Memory of a Dream
by Supriya Kar
“And then, I left.”
“Didn’t he call you?”
“Yes, he did, but he’s on guard.”
* * *
That day, I had a splitting headache and felt a walk among the fields was what I needed. I chanced upon him. He greeted me.
“Would you like to go on a walk?” I suggested matter-of-factly.
We went out first to the ground in front of the university and then to the outskirts; the sun was dipping.
“Do you come here often?” asked he.
“I do. To breathe in the fresh air. Helps my nerves.”
* * *
“He’s one who believed in that ancient axiom—love happened only once in a lifetime.”
“He was in love before?”
“Yeah, some sort of puppy love.”
“Oh, or what do you call it, calf-love or lollypop love.”
“Who was she?”
“Must be some silly girl. I don’t know. Priyanka. That’s her name. She married sometime back. How could she lose him?”
“You’re jealous of her?”
“Are you mad? Come on. Why on earth would I be jealous of a girl I have never met?”
“You might be. You could not erase her memory.”
“Our mind is a black board, isn’t it? Sometimes, you can be so silly.”
“You’re the smart girl around; everybody else has to be silly.”
“Sorry. Actually, how could she lose him?”
“Really? How could you lose him?”
“How could I? I had sent him an email…”
“I called him one day. He didn’t want to talk. He wanted to be left alone. He’s a loner.”
“Did he ever say so?”
“I thought he merely said it theatrically, but may be…he was put in a boarding school. To become an achiever.”
“I don’t know. I just muttered how living in a boarding school was worse than living in a perpetual hell. He was silent. A stifling, familiar feeling of uneasiness rose within me. I could hardly do anything. In the evening, I lay almost dead in pain—I was sure he was grieving…”
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Supriya Kar is an editor and translator from Odisha, India. She edits the online journal Indian Literature Today, which brings Indian literature in English Translation. Her recent publication includes (as a co-editor) Spark of Light, Short stories by Women writers from Odisha (Athabasca University Press, Canada).