A sudden crashing sound from the kitchen got her back to her modest three bedroom apartment. The cat must have got in again. She always keeps the net window shut. But the new paint smell gives her a headache and that had led her to keep the window open for a while. That was before she got caught in the old memories. She left the album on the table and went to close the kitchen window. The gust of wind had toppled the precariously balanced vessels that had been disarranged during the painting work. While putting the vessels back in their rightful places, she thought of him again.
It had been the kitchen. That ended her story. His actually. It must have been a day like this. He had got back from school and had gone to the kitchen to fix himself a snack. Leela Aunty was out with her mother for a movie. The Kamal Hassan-Rati Agnihotri one, where the two lovers die at the end. She couldn’t recollect the name. Bunty, his sister was in her house.
No one had heard the sound of the gas burner exploding. It was when she had heard the alarming thud on their main door that she hurriedly opened their apartment door. First, she didn’t even recognize the smoking black and pink contorted lump that was lying at her doorstep. Burnt all over, he had dragged himself out of his apartment and fallen unconscious infront of their door. She shivered remembering the acrid smell of burnt flesh and his terry-cot school shirt. It was when she saw his sandaled feet that she had screamed.
He died two days later in the ICU. She wasn’t allowed to see him. It didn’t matter really. For even today, she can feel his express heartbeats and the soft comfort of his shirt.