“C’mon Aashirya, its time to leave!”
She struggled to get up from the bed and hobbled towards the door.
“Should I look into the mirror before leaving?” she toyed with the thought & finally turned back to take a peek at her reflection.
While limping towards the mirror she remembered how she had chosen the dressing table. She had fallen in love the moment she set her eyes on it. It was a huge wooden dresser with large drawers that fit almost everything. The rosewood exterior reflected volumes of luxury. The life-size mirror had bulbs all around it – with different settings so that she could adjust her make-up according to the time of night or day.
“Why do you need such a big dresser, Aashirya? You are only 14 years old!”
“I need it Maa! I always wanted one. See, I have a similar picture in my bucket list diary.”
Her mother relented and allowed her to have it. The dresser was now her favourite place in her room. She spent hours spritzing perfume, experimenting with make-up & nail polish.
When the final look was achieved, she would fish out her phone and take a selfie. Her favourite Instagram hashtag was #NoFilter.
Since the onset of her illness a year ago, the dresser remained the most ignored piece of furniture in her home.
She stepped in front of the mirror & feebly looked up at her reflection. No hair, drops of blood oozing from her hives, cracked lips and sunken, tired eyes.
Her dark lips broke into a half-smile as she picked up a diamond studded comb & attempted to comb her balding head. She slumped on the seat & adjusted her weak body to face the mirror properly. With great difficulty, she bent down as her bones creaked while she switched on the lights surrounding the mirror.
For the first time, she felt the heat and harshness of the bulbs & hurriedly shut them down.
Her hands trembled as she opened her bucket list diary, everything had been ticked, except the last item.
The doctor’s voice boomed in her ears, “She has two days more, at max…nothing can be done, its a rare congenital disease that has no proven cure. We tried everything. Try to keep her happy.”
For a moment she had regretted eavesdropping on the conversation, but then she realised that she had to tick off the last item in the bucket list. There was no time.
She wanted to be famous on Instagram – just once. She had found an image on Google, took a printout and stuck it in her bucket list diary. Just once, she wanted to be popular amongst her peers…only once…
She called out feebly “Maa…wait…let’s not leave without getting ready. Come back here please.”
Her mom rushed into the room, “What happened? Are you okay beta?”
“Yes Maa…can you help me get ready?”
Her mother’s eyes were brimming with tears, she was too choked to speak as she gave in to her daughter’s wish. Her hands trembled as she applied blush to her daughter’s dry cheeks.
After 45 minutes, Aashirya slowly removed her mobile phone, took a selfie, added the hashtag, #nofilter and posted it on Instagram.
“Watch out Maa, this one is going to be the best picture with the maximum likes & comments. My account will explode with the traction!” she attempted to laugh, but wheezed and coughed instead.
12,45567 likes & 44091 comments later, her mother deactivated her account. Noone would be using it now. Aashirya’s last wish…was granted…and as the doctors predicted, she left for the Moon… Maybe she would have a bucket list there too.
I’m participating in the Write Tribe Festival of Words – June 2018