Orange-red-purple shades were like painting on the canvas of sky. Red sphere was soft, serene and on the way to bid adieu. Birds were flying steadily, peacefully in a group, returning to their homes. Wind was playing with trees. Everything was soaking in the color-play of setting sun. Siya was at her favorite place. On the hill. Away from honks, noisy streets, pollution, irritating crowd. Outside the city. Cool wind playfully stroked her loose hair strands and her face was also part of the color-play of setting sun. It was beautiful evening but even in that cool atmosphere, her cheeks experienced warmth of tears. She used to come here with her bestie, “Rhea”.
Thinking of her, made her cry and now she was sobbing. Only a few days ago, they were pointing out the funny shapes of clouds, laughing on top of their voices, aloof from the other people’s judgements and today it all became memories. Sweet poisonous memories which were killing her from within. Siya lost her friend in a tragic accident. Being 23-year-old girls, they were set in their careers and cherished their friendship since school. Studies, dancing, playing, acting, laughing maniacally, talking about crushes, they did it all together in school, college. They were inseparable and shared ultimate bond. Strong enough to know each others’ strengths and weaknesses and deal with it unitedly. Their arguments didn’t use to last for more than an hour. One look of innocence was enough to break them into giggles….But all that was now shushed…The void created in her life was inexplicable. She couldn’t stop thinking about her and suddenly she had a feeling that, coming here was making it worse than better. She was about to leave when she noticed a 13-14 years old girl sitting alone gazing at the sun very hard. All the while, Siya was engrossed in her grief. Not that she cared much about the surrounding world right now. But she felt like talking with that girl.
Siya went up to her. Her hair was long and flickering wildly on the beats of wind. Siya came closer and said, “hey”. The girl didn’t respond. Wind ate the words. Siya again said, “hey”, a bit louder. The girl looked and was startled, “Yes?” Siya said, “Sorry to bother you. But this is quite late for you to be all alone here.” The girl said, “You are also alone.” Siya took a pause and replied, “But I’m older than you. I can be alone.” The girl twitched her lip that turned into sarcastic smile, “All elders think they can wander alone and we can’t, because you see, we are just 13.” Siya remembered pointing that very thing out with Rhea when they used to be asked to stay indoors. The girl further added, “But it feels better to hang out alone with best friend.” Siya sighed, “Yeah, that’s true.” She liked the girl. The girl asked, “Why were you crying?” Uninvited, unexpected question it was. Siya said, “What? No. That was just wind.” Again came the sarcastic smile on the girl’s face, “Here we go again. We may be small to hang out alone but we are definitely not dumb.” Siya said, “I miss my friend.” The girl looked at her with interest and said, “Oh you too!” Siya asked, “You too?” the girl nodded and tear betrayed her, leaving her eyes and rolling down on cheek and she wiped it off immediately. The girl said, “We fought.” Siya asked, “Over the crush of candy?” The girl gave irritable look and said, “No. She says, sometimes I don’t realize my mistakes and argue pointlessly.” Siya didn’t really know what to say now. For a while, wind was killing the silence between the two. The girl asked, “Why did you fight with her?” “I wish it was just a fight “, Siya said in her head. “No. She left me to never come back. She left the world”, Siya said gently wiping the eyelids. The girl became silent. She felt bad. Siya asked,”Don’t you think you should talk with her?” The girl said, “Yeah I do. We are besties. Oh God and I hate it when she is right.” Siya smiled at her, “Best friends are the ones who tell you the truth no matter how bitter it is! At least you come to know that they are not fake.” The girl smiled first time and her big, brown eyes shined. Her smile soothed Siya’s heart and she felt good.
She looked at the watch. It was 7pm. She told the girl, “It’s too late. I know you are a big girl but I want to accompany you to your house.” The girl liked her,”I’m sorry for your friend. May she rest in peace. Thank you. I will be more considerate towards my friend.” Siya realized that she didn’t ask her name, “What’s your name?” The girl replied, “Rhea” and Siya couldn’t help but smile at the mere sweet coincidence of life. “What’s yours?” The girl asked. “Siya”. They started walking. Rhea held her hand.
The sun was gone….Evening was welcoming the night….Air was getting cold but somehow Siya felt the warmth in the grip of Rhea’s hand….
2 days later, Siya came back to the spot, only to find Rhea waving at her eagerly with one more girl and three of them talked, laughed and Siya found her solace….
Author’s note :
Meaning of Sia : Indian goddess Sita