Another story from my open collection
A LATE BLOSSOM
Story: P Anil Prasad
During the initial days of her bed rest at home, Elizabeth cherished the hope of an early recovery. Words of the senior physician, while discharging her from hospital after seventy two days long treatment, frequently echoed in her ears. “Now it is time for bed-rest at home. Though it is supposed to take a longer duration for complete cure theoretically, there are many incidents of miracles happened during home nursing time. I mean, we cannot rule out the possibility of an amazingly speedy recovery”
Initially she tried to concentrate on reading. She read a lot of books from all genres of writing. At times she also loved to hear the life stories of Beena, her home nurse. She told Elizabeth a lot on her adventurous but most often successful struggles against the odds of her life. Her husband was a medical doctor. They migrated to that place from India. When their third child was just six months old, her husband died in an accident. Subsequently she became a home nurse to bring about their three children. These major incidents were tightly packed with plenty of breathtaking as well as extremely joyful events.
Days, weeks and months kept on creeping away from Elizabeth. Even after six months of her bed rest, the miracle as told by the senior physician did not happen. Instead, she felt like becoming weaker. Earlier, with the support of Beena, she was able to walk slowly up to the front yard. Later it was shortened to the living room. Now she just moved around five or six times a day in her bedroom.
She gave up hope and stopped reading. The days became dull and gloomy for her. Beena tried her level best to keep Elizabeth pleasant by shifting her attention to newer things frequently. During one of those days, she introduced Elizabeth to a social networking portal. Elizabeth listened to the lecturing of Beena on social networking with much curiosity. At the end of her lecture, she helped Elizabeth to create an account.
“shall we add your real name?” Beena asked.
“of course, it is an all time beautiful name. I am always proud of my name, because it was given by my father” - she said it in a very weak but proud voice and smiled.
“want to upload a photo?”
“get me that green folder” - she pointed towards the book shelf.
Beena pulled out a very old green folder from the shelf and gave it to her. She slowly opened it and searched through its leaves. After a few minutes she picked a photo.
“add this one”
“Oh my God! This is awesome! You looks like an angel in this photo. I cannot believe my eyes!” - saying this Beena kissed Elizabeth. Then Elizabeth smiled beautifully.
Beena scanned that photo and added it to Elizabeth's newly created profile and asked: “Any status updates for today?”
“This folder carries fifty six poems I wrote during my graduation days. Add the opening stanza of a new poem on everyday as my status update” she gave the folder to Beena.
“so these are updates for fifty six days” - Beena opened the folder “shall we add the first update together? I can help you”
“no honey, I can’t sit for longer. You please do it for me.”
After reading a few of the poems Beena asked her: “these are really marvellous. You should not have stopped writing...shall we make your updates public? A lot of people should read it...it deserve that”
“You do that”
From that day onwards Beena added the opening stanza of a new poem every day as the status update of Elizabeth. On the first day itself Elizabeth got twelve friend requests. It increased each day. At the beginning of third week she had four hundred and two friends.
Beena used to read out to her all the comments on her status updates. Elizabeth dictated catching replies to them. At times, forgetting her ailments, she herself started to type replies. Yes, she was getting excited with the social networking!
It was the fifty fifth day morning since they started to post status updates. After reading a comment from a seemingly young man, Beena told Elizabeth with a smile “this guy seems to be all set to fall in love with you. Would you love to write a special comment for this young man?”
Elizabeth enjoyed it very much and laughed aloud. It was the first time Beena heard her laughing aloud since she came there to attend Elizabeth nine months ago.
Though she continued to read other comments, she was also expecting a favorable response from Elizabeth Since nothing came from her, Beena turned towards her with much anxiety. Then she saw Elizabeth sleeping calm and still.
While standing alone before the tomb of Elizabeth on the burial day, after all others left the cemetery, Beena murmured the first two lines of the stanza of the fifty sixth poem that was not posted. Then a gentle wind rustled the leaves...
“The late blossom was like a dream
Half revealed and half unrevealed”
Image attribution : public domain image from commons.wikimedia.org