She has been sitting on that parapet wall for an hour now. She gazes out at a landscape that isn’t exactly a great view but it is a view to her nevertheless. There is a wide open ground. At the very far end of that ground, she sees a few shanties where labourers live and work on a new building that is far enough to not block the breeze that gushes into her home and ears every night but close enough to still be a near eyesore.
A few children to her right have built a cricket pitch and are playing. On her left, stands another building, dwarfed by the one she stays in. She can see its terrace and she can see a couple strolling there, hand in hand. Far away, she sees part of a road, vehicles zipping by on it. A large banyan tree shadows the road.
He likes the tree. He likes how it spreads out its hands, how it offers a moment’s respite to the people who walk under it. He feels it is old. She finds it young. She can see from this distance, the smoothness of its bark, the freshness on its leaves, the natural spring in its swaying. It has to be young, she tells herself.
She knows he has never visited the tree. Never went and hugged it. Never whispered into its ears, hope it hears and hope it tries to respond. In some way. Maybe an extra breeze from its branches, maybe a few falling leaves, maybe an extra bit of swaying…anything. From so far away, does it know it is being watched? Does it know it is liked? By two people who stay far far away in a house on top of a building that stands on top of a mound?
This is her domain, she feels, and she looks down on it, wondering how long before this too becomes a fragment of her memory. A day when she will pack up one more time and go away, forgetting the tree, the road, the ground, the building that does not even exist yet. After the last goodbye. No more coming and going, no more rainy terraces, no more breezy well lit homes, no more smells of cooking wafting on this sphere where they live now?
He comes out then and catches her looking at nothing. Stop thinking, he nudges. She smiles. She isn’t thinking. She is drifting. Those are different, aren’t they? Will she remember him in an afterlife? Will he? If she does, will he know from afar that he is loved?