Ansa Jose | April 2022
This is my place to rest, a place surrounded by tulips. They are joyous. They are pink, yellow, red and white. They often bend and kiss my chill house—on the black marble. The day when people come in crowds, they crush my tulips. Then they turn blue, brown, violet and gray. Still I love them, as they know my heart beats.
One day a man came with a red rose. I looked up at the flower at first. ‘No, my tulips are better’. I thought, ‘Look, they are again pink, yellow, red and white!’ I drifted my eyes up. I could see his face. His uncertain stare was familiar. His dry lips were recognizable. And those thick, visible veins on his arms! Ah, how I used to assume their warmth! My heart struggled against my ribs. I was totally shivering with excitement.
I knew that he would definitely come one day. But his arrival was earlier than I had expected. I thanked my tulips for making me look gorgeous. Those morning dews, that I had hired, wetted his toes; the breeze, my comrade, caressed him, and the rainbow, my legacy, led him to me. And my tulips whom I nurture everyday gathered around me like bride-maids—pink, yellow, red and white—all decorating me like nuns do at the altar.
My neighbours felt jealous of me for they had everything else—tulips, morning dews, breeze, and rainbow—but not him, my new visitor. They had visitors—the usual ones—but not him, my valentine. I felt proud and lifted my chin a little. I could hear them gossiping. But no gossip could harm me then for there stood him, the most eligible gentleman in the world for me.
They—my tulips—laughed, as they knew that only his arrival could make me happy. But he was sad. Gently, he started speaking. I couldn’t catch his beginning words, as they were softer than a whisper. Slowly, they got louder and I heard,
‘…I love you…’
I got lifted up to the air hearing what I wanted to hear throughout my life. Better late than never.
‘…And I had always loved you…’
It was the peak, and I almost fainted. I couldn’t hear anything after that as I was exalted. My tulips were flickering more joyously than ever, and they tickled me secretly.
He went on with his words and was terribly tired. Suddenly, I felt something piercing into me, something that slowly melted into my chill being—a pinch of warmth, a tear! He looked disappointed that he had never kissed me, but his tears could, I smiled.
He knelt down, bent toward me, looked at me as tenderly as ever and pleaded goodbye. Then slowly he withdrew. I could hear those vanishing footsteps. I could feel his warmth slowly dissolving into the frozen garden, as the sunrays do at the poles.
They—my tulips—woke me up from my thoughts. They appeared as they heard my inner thoughts. They turned more pink, more yellow, extra-ordinarily red and abnormally white to make me normal, and I could regain myself. It was very easy. Then, I entreated them to produce another generation—pink, yellow, red and white—to ornate the other black marble palace next to me, and we started waiting for his final arrival.
Ansa Jose is a Bangalore based freelance content writer from Kerala, India. With two Master’s Degrees under her belt (Journalism and Literature), she previously taught at the Department of Journalism, Calicut University, and a few other colleges, and has also worked as a content writer and copy editor in Bangalore. She is also a passionate dancer, and runs a YouTube channel.
Illustration by Saranya S for The Mean Journal.
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