I watched my sister run around, packing her bag. She was going back to her hostel after a month of holidaying with us. The thought of her leaving unusually scared me. She came and left every time, why did I feel differently all of a sudden? For the first time, I really wished she did not have to leave. Home was so easy when with her. Except for her constant chattering that irritates me to hell, she's the life of our home.
The train to Trivandrum whistled away from us, taking my sister with it. An uneasiness crept into me. I ignored it on our drive home. The next day in school, I noticed that the uneasiness hadn't left. I wasn't in a mood to talk and laugh. I tried to hide that too, but a few of my friends asked me if I was okay. When I left the classroom, I bumped into someone. Oh hey, that was best friend. She stepped back to have a good look at me. "You're a corpse." she concluded. I grinned at her, feeling light for a second. Before I could have a free conversation with her something came in between. Why was it so difficult for her to find time for me?
I wandered during the lunch break, and met my old gang. But they were preocuppied. I ended up standing among a group I did not belong to. Back in class, there was something to cheer for - my bench-mates had my favourite food. While having those yummy chapathi rolls, someone came by and took away two large ones...and it was all over in an instant. I know it's selfish and irrational, but I was saddened for not getting more chapathi. I was weirder than usual. Annie, where are you?
I hopped off the school bus. It was raining, only to add up to my melancholy mood. My companion and I were quiet on our way home. I recalled the days we couldn't get enough of our hour-long discussions. I raised my arms, and let the raindrops meet them. "Doesn't it feel depressing?" I finally said. My buddy looked at me in a strange way, "I don't know." she said, "Maybe it's just you...are you depressed?" I said nothing. Did I want someone to say that to me?
I opened the door to my house. Mom was in her clinic. I was relieved to be on my own. I started talking aloud, asking myself what was wrong. I found my voice breaking. This was insane. I did not even know what I was upset about! I wished I had my bestie next to me. I wished there was someone I could speak to. But I didn't know what about. I collected some home-wear and got in for a shower. I tried to laugh it off. I probably misunderstood myself. I pictured myself telling my friends about it all, and how we ended up laughing. I laughed myself, and did not notice the silver line that turned the laugh into tears.
I let them out, the tears that came one after the other, not yet realising the cause. All I did know that I was a little scared. But I don't know of what. I always thought I'd chosen solitude. But the uncommon visitor had showed up, loneliness.
All fresh and clean, I came out dressed. Mom had returned with a guest. I had to present myself well until they left. By the time they did, I wasn't in the mood to tell mom about my strange experience. We chatted about things in general. Strangely, it cheered me up as if I was fine all day. Home felt better than school to me. That doesn't happen all the time. Well, I guess it isn't so surprising that happiness lies wherein there is love. And love lives wherein there is a family, one where we can call 'Home'.