The Visitor

Empty bench.

Dear Visitor,

It’s been a while, since last we met. You showed up unexpectedly, as you usually do. I’ve come to expect no less from you – your arrival unannounced, no heads-up you’re on your way, then a knock on the door in the middle of the night. For some reason, you never stick around for too long. Perhaps it’s the nights which are too short. Come morning, I can barely recall you came. Your passage is but a fading memory. I wake up wishing perhaps next time it’ll last longer.

Try as hard as I can, I still don’t quite understand why you keep coming back. Do you call on me simply out of courtesy? Maybe you feel like there’s something left untold between us, like I do sometimes. If so, then why don’t you say anything? All you do is smile and nod (though your smile leaves me with a warm feeling at heart). Alright, I admit it’s perhaps I doing most of the talking. But there’s just so much we need to catch up on, you know. Yet your visits are growing fewer and far in between and I only have more to share with each passing day.

I don’t blame you. Time was ever a precious commodity to you. Yeah, I blame him. If there is indeed someone to point fingers at. He’s always stood between us, time. There was never enough of him, to do whatever needed doing. Usually it was work, or some urgent errand, somewhere, requiring your attention. Now, time cuts your visits short again. Stretches on interminably between now and the next time we meet. He dulls the sharp edges of memories. More efficient than sandpaper, the bastard. He files away details. I don’t want to wake up the morning after we see each other, with no recollection you visited. I want to remember.

Dear Visitor, I know you have your ways though.

I look in the mirror every morning, and I see shades of you staring back at me. That look in the eyes, the way you square your jaw while brushing your hand across that stubble. The knowing smirk you honed to perfection, the one which used to infuriate people or put a smile on their faces. Now, as I grow steadily older, I’m finally starting to decipher its secrets. I’ll ask you, next time around.  Wouldn’t want them to fade into memory.

Dear Visitor (in case you read this) I wanted to let you know, you’re always welcome to stay some more.


This short story is in memory of my dad. It’s been almost 3 years now. You are missed.

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