Sudha took a final look around the kitchen to make sure that everything had been kept away and the counters were wiped clean. She then switched off the light and was turning away, when a flash of white caught her eye. She moved to the window and saw the beautiful frangipani tree in full bloom. The branches were laden down with an abundance of the waxy white flowers with their petals tipped a buttery yellow. The intoxicating fragrance wafted in and for a moment she was taken back to her youth.
Sudha’s parents had a frangipani tree in the sprawling garden in their backyard and the fragrance of those flowers was woven into each of her memories. Every day she wore a frangipani blossom tucked into her plait when she set off for college. The day she bumped into Amrit and fell down was indelibly etched in her mind. She had shouted at him even though she knew it was her fault, but he had just stood with a rueful smile on his face. Only when he walked away did she realize that he was blind. She could hear the tapping of his cane even after he went out of sight. She didn’t notice that her frangipani flower had fallen into his bag.
Amrit had come in search of her the next day to her class. He was two years her senior and those were his last few weeks in college. Each time she met him, he called her the ‘frangipani girl’. Sudha didn’t know when she fell in love with him. She only knew that he quickly became her best friend. She looked forward to meeting him every day. The frangipani tree heard a lot of her dreams and wishes that summer. All too soon it was time for Amrit to leave. He had secured a job as a teacher in another city. On the day he left she gave him a frangipani blossom. No promises were made and no vows were exchanged. They parted as friends and Sudha felt her heart break into a million pieces. She didn’t want to burden him with her expectations.
“Su!”, Sudha was jolted out of her reverie by the call. Heaving a sigh she closed the kitchen door and turned around. The house was shrouded in darkness. When he took her hand to lead her upstairs, she clasped it firmly for she knew that he wouldn’t let her fall. He had been her strength through these years and would continue to be. Her Amrit.
(This is part of the A to Z challenge, where the participants have to blog every day in April, excepting Sundays. The titles of the posts should start with different letters of the alphabet, starting with A on April 1st and moving on sequentially. The theme I’ve selected is Stories. Just hope I can keep up with the ‘march of the alphabets’)