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Wednesday, 25 December 2013

A Teddy Bear Love Story Chapter-4

"What does it means?” I took interest in the pair of alphabets. They were just a bunch of known alphabets forming an unknown word.

“I don’t know, but my mother said I would have to leave school now. Leaving school means leaving the studies, leaving homework, leaving lunch, leaving the new bag. I was so happy when I bought this bag few days back. This is my favorite bag. I love the Neidhi mam and all other teachers. I don’t want to go.” She was crying and I had no idea how to deal with the situation. I couldn’t say that don’t worry we will find something. As our teacher told us always, listen to your parents. 

“And leaving me and my friendship also,” This thought hit me and pinch me somewhere in my heart. The feeling was something as if I was running fast and fell down with hurting knees. The feeling was something as if I was having a bleeding palm or my favorite toy was broken. The feeling was something inexpressive. However, I wanted to cry. 

We both cried for some reasons. Teacher came to us and asked what was wrong. I didn’t want to share the feeling with anyone, so I wiped every sadness pearl from my face. 

“I am leaving school,” She wept. 

Teacher took a pause. She was affected too. When bond breaks, it hurts both ends. “I will talk to your mother about this if you will stop crying,” Teacher gave her assurance. That’s  the best part about innocent kids. You give them assurance and they start chirping again.

She smiled and left me spell-bound. I looked into her wet milky eyes. They were ill. She had the most beautiful eyes I had seen in my life of 5 years. However, there was just a little problem with them. C..A..N..C..E..R..

I learned those alphabets and was about to ask it from my dad as soon as I reach home. Assurance helped the day and it came to normal. We had our lunch together, like always.

“I will miss you,” She said with belief in her mother’s words.

“I will stop sitting on the last bench. It will remind me of you and your teddy bear.” I admitted.

“It’s not my teddy bear. It’s our teddy bear…” Her words looked realistic. She passed me the teddy bear and with wet tears said, “Please, take the teddy bear.”

Her hands put the teddy bear in my lap. Maybe she knew what was going to happen in next few days, she was dying. Maybe she knew the meaning of C..A..N..C..E..R.. and didn’t want to tell me. But, there was something she knew and I didn’t.

“I can’t take this. I want you to be with me,” I requested what I felt.

“Don’t worry, I have told this teddy bear that its name is ‘Anantika’. Now you can call it Anantika, I won’t make it to your life anymore. I am sorry.” She apologized. Tears trickled down her eyes. She was sorry to me, but I knew that she was more hurt. She was sorry for her existence, for her life, for her eyes, for coming in my life and hurting me by going.

“I am not hurt,” I lied. “I got my Anantika. See, I am happy.” I took the teddy bear and smiled. I wanted to make her happy, if she believed that the teddy bear could replace her then I wanted to make it look real. However, I knew it wouldn’t replace her. I could surely hug Anantika and sleep at nights in my room but I could never replace her at days.

“I will miss you,” She said. 

“Sorry, I have no teddy bear to give you.” I waved my empty hands.

“You don’t even know what you have given to me already. I don’t want anything from you. You have gave me enough. Thank you Sarthak.” Tears again made their way down, just like her eyelashes. She closed them and I could just see tears coming out of her closed eyes. Her eyelashes were too weak to hold back her pain. She tired. And finally, Her eye lashes enveloped her tears and her agony became the unread old letter with aged emotions.

After lunch, we had Art class. All the students lined up. I also took my drawing book and color box in one hand and the teddy bear on the other hand. She wasn’t holding the teddy bear now. It was I. We went to Art and Craft room. 

“Good afternoon teacher.” We all greeted in one tone. We all loved the Art and Craft class. I pulled out the same new color set my dad gifted. We all sat on the floor and spread our drawing books and colors.

“What are you drawing today?” I asked curiously.  She was smiling too much but she was unhappy somewhere. 

“My last drawing with you,” She taunted life and destiny. She left me numb.

“It won’t be the last one. I Promise.” 

She smiled, “I Believe.” She said. “Anyways, what are you drawing?” 

“A Present for you,” I said proudly.

“Can I see?” She said, peeping at my sheet.

“Surprise gift,” I said and hide the sheet. A tear trickled down her eyes and hit her fake smile. 

“Are you fine?” I asked. 

“Just a little headache,” She wiped her tear and stretched her lips to smile.

I started drawing a teddy bear for her on sheet. I knew that it won’t match her present but I had to give something and this was my something. I went in a corner of classroom to keep it surprise. She  didn’t come and no other student disturbed me. It took me 30 minutes to complete the picture. I turned the sheet and started writing my name. If she could give me Anantika, it was my responsibility to give her Sarthak.

Before I could complete my name, I heard a screw. It was coming from our room only. I turned around to see what happened. It was Anantika crying and screaming. I could see the drops of blood on her drawing sheet. Her milky eyes turned pinkish and her cheeks stained with blood. 

It was not possible for me to look at her. I started crying and so did the other students. It turned a funeral spot in few minutes. Her screams were hear-able; her pain was feel-able. Teacher called other teachers, they took her to the hospital, and other teacher brought us back in the classroom. While, walking I looked at the bloodstains and felt like puking. I felt helpless. I felt the pain.  

She was gone and I was sorry that I couldn’t give her Sarthak and she couldn’t draw her last drawing with me.

Himanshu Appie Chharba

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