She woke up with a jolt to her friend’s voice sounding afar, “Wake up lazy bones, you are going to be late for the lecture”. Sleeping in on a lecture day was a very bad thing to do and Arya rushed to make up for the lost time.

She and her friend somehow made it in time to get their favourite last seats. The lights dimmed and a boom voice started talking.

“Hey, Arya! You were muttering the same thing in your sleep all night. Nightmare is it?”

“What was I telling?”

” You said, ‘I am sorry, I killed you.’ I thought you watched some murder movie last night.”

“Oh, I said that!? Chuck it man, its nothing. Just a bit of survivor’s guilt.”

As her friend returned to her phone to search in Google the meaning of that phrase, Arya leaned back in her seat and the voice from the mike faded.

It is always the same dream. A woman with a flock of white hair and looking ageless walks out of the waters. I am standing on the beach shore and she comes to me. “How are you, my child?”

Though it is a simple question, it always feels like a hot fire poker was rammed at my face. I am fine, I live today because you were not saved first, because I was. It is all my fault to have asked for a morning walk; my fault to have chosen the beach on that wretched day; my fault to have been unaware of the early morning’s earthquake. I am sorry, I killed you.

“Don’t you blame yourself for something that is not in your hands to control. Take care and bless you!”, she smiles. As I reach out to her, the dream dissolves.

She wiped a tear off the corner of her eye. Nine years have gone by. But she knew that she will carry the guilt with her forever. The lecturer’s voice got back on focus again. Life moves on…

– Until next,