A LETTER FROM THE BATTLEFIELD
It seems like yesterday that I saw her standing on the hill waving that white handkerchief. The day I left my hometown, the day on which I dared not to look back. She was the woman of my life. The one I had always loved. Very few people are fortunate enough to marry their first love and I am one among the few. Our love was as pure as the first snow and each day we spend with each other was nothing more than a beautiful harmony.
Have you ever played with soap bubbles?. No matter how beautiful or serene they appear, they won’t last a minute or two. Even the most beautiful of them are fated to die young. Just like that, just like how we have to wake up from a mesmerizing dream, I too had to wake up from mine. suddenly out of nowhere, a war broke out and as a responsible citizen of the country, I was called to join the army.
It was not sure whether I would return. Even if I could, the day, the month or year I could do so was uncertain. Still, she managed to force out a smile. She tried to be pleasant and happy as possible. I have no idea how she managed to do so. All I know is that each time, I looked at her I felt as a part of me was being torn out. I distanced myself from her so that she would never see me in tears. I never told her how I felt, instead I chose to bury my feelings deep inside. And that day, the day I left my hometown, I didn’t kiss her, I didn’t even say goodbye. With neither a word or movement, I left her alone on the hill. Through the corner of my tear filled eyes, I could see her standing there waving that white handkerchief, forcing a faint smile through her tears.
It has been a year and she had never failed to send me a letter. Letters filled with all the tiniest things in our hometown. The letters were so descriptive that I felt like being there. I missed my hometown. I missed her. But never did I mention any of those to her. My letters were all short and small. Last month, she sends me a white handkerchief. The one she waved the day I left, the one that was once soaked with her tears. I always kept her handkerchief in my jacket.
That week, many of the soldiers in our camp got affected with some kind of flu and a few days later, I too got the same. Many of them recovered, but my condition kept on getting worse. One day when I was coughing really bad, I covered my mouth with the white handkerchief and a few minutes later, I saw it stained red. It was covered in blood. The doctor in the camp said I won’t last another month. And from the moment on, I regretted everything I did not tell her, everything I did not do with her. I regretted how my letters were always short. But now it was too late. If only I had known that would be the last time I would see her. If only I had known that I wouldn’t get another chance. And now here I am, writing my last letter to my first and last love, but not a single word comes to my mind. I was always a man short of words, but that has never bothered me once. For the first time, I sincerely wished to let out all my bottled desires. But I failed. So I end up writing yet another short letter.
I had always loved you, still loves you and will continue loving you. I LOVE YOU.
By the time she receives the letter, I might be dead. But somewhere deep inside, I knew that she could read my unwritten words. Afterall, we were in love and I was her man always short of words. And in that vague hope,
I turned off the lamp and shut my eyes tight remembering all the beautiful memories we once made.