“New Years’ Eve, 2014 will be on us in a few hours from now,” thought Surya to himself. It had been a tough 3 months now, but he was still in control. Sitting on the terrace of his house, he looked back to last New Years’ Eve.
2012 had been a bad year for Surya.
Meghna, the love of his life had gone to Jamaica on a nursing assignment with her batch-mates from college in October and unfortunately got caught up in the deadliest hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Hurricane Sandy. The bus in which they had been travelling came right under a falling electric pole and the six passengers in the front 3 seats were immediately electrocuted. Surya couldn’t quite bring himself to accept the fact that she was no more.
While his mind understood that this was a quirk of fate, an act of God and could not have been prevented, his heart couldn’t quite reconcile to it. After all, this was the same girl for whose love he had abandoned his entire family, left them in the lurk while he went ahead, got a tourist visa to Jamaica and wooed her, and made her fall in love with him.
The memories of the few days of bliss that they had spent together on the Jamaican beaches, in the sunshine, wandering around with gay abandon without a care in the world were still fresh. In fact, he could still feel the cool salty winds caressing him in the face which reminded him of all the walks into the sunset on these beaches.
When all the rum and other assorted varieties of alcohol didn’t help him overcome his grief, he turned to drugs. What started off as snorting coke soon graduated into injecting heroin and other exotic forms of ‘cocktail designer drugs’. And soon Surya was addicted to the needle. He needed his fix every few hours. And in a few days his mind was numbed out to everything around him, he finally couldn’t think of Meghna anymore.
On one such evening when he was ‘high’, Surya was riding his bike on one of the cliffs in the Jamaican countryside. As was the norm these days, the entire landscape was a blur and he was riding the bike purely on his instincts. The roads near the Negril Cliffs in this region were quite notorious for their blind hairpin turns and it was on one such turn that the little girl happened to run across the road.
Seeing her flaming yellow dress appearing out of nowhere in front of his bike, Surya immediately swerved to his left, off the road. Since he was riding reasonably fast, he ended up totaling his bike and crashing down around 20-25 feet off the edge of the cliff onto a narrow ledge on the side. He immediately passed out.
The next thing he remembered was waking up in a hospital where he learnt that he had multiple fractures on his left leg and he had slipped a couple of discs in his spinal cord as well. This effectively meant that he was stuck in hospital for at least 12-15 weeks with only the other patients in his room for company.
Given that he was in a hospital, his newest best friends, the deadly cocktail of narcotics wouldn’t be available to him, and the doctor who clearly realized his addiction by virtue of having analyzed Surya’s blood samples thought that this would be a good time to put him on a ‘de-addiction’ routine as well.
The next few weeks saw a lot of patients being moved in and out of Surya’s room which he had to compulsorily share with one more patient. Given that he had nothing else to do, Surya ended up befriending each and every one of them. Starting from a 9 yr old girl who was a terminally ill cancer patient who had been abandoned by her poor family to a 89 yr old man who had lost all his memories due to Alzheimer’s’ Disease, he was exposed to a myriad variety of people, and by virtue of spending at least a week with them, Surya managed to get an insight into their lives and how almost each and every one of them still held the hope of a better tomorrow.
While the little girl knew that she had a horrible disease which meant that she would have to take bitter medicines and that her hair would never grow long and lustrous, she still managed to find her smiles by playing ‘make believe’ games with her two dolls and Surya. While the old man couldn’t quite remember things coherently, he still enjoyed the warm sunshine streaming in through the windows every dawn and dusk and was able to look into the horizon with a smile on his face.
It was then that Surya realized that while the loss of Meghna was a terrible one and something that could not be changed, he still had his whole life in front of him. And by the time he was back on his feet after 4 months of therapy, he had decided that all these days he had missed the one person he loved the most – himself.
Yes, 2012 and 2013 had been bad years for Surya, but 2014 heralded a new beginning in more ways than one for him. And this time around, his priorities were clear, he wanted to live, and live a full life at that.
This post is written for WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts where the idea is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided.
Today’s prompt was “What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person? Tell us about it.” And the post was a fictional story woven around Surya missing his ‘true self’.
This post was selected by Team Blogadda as one of its Tangy Tuesday Picks.