Choker (తుస్సి)

I must’ve been a shadow when he piteously shed tears while he pressed the choker to his eyes. This choker was a legacy that he was safeguarding for many years. The farms had dried that year and his crops failed. He was almost close to starving his family and several dependents. Desperation drove him to borrow money from his brother-in-law. The interest was so high, but he’d rather borrow money from his brother-in-law than an outsider. The term was to return the entire amount with interest in a year’s time.

On a rainy day, within six months, his brother-in-law landed at his door step asking for his money. He was still trying and he had six months. His heart popped into his mouth when his brother-in-law kept insisting that he won’t leave without the money. There was nothing that was comparable to the amount he had borrowed besides the choker. There was no way was going to part with the choker. Finally the intentions of his brother-in-law came into light. He asked for the choker in lieu of the money.

He was left with no choice as the neighbors had started gathering around the front porch wanting to listen into the family drama. His gait was strenuous while he walked to his closet and brought the choker in his hands as if it were a new born. Tears welled up his eyes but they didn’t invoke the slightest sympathy from the brother-in-law. He was adamant that he expedite the process of parting with the choker. The final moments of parting with the choker probably broke his heart into a million pieces.

Fast forward 40 years, that very choker embellished his brother-in-law’s grand daughter. This time it broke my heart. I was the rightful owner of that choker but he had lost it to a defeated cause. He was gone 31 years, but my grandmother, his wife, my childhood best friend said that the 9 years until he died, there was never a sunset that didn’t remind him of the choker. Often, I am told to forgive and forget but sometimes there is an excuse to be stuck in time. I can never get it back. My mother and I have since tried to rebuild the legacy and replicate the choker but it will not be the same. Time doesn’t heal. The pain remains. But at least I have an answer when I meet him again.

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