Written for an @alphabetsambar writing exercise on Clubhouse. Flowers & an endless supply of pens for you, Jaideep Khare.
She opens her eyes always into a world of order, just thrown off by the sound of clanging cutlery or a shout from the road outside. Even the disruptions are familiar. She stretches, pushes away her blanket with the kind of precision she knows will lend itself to easy folding, no creases later. As she opens her windowsill, a bright red flower grabs her attention & with it, her breath. And she is yanked back to nine months earlier. A Clubhouse room. A comment. An Instagram story. A photograph. A windowsill just like this one. And so many words, words, words.
She sighs, reclaiming her breath, bringing herself back to the present. Turning she folds her blanket & starts to tidy her room. An empty water bottle to be filled. Now rusted at the rim from the metal cap, once shiny. Another Instagram story or maybe it was Twitter, laughing about the joys of a new purchase, smirking at the mundanity of lockdown life. You would have gotten it. Of course it probably came from a text you sent about a new pair of socks.
Across the room, the table is speckless. The same colour as your study table but yours was so messy. Scribble-encrusted notebooks lying open, pens without caps leaking excitement & uncaptured ideas. She wonders what happened to your old stationery. Your books have been distributed to friends & family, by a loving neighbour. But did they know of your enjoyment of stationary? What hands now clasp the pen that brought your ideas forth into words once? Is that pen even a pen anymore or has it melted somewhere in a plastic landfill?
The red flower draws her eye again. But this time she leans out of the window, brushes it against her cheek and whispers, “I miss you”.