Patting dry sweat on the forehead, slowly I sat down. It took longer to reach today. I looked around. But I couldn’t see anyone from our elderly group. Unusual. I was panting hard. I was getting too wearied for my age, I realized.
Far away, I could see our group members heading towards me. They were moving slowly, obvious for their age. They were wearing new clothes and mirthfully discussing something. I could see some new faces.
As they reached, all of them started looking frantically for places to seat, they were too panting but then they were much older than me. Their talks didn’t stop. They were returning from some wedding function and very happy, discussing sons and daughters and their settled life.
The topic had started making me uneasy. I always tried to evade the subject.
Somebody introduced me to the new members. I smiled reluctantly, I feared the questions that followed. “How about your family?”, question dropped from somewhere. I stayed mum. A lump started forming under my throat. My heart got heavier. The guilt was coming back.
The painful memories rushed in. The death of my beloved daughter had left me in anguish. I was the reason, reason of her death.
There was never a reason for me to reject her love and marry her to a person I didn’t care to know or investigate about. My ego was hurt. I wanted a rich son-in-law. I pressurized and she married him. She always was a good daughter. She should have told me about his torture, his beatings and mental torture. She should have told me. May be I could have done something to stop, stop her killing herself. Her dead body with mouth frothed flashed before eyes.
I got up and started walking. The world seemed to be still. With eyes moist, everything seemed to be blurred as I walked. The pain was getting heavier every moment. I knew I couldn’t forgive myself. I knew I couldn’t handle any more.