Sunday, April 23, 2006

Entry #9

Entry #9
By Bhaswati Ghosh

“Coffee?” He exclaimed, without waiting for my reply, then jived his way to the kitchen, a song on his lips. I smiled. The rugged terrain and the daily dance of death had failed to harden him.

I finished the painting with a smudge of blue. He joined me, holding his drink. For an infantryman fighting seven thousand miles away, a four-day trip back home was luxury.

After discussing his health, the kitties, and the weather, I told him about the divorce and Mark remarrying. Was he upset for being kept in the dark? His lips clipped with unsaid words. Was it the heat when he yelped at gulping a large sip of coffee?

Caffeine over, he was back to his ebullient self. “Let’s see how the masterpiece looks.” He placed the canvas on the wall. “I’m gonna steal this one once I start living on my own. Make sure you sign it.”

“It’s yours,” I said with a weak grin.

“Well, aren’t you a sweetheart?” He hugged me.

Then, he gave me the gift; two beautiful crystal lights. He positioned them at the ends of the chest, just below the painting.

Three days later, a day before his nineteenth birthday, I received his death notice. Today, he would have been twenty.

I stepped into the room that had remained unlit for a year. I turned on the two lights and glanced at the painting.

“May the light shine for you, my son,” I whispered, before a lump blocked my throat.

[Bhaswati Ghosh is a freelance writer, living in New Delhi, India. Her work has appeared in electronic zines such as Chowk (, Runes Magazine (, Seven Seas (, and in the newsletter of the online writing forum, Writers4Writers ( She has also been published in Teenage Buzz, a U.S. publication. Her debut book, Making Out in America is slated for release in 2006. The book is a humorous, anecdotal account of the author’s experiences with American slang and colloquialisms as an outsider. Bhaswati’s other interests include singing, cooking, and traveling. Visit her by clicking the link above.]


Bernita said...

This makes me cry.
I have a son in uniform.

Robin said...

Absolutely beautiful!

Erik Ivan James said...

Yep, wet eyes and tight throat.

Anonymous said...

as always, dear friend, you do well. I enjoyed this piece a lot, lady :)


Anonymous said...

Lovely mother and son moment. You drew a wonderful picture of a loving son. And such sadness at the end.

Lyn said...

The year of grief concludes with a poignant moment of reflection - you caught that moment well. Good writing. I don't know about the divorce and remarrying of Mark - seems a bit abrupt and not truly necessary - but maybe it was more developed and had to be cut? Still, strong images and moving story. Enjoyed it. Lyndon

Bhaswati said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I really appreciate the feedback :)

Lyn, you got it. The piece I originally wrote, came to about 400 words. Chopping it down to 250 wasn't that easy. I brought in the divorce to show the young boy's maturity--he doesn't react with an outburst despite being kept in the dark. But yes, a few more words could have helped make it clearer. Thanks for the kind words on the story :)

Anonymous said...

Bhaswati, very original. I liked the use of the painting and the lights as gifts. So sad....

Bhaswati said...

Glad you liked it Jason. I wouldn't mind some more constructive feedback if you have the time. Thanks again :)