The Hollow

Browning leaves lay strewn on the forest floor in a fair imitation of a kaleidoscope. The barren trees with spindly trunks were mourning their loss. Their silence was deafening; occasionally broken by flocks of birds chirping through the dawn, a cacophony of insects serenading through the night and the gently flowing waters of the creek.

I remember this day like yesterday. She must have been thirty-five when I clicked this picture. We were on the outskirts of the forest a few blocks away from our house. It was the first picture I deemed acceptable for entering into a photography contest. She had insisted on calling it “The Hollow”. At that time, I never understood why.

Since yesterday, I’ve been going through a lifetime of memories she left me with in her scabby old trunk. Of all the pictures in it, my eyes can’t seem to part with this one. It looks hazy now, and feels wet. I wipe it with shaky hands. It hurts; it shouldn’t, but it does. It is not so much that she is dead but the fact that she died without recalling me. It’s been five years since she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

– Akanksha Gupta