contd

Where were you? Panic was starting to set in. It was no more a joke. Please come back!

Teasing me? Like I was teasing you minutes ago. You always played this game. Hide n seek. Only so you could come around me and hug me from the back. Startling me. But this was no play.

I scanned the near distance. Upon not finding you, I felt weak in the knees. My heart raced one instant, now it was struggling to breathe. Tracing steps back, I kept calling out your name, over and over again. First with worry, which was soon replaced by fear, then desperation, and then madness.

Where were you?

I tried to remember exactly when I stopped catching up with your footsteps. I couldn’t remember. How stupid? How irresponsible silly girl? I ran dodging the tangles, the dead trees. Not a bird in sight, not a soul. Where were you? My heart cried. Worried and cursing you, for if this was a prank, I’d make you pay well.

The woods that thus far seemed just one long road now appeared to have dense routes. Where did we come from? Which way do I take first? Tears came down, rushed, unstoppable, adamant. What am I to do? Where am I to go, with you lost and not a person in sight? Every turn seemed to deceive me, every tree another lost hope. Even trees started to thin out and yet no sight of you. Over the strewn logs, I’d sat and cried.

A vast expanse the woods were, and you but just a grain of sand. What was I to do? Where do I find you now? And how? The sun had started to set. Bereaving me of my last hope. Darkness it was all around, just like the darkness in life without you. Years it took before I’d found you. Years it’d take more. Helpless. Hopeless. Turning around the corner, I kept waiting for you at your grave.

~~~~~~~

Asha Seth