I had been awake for more than two hours and it’s still dark outside. I do not have anything to do since it’s a holiday. I try to open the book that I had brought yesterday but my mind is not on it. My thought keeps wandering to the day I got a call. The call that destroyed everything I had.
Every morning I pray that my day be better than the previous one. The people who see me everyday think that I am a very strong cheerful girl who had survived the nightmare but only my father knows what I go through everyday. Beneath the cheerful girl resides a dying soul. Despite every material comfort that I have. I yearn for something better and more important: the comfort of maternal care and affection. I didn’t know the maternal love and care because my mother left me when I was born. My father was too busy accumulating wealth and I hardly saw him. He left me with a nanny who took care of me whom I used to think as my mother until I was old enough to understand what makes a mother. The absence of my father during my growing years made me think of myself as an orphan.
Growing up alone, I didn’t have any friends until Choden came along. Her smile and her non stop talks made me feel wanted. She was the only best friend I ever had. With her, I could share my dreams, hopes and fear. Sometimes Choden invited me to her house during the weekends and my father gladly agreed since he didn’t have time for me. Staying with Choden during the weekends and holidays made me realize the kind of care and comfort I was missing and I tried to amend my relationship with my father. My father warmed towards me and we started spending more time together. I learned to smile and forgive. I began to see my father in a new light. I came to understand why he left me with my nanny. I came to know the life my mother lived, the sacrifice she made to give life to me. Thanks to Choden and her ideology of seeing things from different angle I found joy in everything around me. My life was beautiful.
And then a phone call destroyed it all.
Choden and her family had gone for a ritual in their village when the car they were travelling in, toppled. The rest of the family survived but Choden was killed on the spot. I attended all her funeral rites without understanding what was happening around. I wanted to believe that the accident happened in my dream and I would wake up to find my cheerful friend making her non stop talk. But days turned into weeks and weeks into months. I didn’t hear her voice and her laughter. The realization slowly crept in and I started having nightmare which robbed me of my sleep.
Everyday when I walk to my school, I cross the path we had walked; I see the trees that had sheltered us and the people that we had talked to. Everything reminds me of her and knowing that she is not with me is eating away something in me every time. I try to be strong because I know that she would want me to be but I can’t pretend anymore…
(Author’s note: The following work is purely fictitious so any resemblances to living or dead are purely coincidental.)