“Stop!, don’t run” Debra shouted, her voice struggling to reach Amanda who was racing into the dancing grey waves. Amanda’s chubby palms had slid away from her mother’s hands. It felt like a snake slipping off from the heavy branch of a tree. “Stop, Amand….” Debra’s palms closed over her dry lips, slowly soaking up the salty breeze. Her voice went right back in, from where it emerged. Her eyes settled like sand from the wind that had stopped after blowing too fast.
She stared at the vacant white sands of the beach. Amanda was gone, forever! Waking up from her own thoughts, she shook like a bare branch of a tree. She ran furiously into the waters. She felt the warm water up to her knees. Amanda was nowhere, neither on the sand, nor in the sea. The waves pushed her back. She took a step back, then another. The last step was the toughest, because her feet were stuck in the thick wet sand. That moment, she felt her heart and feet were both stuck. They couldn’t move till she saw Amanda.
“Where there are no words…know that silences are carrying the thoughts and prayers for all who love you.” – Dawn Dais.
She wasn’t sure what it had done to her. But Amanda’s loss had certainly changed things forever. It is not easy. It’s like waiting for the shores to touch your feet as you stand in anticipation, stretching your feet just a little ahead, only to be disappointed by the waves that turn away without kissing them.
Debra sank herself on the shores, her face cupped in her hands. She drew her knees up to her cheeks. Tears drained from her eyes. Hope sinking just like the orange ball of fire diving down slowly into the lap of the sea. She sat there with her heart going down with the sun.
She drew pictures in the sand with her index finger, outlining the shells and dried leaves lying dead on the white grained beds. Sitting there till it grew slightly dark, she rose to leave. Dusting off the sand from her palms and her feet, she walked towards the sea. It had to end now. She had to go where Amanda had gone. Dragging her warm feet, she walked leaving her footprints to stay behind, washed away by the gentle breeze of the evening. She turned into a silhouette for the silent sands that were watching her.
As she edged towards the water, she felt a strong hand tugging at her tiny wrist. She turned to see that it was Andrew. He pulled her close and hugged her tight. Tears streaming down his cheeks, slipping and falling on to the nape of her neck. He was shaking. She was still. It seemed like she waited for him to let go of her. The longer she waited, the tighter he held her. She tried pushing him away, her tender palms thrusted into his chest. She couldn’t hold on any longer. He stood there firm as a rock, now holding her by her slender fingers. She knelt down exasperated. He knelt down too and held her by her elbows, helping her get up and walk towards the shore.
“Understanding is deeper than knowledge. There are many people who know you but very few who understand you.” He shielded her with his sturdy shoulders on her thin arms, leading her away from the dark evening, in the hope that the morning light will make her bloom like a flower.
Dawn spread its golden arms. As Debra opened her eyes she saw Andrew lying beside her, still clutching her fingers like precious gems. She sat up on the bed. Andrew woke up too, as if on cue. Looking at her like a shattered piece of glass, too fragile to be touched, he pushed away the strands of hair caressing her eyebrows. “It’s time” he said, let’s go. It took a while for her to get out of bed and get dressed. It seemed to be a heavy weight she was carrying with her. The time had arrived for her to get it off her chest. They stepped out of the apartment. Her steps stiffened as she walked with Andrew, his arm tucked into hers. Hailing a cab, they kept their journey silent and thoughts to themselves. It was blazing hot outside but she was hard as ice from within.
They reached the doctor’s cabin. Dr. Amanda smiled to greet them as they walked in. She signalled them to sit down. She touched Debra on her arm and turned to Andrew to ask “Is the therapy helping?” He shrugged his shoulders in disdain.
“I’m afraid not,” “she is unable to accept that Amanda does not exist. She believes she gave birth to the child who in reality was never born.” He stopped to glance at Debra’s face. She showed no emotion. Her face stared back at him like a blank piece of paper. He continued to speak, facing Dr. Amanda, “yours is the only name she remembers even after the accident. She does not even know who I am. She does not remember.” He finished, nearly choking on his last words.
Dr. Amanda let go of Debra’s hand. Straightening up in her chair, picking up her white coat sitting on its arm, “We have to continue therapy” she said firmly. She smiled and pursed her lips in, deep in thought. “Let’s start a new session today.” “We cannot fast forward time to know if it’s worth it, so we trust our hearts and hope, it turns out right.”