The seat beside her was empty, a bag placed on it, the woman sat, Ahana watched her from across the restaurant had sorted seating facility. A single one that faced the water, declaring the need for solitude, the cozy two chairs that was partially covered by a Chinese screen, for company and finally the three some that was for society, it of course could accommodate more.
Sana smiled the lady, had chosen a two seater maybe she was not really sure whether she wanted company, or maybe she kept the empty chair for someone, I mean maybe she was fortifying herself for the meet. it was like a need to be alone, a need to ponder over things maybe despair in seclusion, Maybe she needed the sunshine and paving stones of the streets without companions without conversation, face to face with herself, with only the quiet music of her heart for company.
Ahana could see another woman in another space, the time she walked into a house, a house that smelt of must and damp, and of old mouldy gulab jamoon, a lone woman was sitting on the cement seat in the porch, the seat next to her empty…. the easy chair with its wooden handle and blue red stripped cradle cloth empty, …strangely that was the moment, when Ahana realized the old empty chairs were not empty in reality, memories always sat there like ghosts.
She had found the empty chair, she sat on it, she felt emptier, she felt the presence, the laughter the dreams the joys of her grandparents and their parents before them, suddenly Ahana knew, in one aspect, yes, there were ghosts, but we created them we haunt ourselves, because the people we love become ghosts inside us and that was the way we kept them alive.
No, ghosts don’t haunt us, that’s not how it works; they are present among us because we let them go….. The realization had hit Ahana on the face, for that moment she realized that if she had to leave a place that she lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep leave it anyway except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe vanquished ones while the future lives in a cloud formidable from a distance. Ahana had realized one major factor that prevented her dreams from becoming nightmares was her learning to vacate the spectator seat and then taking steps towards the player’s bench!
“You’ve got to play to win” Ahana wanted to tell the woman sitting all by herself. She was just about to walk cross; when the woman leaned forward and picked her bag…. she looked up and smiled a radiant smile…
“I was waiting for the longest time” she said,” I thought you forgot.”
“It’s hard to forget,” the man smiled as he replied,”when there is such an empty space when you are gone. ”