“You’ll understand the value of something only when you lose it”- I never understood the deep meaning packed in this quote until reality hit me like a thunderbolt.
Sid was in Texas while I was in India. Are you wondering who Sid is? Siddharth was my brother, actually my world! My mom, dad, friend, tutor – EVERYTHING! If someone knew the complete version of me, that was him. We didn’t get an opportunity to meet for years, yet that didn’t affect the bond between us. We were always updated about each other’s life. In fact, distance brought us closer. We grew, and so did our problems. I had to go through the deepest downhills and he found his true love, which was more complicated than the plot of Sherlock Holmes. I always thought how horrible life could be to people with kind hearts. We both cried together as we shared our insecurities and vulnerabilities. We laughed at our silliness and goof-ups. Those were the days of unadulterated love and unflinching support. We lived in different time zones, yet the same zone of hope kept our hearts beating. He was the best gift a sister could ever get!
It was a day before my last exam, and I could finally take out time to make a video call to Sid. The call went unanswered so I picked up my book to study. I was pulling an all-nighter to complete my syllabus. In a few minutes, my phone buzzed – it was him as expected.
“Umm… Nikhil?” That was Sid’s best friend on the line.
” Yes! Listen Sid-“
” Why do you have Sid’s phone?”
“DUDE LISTEN!! Sid… blood… ulcers… stoma-“
“What are you blabbering?”
“Si… Sid… he’s no more, Apoorva”
“What nonsense? It’s 3:00 am here, Nikh-“
“I am not kidding… I am… really sorry…”
The voice on the other side cracked and it all went blank. A single, high-pitched beep broke the silence. Just like Sid’s heartbeat!
I was in disbelief. My world came crashing down in a split second. No! This was not possible. He was still alive. In my heart. How could he leave me alone? How could he go to Mom and Dad leaving me to fend for myself in this alien world? I just couldn’t take it. My mind went numb. I couldn’t even hug him or wipe his tears in his last days.
7 months later
Here I was, still regretting how we never had a million of our “firsts” that could be. As I walked around the hall to grab my phone, I heard the bell ring. It was a package from Texas. I felt a lump in my throat. I hastily grabbed it and tore apart the envelope to find a letter inside. My hands shivered, even though the letter exuded a warmth which only someone very dear could. Yes, the letter was written by Sid. As my trembling hands held the letter, I could feel every drop of ink on it. I gathered all the shattered bits of my courage and will to read the words which would be the last memory of the one person who was my own.
I don’t know when you’ll receive this letter, but I’m sure you will someday. I left this in my bag deliberately, so that Nikhil can find it and send it to you. Wondering why I did not send this to you myself? Well, I knew I was leaving, but you were already too broken and I could not stand seeing you devastated. I am really sorry I had to leave you this early. I had not even imagined in my wildest dreams that I would have to leave you some day without even seeing you one last time after you grew up.
I miss the days when we kept talking endlessly about life and the madness that comes with it. I am sorry that your first Starbucks coffee experience won’t be with me, or even the visit to Taco Bell. I cannot tell you how much I am crying right now. You were the only one, who was with me throughout my entire life like a rock. Till my last breath, I knew that I have Apoorva, and that’s enough for me. I thought I would be the one you would come to after high school but I am leaving all our plans midway and I am really sorry for that. I wish I could hug you and wipe your tears for one last time, but I am not even in the situation to travel. I miss you a lot kiddo, keep making me proud of your maturity and I love you from every part of my soul and heart.
I will be with you always in spirit and I am sure you know that already. I know no one from the extended family and our circle may want to keep in contact with you after my death and they might even blame you. But always remember that there is nothing more precious than you for me. Do not let anyone’s words affect you because you know what you are and I want to see you stand tall against the world. Thank you for your support during all the fights I had with my friends. You were there when they left me, and even when they came back. I hope you find your way through everything and believe me that I have always felt that I am the luckiest brother in the world. You are always my sister, for all my lives in which my soul would exist. Please don’t crumble inside yourself. Take help. Talk to someone. I know you will have a hard time moving on, but my sister is strong enough to face anything. I made her so!! Okay kiddo, I guess this is it. I love you more than mom, dad, Nikhil, everyone ok?
The paper had begun getting soaked in my tears and my brain practically stopped working. A volcano of emotions was erupting inside me and I did what I had been doing for all these months to cope. I ran to my desk and started to scribble in my diary.
Here I am, waiting for the sunshine to fall on you
There you are, staring at the moon and cuddling into dreams
How can we ever talk like we used to do in the olden days?
All I can say is, I wish!
I wish to stand beside you and count the stars with you,
I wish to see the moon with you and just cry,
I wish to walk with you and forget this world exists.
But wishes can only be that – just wishes!
I had lost something valuable but I had found my purpose in life. To live to make my brother proud. When someone close leaves us, time stops for us but life does not. I could choose to drown in my grief or I could make my pain the fuel to catch up with life. I chose the latter. Because I knew that one day, I would definitely meet Sid up there. Why not create more moments to share?
// This fictional story has been penned by 14-year-old Kashvi P and has been chosen for publication on our platform from the weekly submissions //