Sunday, 27 October 2013

The Curse

I never understood it at first. As a kid it scared me.
I noticed it first with my parents. Every morning they would look at me weird. They would be scared. They loved me dearly, but the shadow of fear never left their eyes for a moment.
Trust me, nothing's worse than seeing fear in your parents' eyes, and realizing that you, their only child was the cause of it. Eventually I became afraid of myself too. Afraid and disgusted.

But through it all, my confusion grew. I was but a child, how come my limbs grew so fast? I didn't understand if i was supposed to be so tall at such an early stage in life. It's as if Time played a cruel game with me, but unfortunately it was not one I understood very well. Sadly, Time seemed to be the only one interested in playing with me, as no one else did.
My parents seemed to grow old in no time at all, their faces looking double the age than they were. Some unseen worry gnawed inside them which I couldn't comprehend. I could just feel that I was at the core of it.
Dad was the first to go. When he passed away, I remember holding my mother's hand tightly and asking why he had to leave us so soon. She didn't reply. Instead, she held me at arm's length and looked me straight in the eye.
I still remember her strained look. And her eyes! Never have I seen such deep sadness in human eyes as I saw that day in hers. It wasn't long until she passed away too, and I became truly alone in this world.
My aunts and uncles loathed me, my cousins shunned me aside. No one wanted me, but they could not ignore their duties. So they gave me places to stay in their homes, but never for too long. I was passed along from one family to another, kicked around like some giant beach ball, except it wasn't funny.
I saw history repeating in the sense that everyone aged quickly around me. And things kept changing so fast that I could not keep track of any of it. Every day there was something new. Every morning I woke up in fear. My grip on reality was blurring.
Amid this silent chaos, I met him. He looked at me. I think he pitied me. But nevertheless, he didn't shrink away from me like the others. He actually stayed with me! I was overjoyed.
But my joy was short lived. Within a few weeks he aged like the others too. I knew what I had to do.
So with a heavy heart, I asked, no begged him to leave me. He looked as if he understood why I was  asking him to do so. He gently patted my hand, hugged me one last time, and left.
I cried myself to sleep that night.
The next morning, there was a letter waiting for me. It was from him.
I tore open the envelope and eagerly read through the page. Inside he said that he is writing this just after I bade him farewell. He professed his love for me, saying that he has been in love with me for many years, though I didn't understand it. Lastly he wrote his address, saying that he would wait for me there, if I ever changed my mind about him. In a postscript, he asked me especially to notice the date of the letter.
As happy as I were to receive his letter, it perplexed me. How could he have been in love with me for years? We met only for a few weeks! Unless he has known me from before?
Then, as per his wishes, I noticed the date. It was written a year earlier.
It made no sense. He said he wrote it right after I told him to leave! But that was only last night...
Something clicked in my head. I said goodbye to him last night. He wrote this right after that episode. But now I am holding his letter and the date is a year earlier. He has been in love with me for years when to me it felt only weeks.
The letter... The date...
People aging, things changing, him being in love with me for years, YEARS. It all made sense now.
I clutched the table in front of me, my knuckles turning white from the intensity of the gripping. I finally understood the horror of it.
Of course things changed so fast, of course people aged so quickly, of course I grew so rapidly. I wasn't sleeping every night for a few hours.
Every time I slept, a year passed by.

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