It was getting dark when they left, after enrolling me into one of the best colleges in the South. I stood there waving away to them, braving the stinging tears that had already started pounding the depths of my chest. When they finally left and I looked within, I was surprised to find how badly bruised I was -- with a terribly old-fashioned homesickness. I was alone, and somehow I had already planned to be aloof, probably to escape some typical teenage insecurities bound to surface in friendships made and broken...
But I did make friends, rather, some great people made friends with me, and through nasty spells of illness, agony and bouts of anxiety, they saw me through. For the first time, I realised how it was to choose a family outside your home. (I was such a secure kid all through my school days, sharing a special bond with those at home, especially amma. Had it not been for hostel life, I never ever would have dared to open up to 'outsiders'.)
But that evening is still etched in memory, in colours of twilight. Something was broken inside.
Like shattered glass, the pieces reflected enlarged images of happenings-tangible and imaginary. But life only adds to it. Some are replaced by fresh wounds, some healed by people, places, smells, sometimes even by a falling autumn leaf.
It will always be there. I know. Everyone carries them. Each soul has them. Yet, however painful , however ugly, I know I am not going to trade them, for anything in the whole world.
Sometimes I can feel them poke through. Enough to miss a heart beat. Enough to make me hold breath and check whether they sweep me off the present. And no, they don't. they don't anymore.
Yes, ten years have past.