“Where did you go?” he shouts out in the dark. And yet again, there’s a silent reply back from the photographs on the shelfs. He closes his eyes tight to stop the fresh tears and zones into the flashback.
“Where did you go, kid? He hears his grandfather call out.
Giggling, he buries himself further inside the drapes of the curtain not realizing that his feet were still very much visible.
And his grandfather, just plays along looking everywhere except where he knew his grandson was hiding. With faint steps, he comes near the curtain and lifts his grandson up in the air.
“Caught you” and both of them laugh heartily and quickly sneak out of the house again for ice cream.
“Shush, be quiet. Don’t want your mom catching us while snaking out for ice cream”
And the grandson, oh such a cute kid. He mimics putting a finger on his lips and smoothly comes out not before leaving a giggle behind.
The large wrinkled hands hold the soft tiny ones and both of them escape into the summer night making new memories and a new bundle of goofy photographs.
And just like that, another crazy summer passes by.
Wiping his tears away, he looks again at those goofy photographs that leave a smile on his face. The photograph still had the memories calling out. With ice cream in their hands and a huge grin pasted on their faces.
Flipping the page, he sees a photo of him trying to drive a bike. He remembers how he persuaded his grandad so much that they sneaked out that night not for ice cream but bruises on his knee after losing his balance from the scooty.
And then he remembers the day when he held those wrinkled cold hands and kept asking him to stay strong and not leave him alone.
He never cried in front of him. He wanted to show his grandfather that he will stay strong for him and never let him go. He cried himself to sleep that night.
Memories were a million, photographs shouted the boy’s dreams of having his grandfather back. The photos felt like they were empty. Like they were just a ticket to the past but an emptiness of the heart. But life played such a funny game. It makes you attached and so close to that one person who meant everything to you yet, snatches that very person away from you.
Making him realize what numbness felt like, what the hole in his chest was. Every day, every moment all he wishes is for him to come back.
To hold his hands, to go out for ice cream again. He keeps making himself believe that his granddad is hiding behind a curtain but doesn’t want to be found. He keeps driving himself to the house which still echoes of hearty laughs and all he wishes is for another summer to come and live it like the best ones.
But some things are a necessary end, aren’t they?
Some people who come into your life like a miracle and leave the most magical memories with them.
They make you realize the value of having them when they have become a memory. An unforgettable one
Because now when the boy opens his eyes, he wants to go back to the storeroom and get a dusty diary and play tic-tac-toe with his grandfather and not just leave a tear on the page. He wants to make designs and wobbly stickman and not write about the pain inside. He wants to open his eyes and sneak out to eat mini kulfis, popcorn and chocolate ice cream.
He wants to open his eyes knowing that the strongest person he knows hasn’t left him alone.
He wants to open his eyes to not be crumbled away by his emotions and blurriness of his heart.
He wants to open his eyes to meet his superhero again and not lose him away to memories.
He wants him to come back.