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Distant Silhouette Chapter - 11

by Tanuja Chatterjee
(Kolkata, India)

Back to - Distant Silhouette- Chapter 10

Silvery Shiny Oak

A shiver wafts through April. The cold quiver left her numb and speechless. After a long stillness, she felt a tight grip and looked down. It was Ramilla's tight embrace. Trying to break free from her hold she forcibly unlocked Ramilla's clasp and turned away from her. "Mama, don't go! Don't leave me this time!" cried Ramilla. For a moment April's footsteps stopped but she didn't turn. Ramilla hastily came forward face to face with her almost blocking her way and said "I didn't mean to hurt you. I'm sorry , I shouldn't have uttered ....! But it's true!"
April though listened but ignored every word and went inside the house, leaving Ramilla with a deep sense of regret.

Ramilla returned to the old wise oak tree and gazed at it intently." Yes, it's that one!" she said and embracing it's huge trunk she began to weep silent tears.
"Let no one accept, but like me, you too know, this is true! I was here before. I loved you before. It's my another chance to make good of life that was cut short last time. I'll tell you all. Mama might not accept and I don't have means to prove either. So what!...I'll always be June to her" Sobbed Ramilla.

The oak tree stood silent witness to the eternity of life. The silver shiny leaves dazzled the moment with it's sparkling brilliance as if saying "Ramilla, stop crying! Gather your spirits and listen to me! This flow is called life. We come and go to come back again. Your coming back is mystic.... but true. Make good what still remains incomplete and undone. Mama will be yours again and remain so all through." With tender loving kindness Ramilla ran her palm over the bark of it's trunk ...and suddenly her fingers touched upon a smooth surface whose contours, she felt were slightly varied and didn't seem to match with the rest, so she bent over to have a look. She saw that there lay engraved on Silvery Shiny Oak's trunk those four letters...JUNE... ! They appeared old carvings which had turned brown. Ramilla quietly kissed it with trembling lips and said softly,"Thank You My Silvery Shiny Oak! Thank You!" and she too turned towards the door.

Intersection of times

With a heavy heart, Ramilla goes upstairs, holding her precious books close to her bossom. Near the stairways is the room she dreads to enter.
"Thank God it's
locked today! Uncle Todd must be out of town!"she thinks.
She passes by Todd's room , without glancing through as she fears to enter it for some strange reason known to her alone.Through the corridor, after passing that locked bottle green burma teak almirah, she stops at the threshold of April's room which is her own too. As she looks through the door she finds April wipping her tears while sitting on an old study table holding a photo frame. April looks up and says "Come in Ramilla!"
Ramilla enters. The room is dark. The slight glow is caused by the lighted table lamp placed beside April's desk. Ramilla stops at the threshold of April's room with her gaze fixed at April.
"Come on Ramilla, come to me!" April calls her gently.

Ramilla moves closer to her and looks at the picture frame, which is placed right side down on the desk top table.
"An old frame must be holding an old photograph" she thinks
"Do you want to see the picture?" asks April as she looks up, Ramilla nods. April slowly turns the frame.
"Oh, it's Henery, you and me! It's before he left us. Do you remember!" tells Ramilla excitedly
"Yes I do! But do you know when and where was it taken ?" asks April to quiz her.
"Yes of course, I do!" answers Ramilla. "It was when we went to visit Aunt Eileen with Daddy. He showed us Stratford, on our way to Cardiff in England".
April holds Ramilla's arms and draws her closer to her.
"why did you leave me alone! Why June!" April tugs her in tight embrace accepting the mysticity of their times.
"I shouldn't have...I know....for you were left alone...but couldn't help! That day the fever was just unbearable. I couldn't hold on Mama!" wipping April's tears she said.
" But cheer up I've come back to you again. This time I won't leave that early! she said.
"Stay with me here June" said April
"I will Mama!" came a loving answer as Ramilla jumps to kiss April.

April switches on the light and Ramilla sits with her books on the seat vacated by April.
"All my search ends here with Mama. I have no wish to move further on." thinks Ramilla.
"Wait I'll get you something to eat while you study!" says April as she turns towards her way out.

To be continued......

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