After you

Sunlight streamed in through the open window. A gentle mist hung over the trees in the distance. The fragrance of the frangipani still lingered in the air from the night before . Dew drops glistened on  blades of grass . Life was stirring anew . For everyone else , it was the start of another day . For everyone , except him .

No matter how much he willed otherwise , the sun still rose in all its glory . But not for him . For him ,life had plunged into darkness , a seemingly bottomless abyss . He felt he was in a free fall , with nothing to break it . Every waking moment was a losing battle with pain . With the emptiness that clutched his insides in a vicious grip . There was a pressing weight on his chest that was drowning him .

She had left him after 30 years of togetherness . After navigating the highs and lows and the vagaries of life together for 30 years , he was all alone now .He had to find his own way . But he felt lost and helpless, like a child. The house was strewn with reminders of her . The house that they had so lovingly set up . The house that glowed with the rich patina of a woman’s ,exquisite touch .

He reached out to her side of the bed . And felt a cold nothingness. The hollow in the mattress, a reminder of her absence. The book, that she was reading , with the bookmark on page 151 , sat on the bedside table ,next to her spectacles . Her hair pins which held her hair in a neat bun strewn across the dressing table . Her diary , her closest confidant through the years sat on the desk , forlorn . Her signature Issey miyake fragrance sat awaiting her soft touch .

The  tiny, porcelain-like, mogra flowers  made their way in through the window , as they climbed up to the roof.She had insisted on getting the climber sapling from their visit to Kerala 3 years ago , despite his repeated nays . The blooming red rose that she had so lovingly planted . The money plant shoots in numerous glass containers across the house , a strange fixation of hers . She would collect all kinds of glass bottles to plant her precious money plant shoots ,much to his annoyance !The myriad cushions and pillows in a motley of colors ,designs and shapes she bought to decorate the house that made no sense to him. These were the only tangible remnants of their togetherness.The only signs that she was here with him till 3 days back .

The very sight of her things , brought fresh waves of misery and desolation. Sending a shooting pain through him .He felt his strength ebb away as his knees buckled beneath him .

He had encountered grief before in his lifetime . But never like this.

All consuming and cripplingautumn-mott-15013-unsplash .  He felt as if he had died with her too..

Death came abruptly . Not giving either of them a chance to say goodbye . He came home to find her ,unresponsive in her favorite lazy boy . The television was on , airing her favorite sop . The one she wouldn’t miss for anything in the world . Not even when the kids were home on vacation . The food was still warm on the kitchen counter top .

And so was she . But not a breath in her . She was gone ….

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