Was There Love?

A story about unusual endings.

Naina still remembers the day her grandma died. It was a freezing December and she had gone
out for her exams, she never had an inkling that this would be the last meet with the one person
that she admired the most.

Seeing her elder sister coming to pick her from school was weird. But nowhere did she have an idea of the tragedy that befell. When she heard the news, her whole world came crashing down-
right in front of her eyes. The fact that the only person who showered her with all the love to cover up the lack of her parents’ involvement in her life would no longer stand by her, broke
Naina. She couldn’t move and stood there, at the school gate, eyes full of tears. She could not
come to terms with the fact that she could no longer voice her fears in front of a friendly face, let
alone cuddling up while listening to all sorts of stories and looking at the soft drizzle of the rain.
Her existence would again drift to the earlier years of her life- the years when she just had a
nanny for company, except that now she was grown enough to not even have that.
When she reached home, she saw the man who never cried was now crying. Sitting by his
mother, his head on her feet, cursing himself for the deadly disease that she fell prey to.

Thanking her for all that she did for him, thanking her for adopting him.

But in the midst of all the crying faces, there was one unperturbed face. Sitting calm, looking at
all the people that came to pay their last respects to his dead wife. Naina had always seen him
like this- uncaring, ignoring and unperturbed. She had always known him to be a person who
kept to himself, not seeming to wonder about otherworldly affairs. But this time it was different.
The calmness was not a sign of maturity but of carelessness, like when it doesn’t matter when
we lose someone that doesn’t matter to us. The young kids to whom he spoke of getting rid of a
burden for good, were hit by his indecency. Hit by hatred for him, hatred for life.

Years have passed. The grandfather’s now overcome by disease. He is still as unperturbed, as
uncaring, as ignorant. Still, Naina tries to help him get through his last days. She tries to do all
for him in spite of his constant bickering. But then that face flashes before her eyes, the face when he
thanked the Gods for the death of his wife. And she can’t help thinking, was there ever love?

Riya Sree Kaishyap

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