Lying in the bed, in the bone-crackling chill of the winter, warmed by his quilt, he stared at it. Holding it in his hands, as if there was some way to bring it back to life, if he kept willing it. But somehow he knew that won’t happen. To every corner around he could turn to salvage its remnants, he did. But everyone had the same answer- it’s lost.
He still remembered how it came into his life. The memory engraved vividly in his mind. It was a gift, when a gift could hardly express the love the two of them shared. It was a memory of embrace, of thought and the effort to selflessly give something to your treasured person which you knew he yearned for. And that’s how it came to him. Simply handed with a smile at the most unexpected of moments, in the simplest of ways. And when he unravelled the gift, it was something he had wanted for so long.
He had seen it so many times, and even though he wanted it, he simply smiled and told himself, you will get one of your own soon. But when it came down to it, he just couldn’t do it. There was always something else. And she sensed it. Probably that’s what so great about love – when you actually do love someone, you live for another more than you live for yourself. But such a gift he didn’t expect, and there was very less what he couldn’t expect. He felt like a kid again, being given a gift he wanted but couldn’t ask for from anyone. And that was when he actually connected to it.
He treasured it, would be an under-statement. He remembered it tagging along with him whenever he was all alone. Sickness, health, alone, among friends, travelling, at home... it was with him whenever he needed it. It helped him escape into worlds he loved to imagine, and safeguarded all his secrets. And he kept it as if to protect it from time itself – and he had been pretty successful at it. But he never imagined he would have to guard it from tragedy. And he felt the pain of death and loss, yet again.
He had wondered as a child what made everything around so special that people seemed to work so hard for. If one considered the laws of nature, it would seem futile to form connections in lack of permanency and veils of perception. And then it struck him hard and cold like death. It was life itself that connected itself among everything and everyone around them. And its non-permanence is exactly what made it so precious to acquire – like desperately quenching your thirst from a handful of water when you know you can never have the entire handful, and if you delay it too much you will lose it all. It’s funny how simple and accurate life’s explanation is from a child’s point of view. The kid’s wisdom echoed in his head, “Everyone is trying to have as much fun as they can while they are here.”
Yet he felt that time had been unfair. It had become so much a part of his life and never taken for granted. He recognized its absence the next morning itself. And when he recovered it from the culprit, he felt as if he had been saved himself. Yet the connection somehow seemed jittery, still he ignored it as imagination. Soon he realized his treasure had lost its life. And the efforts he could make were not enough to bring it back. Death had come again, this time as a trickster, and the wolverine didn’t even realize that the moon had been taken from it. And now all that was left with him was a void.
Probably the void could be filled by another, probably not. But the desire to fill the void was gone. What was once precious couldn’t return, not like before. This is probably the reason the ones that are departed are best reincarnated into fresh starts than brought back to old life. Nature had a better of keeping life’s cycle going. Maybe he could apply it to his gift. But that will take time and wisdom. Probably that’s what it was always about – To give time and attain wisdom.
He remembered the time when everyone but a few had to stay away from him for their own good. And he couldn’t and didn’t blame them for it. But it was with him always. Probably because he couldn’t harm it the way he could cause ill to others, but yet he liked to think that it came into his life at that time just to rid him of that solitude. And now it lay in his hands. What it stirred inside him was more than love. It was life... memories... feelings... companionship. Probably that’s what friends are. And you have to let them go. And hope, one day, somehow, you will be able to come back together again. Changed, aged and tempered by life – still... Friends Forever. There will be a night when the Moon will hear the Wolverine’s howls and they will meet again. And that morning, the sun will gladly take its time to rise.