3rd June, 1943
The days grow warmer, the nights restless. The ground is painted crimson in the hue of martyrdom, the wind carries the rhythm of synchronized footsteps – the dull beats of oncoming death. Only the sky remains untouched by the bloodied hands of War. And yet, we turn to trivial pursuits, for what is love if not an inconsequential whim?
When we last met—secretly, as always—my hands were shaking, quivering. In the darkness of the alley, my eyes searched for yours. In the cold of the night, your hands reached for mine. And in the intimacy of the moment, we missed the curfew. So when we ran back under the inky sky—hearts in our throats, sweat on our chests —we didn’t remember to say goodbye. How could we know that the next time we’d meet would be at your funeral?
The second they had you enlisted, I knew this futile war would take you. After all, isn’t it the good, the true, the pure that are tainted and scarred by this frivolity?
At the end it was not my father, inherently homophobic and illiberal, who severed me from you, but a simple bullet that drove from your chest into mine, lodging itself a little deeper into my heart with every passing day.
It was only when I was laying the daisies upon your grave that my acute agony turned into a dull ache, leaving me hollow and empty; for when an anomaly—as they regarded you—dies, it takes with it all the light that we look for, but fail to find, in the darkness of our intolerance.
While we were not meant to last, our memories are everlasting, our love is deathless, and I have not forgotten. I have not forgotten the cadence of your voice, the curve of your back. I have not forgotten the rose pressed between the pages of your letters. My remembrance shall forever supersede the amnesia of Time. “And that is the only immortality you and I may share,” my love.
Tanisha Tekriwal is an Indian student who is passionate about reading, writing, photography and art. She is the House Captain at Welham Girls' School, and also the Editor-in-Chief of her school's literary magazine. This is her debut publication.