The Come Back – Chapter 35

by Anita Menon

“I have tried to write every single day of my life.”, she paused a bit and then continued, ” There is a real danger of everyday feeling like the other. But writing set them apart. I know each day from the other now. All the moments have rounded up into words on sheets of paper.”

However hard she tried, she couldn’t speak continuously knowing that Dr. Abelhammar and the young therapist were looking at her and hanging unto every single word that she had uttered. But she hadn’t said much, she knew. She had lost the habit of speaking, of making a conversation since she had led such an solitary life. She never cared about making conversations anyways but this was different. She did not want to let Dr. Abelhammer down or let James feel that his last wish wasn’t being respected. She made a guttural sound, deep within her throat, clearing an imaginary blockade.

She had revealed most of her memories to these people who were there to dissect and find something of consequence. Then they would string it all to make some sense of it. Some how this session seemed like a conclusion. Like the moral of a story. Like the one where they say, ‘and they all lived happily ever after.’.

“James knew that about me. But he would neglect it on purpose. He did that because he was sure that writing could and would take his place in my life. On the day that he died, I was with him the entire morning. He talked to me about all the beautiful moments we had spent together and how much of a void my absence had created in his life. But he knew why I had walked away. I told him about how I am compelled to write, and why it would drive me crazy if I didn’t. I had told him all those years but he would pretend as if it was an ailment that would go away on its own. But it didn’t, it wouldn’t. He treated it like a malice, his entire lifetime and only on his deathbed did he realize the folly of it. To walk away from a family that loved me wasn’t easy for me at all but I had to escape to preserve my sanity. I had to do it to protect my children. I have told you every detail of my life in these six sessions.”

Maya was taken back by the torrent of words pouring out and noticed the young therapist taking notes and then looking up at her face again. Smiling.

Maya was comfortable with Dr. Abelhammer and his presence alone reassured her that she wasn’t being mislead. She remembered the times when she was in awe of him and felt he might have harboured a little crush on her. But it was all innocent and fun. She loved James with all her heart and in all these years she knew for certain that nothing had changed.

Many hours passed and Maya felt drained inspite of the incessant rounds of coffee that were brought it. She had told them every bit of the conversation and life details that had transpired between James and her. This was her sixth session in progress and she had four more to go. She saw her characters walking around in circles waiting for a chance to become a part of the real world. But that had to wait. She couldn’t write when she was sitting here in a therapist office. James had disappeared for some reason. It was possibly because she was talking about him. She knew that when she talked about any of her characters, they had a tendency to disappear and they make a come back only if she was to leave any of the stories incomplete or wanted to guide her when her imagination was failed her. The emotions in the room seemed mixed to her. She saw a the yellow around Dr. Abelhammer dull and seemed like the colours of the sky when the sun was setting. Tension gripped her heart when she saw that the therapist had turned a charcoal black as both of them discussed Maya’s case. They were standing outside the room where Maya was seated. The door was ajar and she could see the colours talking among themselves. The atmosphere reeked with confusion, disbelief and great sadness for some reason.

Dr. Abelhammer entered in without the young lady. Maya kept forgetting her name for some reason. He seemed perturbed and stood awkwardly in front of Maya. He didn’t look at her, when he announced this.
“Maya, we think we have had enough sessions with you to know what seems to be the problem. We would take a few more days to asses your condition and then we will prepare a detailed report about it. Meanwhile I would like you to stay in London, so that we can communicate easily.”

Only two words, cut themselves out from that string of words that came out of Dr. Abelhammer’s mouth.



Maya muttered these words and they hung in front of her in their inky black, sinister avatar.

She did not like the way these words appeared to her and the possibilities that they threw at her. She was dropped back home by Dr. Abelhammer who held her hand in a his hand for sometime before letting go. She walked to the front door and hesitated to enter. She needed to be out in the fresh air as much as possible but it was drizzling. She was shivering even under her thick woolen coat and scarf, gloves and boots. She was shivering from the possibilities that life might be throwing at her, at this stage of her life. Her daughters had absconded without giving her the faintest hint if they would ever show their faces before she left for India. But in the light of these new circumstances, she had to stay in this house for a few more days. She felt trapped and suffocated. A familiar feeling that was. It was creeping up on her like the cold that had settled into every pore of her body. She knocked and Mrs. P with her baby pinkish hue stood there with the brightest of smiles. Maya had grown to love this lady a lot more than she would have allowed herself. In response, Maya smiled her reluctant smile and stepped in. Dinner was already laid out and Maya had her vegetarian share and took her dishes to the sink. There she found two more unwashed dishes and bowls and she felt a flurry of excitement run through her body. All of a sudden the weariness drained and she felt happy to know that her daughters were home. She had to muster courage and talk to them about them, about her and about their life that was and that wasn’t. Thinking about the next day, she planned it compulsively and decided to wake up early and wait for her daughters to rise.