It was a splendid summer morning with clear blue skies. The gulmohar trees, laden with yellow and red flowers were swaying gently to the warm breeze. It was a perfect day for kids to go cycling, playing ball, having a picnic with their families or just hang out with friends’ .The day was full of promises of a lovely season ahead. It was a day which would bring joy to any other kid, but that wasn’t the case with Kenny.
On this beautiful summer morning, at a cemetery filled with family and friends, Kenny’s little fingers held tightly onto Joe’s big cold hands as the father and son watched the wooden casket being lifted and placed gently into the ground. Kenny stared at the finality of life, as the mourners began to cover the closed casket with flowers and earth. He started crying, his shaking body was the tell tale, but Joe could hardly comfort the little boy when he was mourning himself; while he was grieving for being separated from Zarah.
There was Zarah, the woman who made his life and world a happy place to be in. But right now she was nothing more than an aimless person, her blank eyes staring into oblivion, her lips unmoved.
“How Zarah loves a beautiful summer day!” Joe thought of those hundreds of lazy afternoons the family spent together doing nothing but enjoy each other’s company.
The memories bought a fresh jolt of pain which was too much to bear. Joe stopped controlling those dreaded tears which lingered in his eyes. It seemed like a lifetime standing there, not wanting to let go of Zarah, the one woman he loved selflessly; the only one who equally loved him back.
Joe felt helpless at not being able to reverse time and bring his family back together. If life would give him a second chance, he would have ensured that they never got into that wretched car and that accident would have never taken place.
“Why us? Why Me?” Joe challenged to no one in particular.
Patiently he heard every comforting, but clichéd words spoken by well meaning family and friends. When the visitors finally left the cemetery, driving away in their cars, they couldn’t help but look back at the beautifully decorated grave.
“Don’t cry love. I am here, by your side.” Joe said with a hoarse voice, his hands touching Zarah shoulders.
“She can’t hear you Pa. Mum can’t feel you like me.” Kenny whispered accepting the fact more maturely than his father.
It was then, that Zarah lifted her head up and looked around the grave of her beloved husband, as if hoping to see a face she longed to see for days now. Realizing, however that Joe has left them forever, she called out for Kenny to come sit next to her.
“Take care of My Girl and tell her I Love her. Promise you will?”
Joe was now on his knees, looking at his son for one last time.
When Kenny walked to Zarah and embraced her, the picture of the mother and son bought a smile to Joe’s face. Knowing that together, they will be all right, Joe was finally happy to let go. There stood Joe, now just a forlorn figure of a man standing tall, holding strong, ready for his journey to the other world, ready to say Goodbye!