Today I have turned one. I still remember the day I was born. I opened my bleary eyes and looked around. Like other newborns, I didn’t cry. But everybody else did. My eyes darted from one person to another in the hospital room. The void within me was spreading like wildfire. Suddenly, my hand jerked back in reflex; it had fallen upon something hard as a rock and cold as ice. Oh, it was who gave birth to me – a motionless carcass. I heard someone talk and turned in that direction; her face was vague. Her words didn’t reach my ears. She grabbed my hands and took me away from it – the dead body that gave birth to me.
It took me three more days to realize what or who I had lost. I cried inconsolably. Then the tears slowly turned into howls and I screamed until my voice was lost somewhere deep within. But the suppressed cry kept me awake for nights.
A month passed, then two, and then a couple more; I learnt to stand on my feet. I smiled for the very first time. The twinges of loss and emptiness became less and less painful. I peeked through the window as my heart craved the touch of happiness. My mind often flew off to the outer world.
Yesterday I dared to step outside my boundary. I don’t know who drew it but I had seen it in the eyes of the passers-by. I followed the smell of the wet earth and slowly walked into the muddy water. I took a deep breath and looked up as the heavy droplets flooded my face. My white apparel was now painted brown by mud and rainwater.
Some murmurs made me look down – ‘Isn’t she the same girl whose husband died a year ago?’ ‘Shameless girl!’ ‘Has she forgotten she’s a widow?’
Yes, I didn’t have a name or an identity anymore. I was just a widow, who was born a year ago after her husband had passed away.
Suddenly the whispers were superseded by the thrumming raindrops. My lost soul had found its way back and was ready to spread its wings across the void inside. I closed my eyes, looked up again and stretched my hands out.
Written by Chirasree Bose for tell it differently challenge
Link to the original story – WISH ME ̶H̶A̶P̶P̶Y̶ BIRTHDAY