Written by Suchita Senthil Kumar
Art by Betto Galetto
It’s Your Day, Live It Your Way
The words were engraved atop the clay tablet hanging from the nail on the door. From the silence that screamed behind the door, there hadn’t been anyone to inhabit the house since I was two. The doorbell was unwelcoming, dangling loose from its place on the wall. Stray wires were peeking from the plastic, hoping for escape.
My friend, Ritika, pointed at the motivational decoration with an eyebrow raised. Seeing that I didn’t show any signs of acknowledgement, she pivoted the hanging around the nail for emphasis.
I had been wandering around the empty halls of the apartment, filling my ears with the sound of my lonely footsteps when Ritika found me. She rounded upon me in one corner and demanded the reason for my sadness with a stern look. A look that said, I’m not leaving without an answer.
I could think of a good twenty reasons for my numbness, but didn’t know which one to pick. I shook my head and told her it was nothing.
“I don’t understand you,” she had said, eyes dropping to the floor.
I don’t either, I wanted to say.
I gave her a wry smile instead.
It was then that she had decided to point at the decoration to make her point. There was no advice, just a command from her that I shouldn’t give up— and I didn’t. I didn’t then.
It’s been three years and today I stand in front of the same door studying the decoration. It’s just as it had been save for the bone grey strings and the chalky dust that blankets it: brown paint atop the words and sandal beneath, leaves and flowers painted atop the clay, and a single string around a nail. The doorbell hangs loose with wires that fall in grace.
Ritika isn’t standing next to me touching and prodding at the clay tablet, reminding me that it will be okay— I do it myself. She isn’t here to ask what happened and to care even when no answers are received. She isn’t standing next to me today, but it’s only her I see in the words I run my fingers atop.
It’s Your Day, Live It Your Way.