Monday, February 15, 2010

The Notebooks

“I’m feeling like writing today. I suppose I’ll wake up one day, to find that I have volumes and volumes of notebooks only talking about…me. Which isn’t really a boring subject, not until you start reading it…”

He held the notebook in his hands, adjusted his glasses on his thin nose and relaxed on the big arm chair. His heart skipped a beat; he could feel his lost breath, and his anticipation as he turned the pages of the diary.

“Today I went to the grocery store. When I walked in, I remembered, amazingly, when I was little, walking in the aisles, as if walking in wonderland, looking at the shelves that are filled with canned food, as if discovering new lands. The little carriage made me feel like I’m in a train that’s going through woods that were never seen by a human being before. My mom used to ask me to point at what I wanna get, I never really knew what these cans were, but I pointed at the one that looked the prettiest. One day my mom asked me to reach out and grab what I wanted from a certain shelf, when I grabbed it and gave it to her, she laughed, looked at me, leaned as if to whisper and said: “You’ll get plenty of this when you grow up. At least it’ll help you survive if you’re married to someone like your father”. As I walked pass that same shelf, I grabbed the sane can, which turned out to be a small bottle. I laughed and put it in the carriage, and wished that it won’t give me a bad hangover tomorrow”.

He closed the notebook he had in hand, and picked up another one, from the pile he had on the little coffee table next to him. He stopped for a couple of seconds, filled with excitement and enthusiasm, like a 6 year old, about to open his birthday gift. He went quickly through the notebook, and then started reading.

“….I stayed up all night next to her. Her temperature was so high; I could almost feel it’s warming the room. She went on coughing all night, her face was so red and her nose was bleeding. This was the worst night of my life, I was so scared, and nobody was with me in the house. [….] went away on business, as usual, and I was left alone, not knowing what to do other than looking at her, and trying my best to make her feel good. With every cough I felt a part of me ripped off. I hope she never gets sick again, I wish I get sick all the time, but she doesn’t….”

The intensity of the words got him tears in his eyes. He kept on reading, and turning the pages, and reading. It was his utmost pleasure now, to spend his time reading these notebooks. He, who never opened a proper book in his entire life, who never passed comics book and Play Boy magazines, he was sitting there, for hours on end, reading the diaries of a woman, whom he barely knew.

“The alarm didn’t go off today. I woke up late and everyone was still sleeping. I waked them up, they were all angry, and I didn’t know what to do. I kept preparing everything, just for them to leave without even saying goodbye. I was dead tired yesterday, what could I have done? I spent all night preparing the cakes and pastries for [….] birthday, it’s gonna be a big one, cuz she’s having all her friends over. I just want to make her happy….”

He couldn’t go on reading in the notebook; he closed it, took off his glasses and just sat there. He sat there alone, till someone came knocking on the door, asking for permission to come in. He didn’t answer, and the knocking kept on. At last, it stopped, and he sank again in his arm chair, as if cut from the world. He looked at the notebooks again, and picked up another one.

He found a ripped page, with only one paragraph in it.

“….I saw him with her again today. They kissed as he drove her to her working place. I think I’m wrong to have followed him, but I had to know for sure. I can’t blame him; she’s prettier, younger and more attractive than me. I just wish….I just wish he’d have told me he’s with her. I would have…known. All I wanted to not to be fooled. I love him so much, if this is not enough for him, then I don’t mind him being with her. I just wish he’d told me….”

Hardly grasping his breath, he slowly closed the notebook, and put it on his lab. He dried his tears, and picked up yet another notebook. He gradually started to fear what he’ll read. He opened the first page in the last notebook he found.

“…I went to see the doctor today. He told me the treatments aren’t working any more, but I can’t tell my family. Not now at least. He told me I have little time to live, but it’s only a matter of time before we all die. That’s what my mother told me in my dad’s funeral. I believe it. We’re all gonna die. I just don’t wanna die before I feel that […..] won’t need me any more. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me, I wish I can tell her how much I love her…...I don’t know if she’ll remember me, if he’ll remember me, maybe I’ll end up being a vague picture in their minds, maybe I won’t be a picture even. It’s…not a bad thing to die…I’ll just miss them a lot”

At this the paragraph ended. He stared at the page, as if wanting more words to appear. Just something more from her words that would make him feel her presence. That she’s not gone.

The knocks on the door started again…

“Dad! Are you okay?” said the voice from outside.

He put the notebooks back in their place, in a drawer in the bookcase. He knew he has to go outside. It’s the least he can do to her. Attend the funeral and make sure she’s paid her respect. He took off his glasses; got up the armchair, looked at the mirror, and made sure he dried his tears and then got out.

“…I’ll just miss them a lot” These words kept on ringing in his ears. He couldn’t help himself and tears starting coming down from his eyes, while he, powerlessly, kept whispering:

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry”.



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