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‘Is this it?’, she thought, standing at a cliff’s edge, looking over the rocks jutting out towards the seemingly endless ocean. She wanted the setting sun to be her last. She wanted to end it before her illness would. ‘Unbearable!’, she thought.

She wanted to scream – and she did – until she could no more. Her broken voice got lost somewhere in the roaring waves; no one could hear her anyway. She was angry- at everything. ‘WHY ME?’, she thought, ‘is this it?’

She had put in a lot of thought into this, or so she thought. Maybe she hadn’t  She couldn’t decide. She didn’t care anymore. She was overwhelmingly determined.

She was lost in her reflections when she received a message. ‘Where are you? Tried to call. Looking for you’.

It was from her warden. She lived and worked in an orphanage- as a nurse, you see, tending sick children; she had gone missing for two nights.

‘No, no, not now’, she thought.

She wasn’t going to respond.

She wasn’t going to budge.

She wasn’t going to rein her thumping heart!

‘Please come back. He loves you. He’ll die without you. You’re needed’.

‘Am I?’, she thought. She stood still on the cliff for hours; or for an eternity, maybe?

‘I hope you’ll come back soon’.

‘Hope?’

The sun had set by now. The sky grew darker around her. It was studded with stars- which made it look even darker. Suddenly, she felt scared. ‘No, no, not now!’, she fell on her knees and cried, for hours perhaps.

Wiping her tears, she stood up. Why was she crying anyway? ‘I’ll be back here’, she thought, ‘for the last time’, and left.

It was almost dawn when she reached the orphanage. The magnificent sun was rising right in front of her but she didn’t want to see it; she didn’t want to acknowledge it, or herself, or the new day. She was thinking, ‘Why am I still here?’

She gently knocked on the door. ‘Where is he?’, she asked for him, thinking, ‘I’ll just stay for some time and leave’.

‘You’re too late …. he passed away …. where have you been?’

‘Here and there …. I mean …. I was almost ….’, she said, tears rolling down her eyes. She thought, ‘I should have just …….’.

‘Very sad, you couldn’t see him’.

‘If only I had come back a few hours sooner ….’

‘Few hours? He passed away the night you left’.

‘What? Well then, what about the messages?

‘What messages? ……. anyway, he left a note for you, by his bed’.

Trembling, she walked towards his room- slowly. The door was cracked open. For a moment she thought that she must leave but then she saw the note by the lamp. She opened it; it was as clear as a six year old could write …….

‘Not yet’.

She had her answer.

***********************************

Sunset

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