Bucket List

Bucket List

Maya lay on the sofa. She heard the front door open and shut gently. Nandakumar walked in and smiled when he saw her.

“Feeling better?”  he sat next to her and took her emaciated hand in his.

She nodded smiling and squeezed his hand with a sudden spurt of strength that surprised her. He dropped a kiss on her forehead.

“What did the doctor say?” she whispered, afraid of the reply.

“Congratulations, you are doing much better than the doctor expected. He said we can stop the medication.”

“Really?” Excitement and a surge of happiness made her sit up. 

“Oh Nandu, I wasn’t expecting this but I feel so much better already. I want to eat something sweet to celebrate.” She said sounding like a small child.

“Celebrate we will, I have bought your favourite Kaju Katli, I stopped by at the shop as soon as I left the clinic. Here you go.”

She took two and ate them in quick succession. She held out the box and he had one too.

“Maya, the doctor has okayed travel. I have booked your much desired backwaters cruise in Kerala. I know it’s been on your bucket list” He had a wide grin on his face. 

“Oh Nandu, you are truly are a gem of a brother, how lucky I am!”

“Hey, I am equally lucky to have such a cute, charming, naughty sister” He eyes filled with deep love for his sibling, the only family he had.

The short weekend trip went by so quickly it felt like a dream. Nandu was happy to see his sister take so much delight in everything that she saw and ate. No expense had been spared for the trip.  Nandu was happy to see the constant smile on Maya’s face instead of the grimace of pain that she had worn for so long.

They were back in the apartment late on Sunday evening and she said “Let me lie on the sofa please Nandu, I don’t want to go to bed just yet. I feel so happy and peaceful, all thanks to you.” She smiled yawning widely.

“And very sleepy too.” He sat down at her feet once she had settled down. He started massaging her feet gently and saw her eyes close. Her breathing was steady and after a while he stopped watching her and relaxed. 

He woke up with a jerk. He had fallen asleep. His hands were on her feet but they felt cold. Through the dim light from the kitchen, he could see a faint smile on her face. He checked her pulse and there was none. He had been warned by the oncologist that the end would come very soon but he had never expected it to happen this quickly. 

She had gone with a smile on her lips. 

Hot tears rolled down his cheeks as he sat on the sofa. The lie had been worth spending his last bit of savings! Anything for her!
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