The Parking Lot

Author - Murali Shreesha

Why is it necessary for every story to have a start and an end? Can’t it be one, where a moment is remembered?

I am Kabir, and I am nineteen years old. It was around 5:30 pm. I parked my vehicle at the parking lot. It had been two weeks since I met her. I could not go to visit her. But I missed her.

I parked and started walking, I had my earphones on, and when I removed it, I heard a voice "Kabir! Kabir!" I turned around, there she was. I couldn't say anything, I just wanted to hug her so badly, but I decided not to. She came in front of me. She asked me how I was, and I couldn't answer that too, I asked her the same question, "how are you?" “I'm fine,” she replied. "How are you holding things up?" I asked. "It's healing, I'm under medication, how are you? " "I'm okay. I just think of you all the time." She had tears filled in her eyes. I took my bag aside and started searching, "Uff finally found it." It was the watch she had gifted, which wasn't working, she had told, "I don't know what happens later, I just don't want the time to move forward." "I wear it every day even though people make fun of me," I said. "That's so sweet of you, I actually don't remember when I gave that, but it's sweet of you," she replied. Tears rolled down my eyes, I had nothing to say, I just wish it were the way it was. I didn't know why I couldn't control my tears and talk to her. I held her hands, I couldn’t find the bracelet I had given her. I asked her where it was. She said, "Oh, that lady in the white dress has taken it for polishing." I didn't quite understand, but I knew that lady, so I said its okay, maybe it was faded out, it had been a long time since I gave it to her.

I had brought her fruits and the cake she loves! I showed it to her, she said, she didn’t like them. I was shocked; what was she saying? Is she trying to avoid me or so? I was confused. I thought it's okay, maybe her likes and dislikes have changed. I continued my talk, "Do you remember the day we spent at the park? That was so memorable", I expressed myself. "Oh, yes, that evening was beautiful," she relished. I felt thrilled that she remembered that evening. I was really happy. I remember the way we used to go for a walk every day. She used to buy chats for me after walking. I didn't actually understand the whole purpose of walking and then eating junk, but it's okay, it was fun.

The best part was drenching in the rain, and we used to go out and get drenched every time it rained at our place. It was so beautiful; it was worth cherishing I was lost in my thoughts; that's when she said, "Do you remember your first poem?" "Of course, I do, it was written on you," I quoted. Her expressions changed; she was totally smiling and remembering random things. She started telling, "I remember the painting on your wall. You are a true artist." "It's still at the same place, you should take a look at it, there's another painting, and yes, it's your portrait again," I whispered. I saw my watch, it had been 8 minutes since I met her. I started panicking. I rushed saying things, she didn't understand what I said, but I kept on telling continuously. I was crying and saying and expected her to understand everything out of it, she was trying to console me. I had lost control over myself. It was more like a scene, people started gathering around, they knew I had not seen her for a while; they moved out. I knew them too. Finally, the doctor came, I asked him, “How is she?” He started telling that her condition was getting worse, but they were treating her. I looked at her again and asked what she was thinking, she replied, "Who are you?" I lost myself, I was down on my knees, crying. She asked the doctor who she was and why she was crying. The doctor replied, "Ma'am, he's your son, he's come to see you." "But my son is 16 years old, who's he?" It has been three years since she was admitted here. She had Alzheimer's. I opened my bag again, started searching for everything I had so that she could remember me again. I showed her all the pictures, all the stories, later she saw the fruit and the cake. "Ayy, my favorite, thank you for this." I was happy that she finally remembered.

I didn't hesitate now; I hugged her real tight and cried. That is when I realised, that's what happens every time I come here. After I hugged her and moved back, I spoke to the doctor and came back, she was gone inside telling, I had some problem and was searching for someone, but she doesn't remember me. Even the warden started having tears, but what was the use?

That was the last thing I wanted to hear from my mother's mouth. I didn't say anything, as usual, I packed my bag, and thanked God, for the ten minutes that she remembered me. I would cherish those ten minutes for a lifetime. I plugged in my earphones, looked back, and was seeing if she will come back remembering me again, but little did I know, it isn't my world where things happen according to my will. I realize her worth, what she means to me every day, every minute, every second, I want to keep her happy and show all my love.

If I talk of reality, I just wished she remembered me. I just pray that I went back 19 years back where I stay with her all over again, and this time, I'd be very happy every moment thinking there are only 16 years left. I wouldn't scold her or go against her, and I'd keep her as happy as possible, I'd be the best son. But, Ma, for once, remember me, I'm dying here.

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