A Winter Fall-out


Nuclear ash.
As far as my eyes can see, it is dawn of perpetual nuclear winter. I close the window before the cold gust of wind could bring the abominable particles inside. My bones feel weary and brittle, it was nothing but a miracle of sort to have lived this long. To be able to somehow survive the long nuclear war, look at my first love’s dead body charred beyond recognition and spend days in quarantine fighting paranoia.

These wrinkles had countless stories to tell, they were etched with pain, remorse, loss and heartbreak. Even at this time when dementia was my only constant companion, I couldn’t forget the haunted episode that dictated my living nightmares.

Before the war, I met him for the first time under the gaudy neon signs which made his face look sinister. Yet, he was beautiful, with steel eyes and soft smile. He stole my heart, along with my capability to look beyond him. He eclipsed my reason to live and similar to this cold ash, he was lethal for my sanity. However, his eyes always slid past me and it worked as a serrated knife at my heart.

I was poisonous with rage, drunk on my unrequited love and insane with this urge to get him to see me, only me.

All it took was one night for everything to start unraveling. His body fused with mine, his distant heart out of my reach and his cold lips leaving a dispassionate trail lit a furious fire within me. However, I said nothing as I allowed him to have his way with me, all along thinking that maybe this would be enough for him to see me. Maybe, at the end of this, he will take me in his arms and wipe the salty tears that were about to break through.

He didn’t. He left.

When the war broke through, quarantine camps were set up to protect people from radioactive fall-out and also to administer proper medical attention.

Months had passed in monotonous drugged tranquility in the camp when I saw him again. I ran to hold him close, he captured me in his arms, a perfect end to a dysfunctional story.  Not!

He apparently had a life, complete with a perfect wife he had met during a charity luncheon. He was inducted in the war front and was here on inspection duty. Not for me. Never for me. He smiled, I smiled back.

He was gone, again.

The next time I saw him, he was charred and blackened beyond recognition. I refused to acknowledge that thing to be him. We were supposed to look at peace in death but his body bore scars of violence beyond comprehension. This time he was gone for good and it broke me.

His memories still haunts me despite my failing memory. I walk past my bedroom, towards a huge portrait of a lady with her mouth frozen in perpetual silent scream. I move it aside. Beneath the portrait was a small room. In the room, laid a small glass coffin decorated with wilted roses, my silent tears broke free.

His tiny hands, tiny nose and tiny body was perfectly preserved in time. He looked exactly like he did when he was handed to me, stillborn and unmoving.

My boy. His boy. Our boy. 

At peace, the way his father couldn’t be in death.

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