Alka Jha

her chair had a scar


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Her chair had a scar

She is gone. I was sitting on the wooden chair, watching sun withering behind the clouds.

A mute audience of her farewell!

I come here every day. I prefer sitting on the same place we used to sit, with her chair in front of mine. Her chair had a scar. Every time she looked at it, she used to see different forms taking shape out of the scar. She used to give it names.

Somehow I could never see anything more than an ugly patch on the wood.

She used to love sitting in the corner. The dark patchy wooden chair had become her second soul mate. Together, we witnessed uncountable sunsets through the dusky glass pane. She loved watching the sun leaving it’s imprints on the vast canvas

The fading sun used to brighten her face. The color of her curls seemed to be drenched in the rays of the sun. She used to laugh occasionally. It was infectious, I should say. She used to pause for a moment and then she used to laugh again.

Memories are more adamant than I thought. They don’t leave you alone when you want them to.

She took few sips from her coffee. Her face was more blank than usual. There wasn’t pain. There wasn’t anger. The calmness on her face was confusing. She always had the expression, as if she was protecting an unfolding mystery.

I could never read the silence lying beneath those eyes. The peace on her face, hiding the storm inside, baffled me even more.

Without a single word, without any prior notice, she left.

Disappeared would be more appropriate. She had disappeared. And she made sure that her disappearance does justice to the meaning of the word.

For hours, I would stare at the corner seat in some vain hope that someday she might come back here for coffee.

I sit here, letting my mind wander off to seek answers for her unasked questions. I come here to feel those thin fingers holding the coffee mug again. I come here to feel the infectious giggle of hers. I come here to see an illusion of the happiest smile I could ever see.

Watching the empty wooden chair makes the evening colder than usual. I sit here till the fragrance of coffee chokes my air pipe. I sit here, allowing the aroma to fill the hollowness inside.

Sometimes I smell her fragrance while walking on road. My heart freezes for a second. I turn around in a hope that I might see her face in the middle of random faces walking towards me.

I couldn’t love her. I was scared to set my heart free to love her in return. I always calculated how not to get myself hurt. She made me love myself when everyone refused to. She was a dreamer and I have become a prisoner in the cage of past.

The coffee is the same. They perfectly managed to bring the same fragrance every time. They are still using the chair with a scar, in the left corner of their coffee shop. But the girl sitting on the chair doesn’t come here anymore.

She disappeared.

I couldn’t tell her. I am carrying a scar too, every day, on the every beating organ on my body.