Her husband had never been so late. She was worried. His cell was switched off which made her restless.
The bell rang. It was her husband, she was relieved but looking at his pants blooded at the knees she panicked and shot him with questions.
Hurriedly she bought the antiseptic and started applying on his knees.
As she applied the liquid, a cryptic feeling was creeping inside her. Something unknown was pulling her. The music playing in the background, the smell of antiseptic, her applying in on knee,
has it happened before ? Was it deja vu? What is it ? Her expression on face changed, her husband could make out.
What happened, Geeta? he asked. Something weird, she said. She seemed lost. He took her to the bedroom and asked to rest.
She still was figuring out lying on the bed. But the memories seemed closer now. The music of a flute, the smell of antiseptic, her applying of antiseptic on the knee...her mind kept revolving around these.
She closed her eyes. Geeta!! Geeta!! the soft shouts came from the dark.
There were flashes in seconds...the Himalayas..the river flowing, whose sound was intense..the pine...
A house, freshly painted flashed in sepia.
A boy was standing at the door, Hemant. He was smiling, showing his delicate teeth, as if he was very happy.
He was wearing his Kashmiri cap on his head. He always wore when he was happy.
He had a flute in his hand.
Geeta. He called.
A girl in short frock ran towards him. He said something in her ear and they started laughing loudly. Somebody shooed from inside. They giggled and hopped towards the river, hand in hand.
It's Hemant. It's me. She thought, realizing that it were the old memories trying to remind her, remind her of something.
How they were always together, except for the school time, as they were in different class.
How they sat on the rocks beside the speedy river, his telling her the cheesy jokes, her laughing hard...
How he claimed he created all those jokes and stories he told her, her never denying them and admiring him of his intelligence...
How she passed countless evenings listening to his flute, the favorite tune he had gifted on her birthday...
How she had those countless dinners at his house...
I love your smile, she used to tell him..
That day, in afternoon. They met after having lunch. She looked sad.
"What happened, Geeta" he asked.
"We are leaving tomorrow for Mumbai, permanently", she told him.
"What ? Who told you? Why do you have to leave? We have everything here ?" he shot back, his voice had stated to trembled as he asked questions in gaps.
"We will take Hemant with us" she had asked her dad. "He cant come. His family is here" her father had replied.
"Then we will take his complete family" she shot back. "That's not possible dear. Don't worry, we will keep visiting" he had tried to assure her.
Hemant and Geeta were now crying. They sat there, calmed down after sometime.
They recited their memories. And promised to remember each other. Geeta promised she would visit the village frequently.
"What do you want as a gift?"
The red big flowers from the mountain, she said smiling.
"Just flowers ?" he had already stood to get them.
"I'll wait for you." she shouted, he was already far.
She did wait. But there was no sign of him. Where is he ? As it grew dark, she returned home.
Next day, she saw all of their belonging s were already packed. They have to leave soon. Her father told her.
She ran to Hemant's home. He was there, sitting on the patio floor with the flowers beside him.
But he was red with anger.
"You didn't wait for me. You left."
"But i did wait for you. It was growing dark, so i came back. Sorry Hemant. Biiiiiiig sorry."
"Geeta, lets go". Her father called her as he met Hemant's family and bid goodbye.
"Take" he said handing her the big bright red bunch of flowers, his cheeks matching the petal color.
She could make out his anger.
"Sorry" she kept repeating as tears rolled down her cheeks. Will I never see his smile ?
Looking the tears, Hemant's expression changed. His eyes widened and he ran towards her.
"Hey stupid. I was not angry. I was acting. Now don't cry. How are the flowers ? Just like you red cheeks, isn't it ?" he said smiling.
She smiled back, wiping the tears.
It turned back to sepia, her sitting into jeep, father holding her hand. Her waving from the window looking at Hemant, who was stood there holding his Kashmiri cap, with cheeks wet with tears.
It's Hemant. That was the last time she saw him. Her family never returned to the village. And now after so many years, the memories had fought back from the corner of her mind.
Should I go back to the village ? was the question on her mind, as she passed the sleepless night.
Written for Three Words Wednesday : Malign Flash Cryptic, used the later two in post.