There is Hope in the Depths of Despair.
The garden was isolated, in a lonely corner of a street on Khayaban-e-Roomi. I had driven all the way there to take a breath, to take it all in. I couldn’t breathe. My breath had stopped in the middle of my throat and I felt like someone was choking me hard, cutting off my air supply completely. Painful sobs made their way up my throat and I let it all out. I cried for what seemed like hours in the car. Anyone who must have seen me would imagine I had lost my senses. Maybe I had, I didn’t know. All I knew was that they were gone; my parents were gone... Images flashed through my mind: my mother lying near my bed, my father kneeling next to her. ‘They could be sleeping,’ the voice said, ‘don't wake them up!’
The last thing I heard were sirens ringing in my ears and strange hands touching me all over. I don’t quite remember at what point I shrugged them all off, made my way towards my husband’s car and sped off into the distance.
Rust leaves crunched beneath my furry boots as I made my way towards the little garden, large bumblebees buzzing about the bright marigolds. It was a sight to behold, this garden. I always felt it held secrets of its own, having stood around for nearly a decade and still not having lost its earthy charm. Perhaps I was under a spell. Mum and Dad’s passing had cast a depressing blanket over everything I had hoped and dreamt of.
My gaze fell upon the sweet daisies, growing in a despondent corner of the garden. They looked simple and endearing, as they grew mutely under the shade of the banana tree, harsh sunlight cutting the plant into strips. Shielding my eyes from the piercing rays of the sun, my gaze climbed up the length of the tree. Its large, elephant-like leaves flapped around lazily in the wind and a bunch of small, yellow bananas stuck firmly underneath the leaves almost hidden from sight.
An eastern tiger swallowtail caught my eye as it fluttered across the garden, daintily perching itself atop the tea-pink petals of the champa flowers, growing on several different branches protruding from a rather thin trunk. As I walked closer, beautiful floral notes engulfed my senses and sent me deeper into the haven of thoughts I had created within my own mind.
The amaltaas tree was compelling to look at for a lack of better words. Its bark was a rough chocolate brown, dappled with spots of warm sunlight in various places. Among the vibrant, lime green leaves hung intricately woven strands of golden yellow flowers, that reminded me of chandeliers, fresh grapes and gleaming light bulbs, all thrown in a box and shaken up together. Thin, dark tubes descended from amongst the flowers, swaying silently in the autumn breeze.
I wished with all my heart that I could stay just a little while longer but I had to go to the hospital and sign away the documents. Any fragment of peace or joy I may have had inside of my heart at that moment dwindled away, only to be replaced with an empty hollow. I turned my back to the garden and walked off towards the car. Nothing ever stays forever, does it?