Charcoal

My footsteps again stopped in the same street, I felt him everywhere. In the evening the scent of jasmine was captivating my inner self. I stopped in front of the white house. He used to live there. The unknown person who ruled my heart, I didn’t know his name and anything about him — but I still loved him. He knew nothing about this but my love was true. Was it wrong to love a stranger?

I was visiting the park with my son after so many years. My son is accompanied by my maid in strolls like these and I did not know his friends - the perils of career woman. My son started playing - digging holes, carrying soil, and jumping around aimlessly with a bunch of kids who looked the same.

I was watching them, it was the true innocence - nothing can upset you forever, easy to cry and to recover. A smile came on my lips and then I looked around - many parents like me were wandering in the same park. A lady with a pink bracelet was looking at me a little puzzled. Our eyes met and I gave a wide smile and the lady walked up to me.

She: Do you live here nearby?
I: Yes. Have always lived here. Actually, I was born in the vicinity.

And then we talked and talked. I and Pushpa exchanged numbers.

The sun decided it was time to change colors, and rise in some other country. Mosquitoes were hunting and looking for preys’ to bite. I have always found mosquitoes’ bite and people’s eyes similar - they make me squirm.

I: Let's go, Kabir. Its time for your paw petrol show :)

Many of my pickup lines are lame but with my son, paw petrol has always worked.

Weeks passed by and I made friends from my son’s playground.

One Sunday afternoon, I was aimlessly scrolling Facebook and a WhatsApp alert came. The message was from Pushpa, It has 2 pictures and it said

“ We met at the park and became so good friends but I have a confession to make. When I first saw you, it looked like I have seen you somewhere. Then I came back home and I saw the charcoal painting hung in my own drawing-room. It so looked like you. It has been months and I am losing my peace of mind over it. I asked my husband many times about the painting but he does not remember anything about who is in it and why?

I am not messaging you out of some suspicion but to find my peace of mind. Hope you don't mind.”

-Pushpa

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