Do you know how long it’s been since I last wrote a real letter! Too long. But for some reason you couldn’t leave my mind today, since morning. I decided to get in touch. I thought you were calling me out,trying to say Hi,but you know how long it has been.Very long. But I deliberately refuse to count.
I have missed you Jane. Really missed you . I do hope you are okay. I am doing my best here. Being up there Iam sure you know everything that goes on here. I have deliberately kept myself from remembering a lot about your passing,the date,the overwhelming memories,the baby.Just because every time I try, it all seems too real,I break down. The wounds are still so raw,they hurt so bad. So I have kept what I have chosen to keep of you. I don’t want to ask again,why I wasn’t there at your bedside when I was told you were deteriorating. Let me open up,I knew you would be okay.We had been through a lot together,you just had to go through this.But you didn’t,and without warning. I have questions of mine;like why did you give up then,or was it something you couldn’t handle?Was the force that strong? So I try not to remember a lot,because it makes me weak.
You, of all people should know I don’t attach easily.May be it’s me or it was the accident of birth. You know we are more boys that girls; and either the girls were far older,like you or far younger so there was a gap.And boys do more dealing and inventing than attaching. I had made my peace,being the quiet boy ,hiding in Dad’s huge library for hours,reading, so I was okay. When I went to boarding school everyone seemed to have understood my needs. I don’t need the whole clan to visit just to check on me. I don’t need a monumental feast at school grounds for me to feel visited. If you think about me and wonder how Iam coping.Send some money. I would be alright. Dad understood that easily.
The only person who seemed to have missed the memo was you.Visiting,unannounced and writing.Really? Writing? I have never been a fan of letters,except later and even then it was to girls, not family,brothers or sisters! I proffered to write stories and sometimes typing them out in our old typing club room full of antique typewriters. Those were my moments. But you insisted on writing.And I had no way out,so I wrote back. The only times I had had to write was when I needed to sort our something with Henry,like World Cup scores when his team was thumped or when I needed to borrow his sneakers. Sometimes it was purely business,like since your Savco jeans are now two months old,can I have them at a discount! Such stuff. But you kept writing,about anything.
I never told you,Jane. You almost landed me into trouble some day when you wrote.You sent me a picture of you in the mail,at the seminary. I was asked to explain which kind of girls sends a seminarian a picture. I had to explain it was you,my sister.Luckily the resemblance was visible. That saved me. But you just couldn’t stop writing. Now I miss,it I wish you could write once in a while. I hope someday when technology is better we shall be able to talk more often. But you people up there have means.Send me a dream sometimes.Tell me what you have been up to.
I have been fine myself. Got into trouble sometimes,but Iam managing. You were there the first time I got into trouble; and your concern was discomforting. Who ever asks ‘what can I do for you?’! You did and somehow that kept me strong.Even though I had only been at a wrong place at the right time,the subsequent trouble was somehow of my own making. Iam trying to remain humble Jane,but there are so many assholes around(forgive my language) it is hard to remain civil.
Let me tell you my worst. I was at Police,for a business debt that had gone bad. There was no one to ask me what can I do?! You were not there,but I knew you must have been watching somehow.So I remained calm. I explained my situation that I was making an effort to pay and that I would have some money later that day.The shark(Iam not being offensive,they call them that here) refused to listen.He got his Police goons to threaten me some more,so I got angry. I calmly told them to listen up.That I was stopping negotiation and that I would willingly enter the cell. They looked at me like I had lost my mind. I told them since they had refused to take the money I had,I would save it and wait till they take me to court,then I would use it for bail. I tell you Jane,this enraged them.They told me I was arrogant. That is partly true. They told me I would rot there. I told them I was ready.They told me they would keep me there for longer. I told them although the mandatory holding time is normally 48 hours,I could do a week,but I would save my money for bail. They got more angry.But it made them see the sense eventually. So they agreed.But not before complaining to my wife when she came to bail me out.Ha ha.Can you imagine Jane,a Police officer reporting me to my wife! Like how we would be in school and someone says I will report you to daddy. I laughed inside. But It was bad. I have an ego,you know and keeping it in check is sometimes hard. But Iam working on it.
That lovely girl we used to talk about,Jane,is my wife. She is a nice girl, Jane. I wish the two of you had met. I have two girls and they have your ears,or mine,large like a rabbit’s and they are pretty. God must be paying me back. Having had more brothers than sisters, he is filling my space with girls, and they pamper me. They choose my ties and my shoes and pick thread out of my beard,all of them at a go. It is nice here Jane. I have a Monica,in her memory,but no Jane. I still think there is only one Jane and she is still around somewhere.
I haven’t gone to see your girl,Jane. For the same reason I don’t want to remember your death. It immobilizes me for days. May be some day I will gather the courage to visit her.She must be grown now. I think you broke Dad’s heart. He was inconsolable Jane the day of your burial. He wept. I wept too,but not that openly. You know I would never cry.But since you,I seem to every time something tugs at my heart. My eyes are welling with tears as I type this.But I sensed your presence today,that is why I had to write this. Talk to me sometime.Let me know how you are. Whether you still sing up there.Have you formed another choir? Do you tell them about us?
Okay those are two many questions.How about the baby? I have never asked whether it was a boy or a girl. And I have never asked who went first,you or the baby? I miss you Jane. Stay well.
PS.Rest In Peace.