it…
“ Stand up tall
With the clap
make your feet tap
Shake your bum
And sing twidly dwidly dum”
In fact, I sometimes even see her.
The only thing I fail to apprehend is… She is still nine!