Last updated on August 19, 2020
Storm came and went but, she remained seated on that swing not wary of time this once, so bitter she felt not even rain can wash away the feeling of betrayal, pity and what not. Her stomach demanded food, the persistent noises it made, she can’t ignore much longer.
Soon found herself in front of ‘poppy’s diner’ a big hot among people and by the looks of it, they are having best evening a diner can have, they are sold out it seems, family pouring put and in, reluctantly she made her way inside and order; a Mac and cheese with small portion of their chocolate cake with some soda to go, nothing special just a simple meal she had plenty of times sitting in her car, just like old times.
Issa didn’t let her eyes wander to the happy families of her classmates, or just families to have a night out but, still her eye caught the some of her relatives from her father side, more like strangers she never met or consider family, hell the waiter is more familiar to you than them, oh how ironic this felt?
Soon her order was placed for her to go, paying the bill she hurried but she wasn’t fast enough , someone called out her name; a foreign voice her mind refuse to recognise, hesitantly she turned only to be greeted by familiar but, not so familiar face “yes” Issa speaks out.
“Issa” called the lady again edging closer to her, standing right in front of her “don’t you remember me” asked the lady
Funny it took them fifteen years to ask that, all Issa knew she is her father’s sister other than that she is practically Stranger to her “not really” Issa simply replied
The lady’s face fell a little but, she put on a smile and asked or more like produced something from the packet she was holding this long “I’m your aunt, your fathers sister; my name is Heather, well you graduated right so does your cousin; my son Ender, you guys went to same school maybe different sections, well here its family heirloom and tradition to give graduating children this” and held it out for her to take.
Issa looked perplexed, confused and more hurt than ever; Issa gaze flickered from that lady face; whose name Heather she learned to the black box looking expensive but, Issa knew better. Her heart knew better so does her mind.
“Thank you but, no thank you” Issa replied or more like choked herself to say and moves to turn away from her towards where her car is parked.
“It’s for family” Heather said “they will be hurt, when they will know that you refused to have it”
This time can’t contain her, Issa voice loud and clear “funny, they weren’t hurt all this time. Why Waite fifteen years?” having no response in return Issa swallowed the words threatening to come out “like I said thank you but, no thank you; I don’t have a family”
When in safety of her car; Issa let out the breath of relief and drove out of the diner ignoring the Heathers form still standing in there and drove to the park and found herself on the swing eating the celebratory dinner alone.
Next day Issa woke bright and early and started packing away her remnants from this place, where she sought refuge for last thirteen or so years, time has come she let herself free from constant reminder and hurt of no belonging, of never being remembered. It’s not like she has lot, all her belongings were packed in her car in two small boxes and suitcase full of her clothes and small bag pack of her little things, funny how your life can assemble in boxes and cruel reality that you never held something so precious to never let go.
“so you are really going” voice startled her day dream.
“Moving on is part of life” Issa replied recognising the voice of her only companion and friend, Leo.
“Not what you are going to do” Leo grumbled, still opposed to the idea.
“oh come on champ” Issa teased “not all us can afford college”
“Really” Leo asked “says who got full ride to almost every elite school in America” they both stared each other “but, no you have to spread your wings and had to join the force”
“Well it’s the only place I belong” Issa replied “so are you taking me or not”
“well tell me why are we doing this?” Leo asked and together they made their way to Leo’s car.
“just” Issa replied but, never explained father and Leo never pried too.
One hour forty five minutes later
They reached their destination, the next town and where Issa father’s family lives and they both in the local park of that neighbourhood from a far watching them having small get together with their family members.
“I don’t know why we do this?” Leo protested “it clearly hurts you” added quietly
“It does” Issa confirmed “but, necessary for my heart. Let me have this last betrayal” not leaving her eyes from the scene of happy family having Sunday brunch together with family and friends together; she saw Heather and remembers the last night encounter but, dismissed it. Her father looked same when she saw him last time, when it was; two years ago no, before that when she was just twelve years old yeah, on eve of her mother’s husband hosted this big party for his success in some hotel and that too from afar, he never greeted her, actually he avoided her all night like a plague and it was her birthday too. She remembered it like yesterday, she was so sad, so sad no one remembered to wish her or greet her not even smile, they put her in some fancy dress and sat her in farther corner where no one can see her in hands of her nanny, but she saw her parents playing happy families with their new ones, with their kids praising them, but no one remembered her. Dejected she never went to anymore parties, never saw her father again and her mother too inspite of living in same house, they two never crossed path.
“let’s go” Issa said clearing her throat and capturing the happy family in her heart for the last time.
“What” Leo said “this early?”
“c’mon” Issa said “a heart can only take this much” marched towards their car and Leo following closely behind but before entering the car Issa looked at the scene of happy family and smiled inspite of her heart crushing into million pieces at least they are happy.
Soon the car was again parked but, this time in front of goodwill where Issa going to donate few of her things that she never require again.
“So you are really going to donate your things” Leo asked again
“Yes” Issa replied
“Think again” Leo suggested and desperately wanted her to change her mind.
“I have thought” Issa retorted “and I’m not going to change my mind so, you can stop your efforts Leonardo”
“Don’t call me that” Leo complained
“Why Leonardo?” Issa said again just to annoy him just for the last time for old time sake.
“I hate you” Leo muttered but, loud enough for Issa to hear “will you hurry we have places to go”
“Love you too Leonardo” Issa called out to his ‘I hate you’ comment and hearing his annoyed groan she hurried with the task at hand.