lost, but not forever

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The party was in a full swing. Cold drinks and starters were being served, the rocking music was being played at full volume and everybody was enjoying as usual in the high school party. I took Moni aside for a drink of lemonade.
“You look gorgeous in this gown” I complimented my best friend. I had to shout aloud in her ear due to the loud music. She smiled one of her sweet, charming smiles and thanked me. “I only wish it was of red colour; you know that blood-red colour; my favorite.”
“Oh I would wish not because you are already looking so elegant. Red makes you look all the more pretty. So then I would feel so inferior standing beside you,” I said. And we returned to the dance floor with a smile.
About an hour later, Gaurav came to pick me up. Moni went along with us as her home was on the way to mine. I sat on the back seat. My dear brother Gaurav said in a mocking voice, “Hey! I am not a driver that you took up the back seat. Already I had to leave the cricket match between India and Pakistan to pick up you girls.” “I am already exhausted with the dance and have no strength to get up.” I said and asked Moni to sit in front and the sweet girl agreed.
The car swept round the corner. A young boy suddenly came before the car as if out of nowhere. Gaurav turned sharply towards right to save the child. I just remember a blurred vision of it all. The next thing I remember is that we dashed hard against a parked truck and something; perhaps, another car hit us from behind. I do not know what followed or who was kind enough to take me to the hospital for I became unconscious.
“How are Gaurav and Moni?” these were the first words I uttered once I gained conscious. Nobody spoke. But I saw mom in hysterics, dad’s silent tears and the look in his eyes trying to console mom. Moni’s parents were in the same condition. I knew something was wrong, very wrong. I did not want to hear it for I expected the worst. But curiosity got the better of me and I shouted, “Will someone tell me what has happened?”
A friend of mine said with tears in his eyes, “It is Moni and Gaurav. They…they have found their place in heaven.” And he broke down while saying those last words. Mom and Moni’s mother cried louder. But there were no tears in my eyes only shock and an accusing look. All my emotions were drained away as if dead.
There were Gaurav and Moni…their dead body. It was tough to accept it, tough to believe that…that they were dead. Their dresses were splattered with blood. Moni’s white outfit had turned blood-red. ‘The girl gets what she wants. Her gown has turned of her favorite colour and she looks prettier than she did two hours ago. Even death could not take away her beauty.’ I could not but smile. Somebody cried out loud and a sense of reality struck me. My smile was wiped away, as if forever…
I had lost my most prized possessions. Gaurav, my brother, we were always bickering but that made our love even greater. He always teased me and I always fought but I loved him. We have grown fighting, but we have grown together, and now he was gone. Why? I could not bear it. Then there was Moni, with whom I shared my wildest dreams, my emotions and all my girlish aspirations. She had also abandoned me, left me all alone. Who would lend a patient ear to all my problems? Who? I was broken. Life seemed empty. I accused myself for forcing Moni to come to the party with me, accused myself for calling Gaurav to pick me up, accused myself for asking Moni to sit in front. It was my mistake, my fault that they were dead. How could I ever forgive myself? But god could have saved them, why did he not?
I took a photograph of Gaurav and Moni. They were smiling. I could not believe it that I would never see them again. As my tears fell on the photograph, they seemed to come alive. There was Gaurav, with his mischievous eyes and Moni smiling her sweetest smile. Moni said, “Stop crying, dear.” “And stop blaming yourself, you fool,” Gaurav added. “Shut up!” I said. But I smiled. Moni continued with a tiny laugh, “The bickering of you two will never end, just as our bonds. They are too strong to be broken, even by death. We are not going away from you but just entering a different realm. We will always be there for you. Just look into your heart and you will find us there. I have always loved you sweetie, and will continue loving you.”
“And if you want to have a fight, just start it and I will continue fighting from within your heart. Even though I am in heaven I won’t be able to live here without our fights! Love you sis!” and with these words they were back in the photograph. But this time I did not wish they were back for I knew they resided in my heart and in my memories. My smile had been wiped, but not forever. My assets had been lost, but not forever…





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