The fragrance of incense sticks lingered in the hall though the funeral had been over many hours back.
Not many had come to offer condolences, but Anuj was thankful for that. It would’ve just been a formality had they come.
“I hadn’t loved you long enough, Dhyuti,” he whispered to the silence around him, a tear slipping from his eyes.
He remembered the first few days of their marriage. She had been silent, unable to look him in the eye and blushed as she slid under the covers next to him every night. It was only after her birthday that she began to talk with him properly.
When she had seen the gift in his hand, she had been surprised. She had deftly opened it, careful not to tear the glittering green wrapping paper which had pink hearts on it. Inside was a brand new diary, with a dark brown leather cover and a small lock on the side. On the cover, he had drawn a heart in red marker, and written her name inside with black. There was a card too.
“For your secrets, which I don’t need to know… So you don’t need to keep it locked in your heart.”
He smiled now, remembering her breaking her shyness then and giving him a sudden, warm hug.
It had been a year and eleven days since then, when she fell into an illness she never recovered from.
Remembering the diary, he got up and looked in her cupboard. Sure enough, it was there, below her blouses. He wondered if he should read it now. He wanted to know more about her. He just didn’t feel like saying goodbye.
He was about to search for the tiny key when he noticed it. There was no lock on the diary.
Surprised, he opened the diary to the first page. The diary was as empty as it had been when he gave it.
Or so it seemed.
On the day marked “June 11”, their anniversary, there was an entry.
A red heart, with his name, Anuj, written inside in black.
Beneath it was written, “I have nothing to write here, for I am, with my secrets, always in your heart.”
(© 4th April 2015)