I woke up to a few random slaps on my face. As the assault ceased, I opened my groggy eyes to find the mistress peering over me.
“Hmm…you look clean now.”
I glanced down at my rusted form. At least , I was resembling my old self ! Wish my lassie could see me, she would have been so proud.
“Come on!’’ A strong hand scooped me up. ‘’Someone’s waiting for you!”
My heart lurched with joy. Had they found Lucy then?! I tried peeping through her fingers.
Suddenly, she opened her palm and tossed me in the air.
With a thud, I landed atop one of my fellow brethren. Mumbling an apology, I glanced around. Holy cow! This was a weighing machine. How did I end up here?
The scrap dealer read the scale and mentioned a sum.
“What?! Wait. You can’t sell me off !” I bellowed. “I might not be of use to you anymore but we have served this house for a long time… Me and my Lucy!”
The rest of the words died in my throat as the man brought down a large worn out cloth on top of us. Slinging the potla over his shoulder, he then started for his shop.
All the way I cried and got jostled by my co passengers. Just when I thought I would die of congestion, the man let us out. I gulped air and looked….
Straight into her eyes!
“You! Here? I can’t believe it.’’
“Tell me what happened ? You went missing after the theft that night.”
She hung her head low.
“The thief was almost done when his greedy eyes fell upon me. Initially he went searching for you because he knew very well that without you, I was nothing. But you were nowhere to be found. So in a fit of rage, he thrashed me with a stone and broke my arm. I fell unconscious. Finally when I regained my senses, I found myself getting handed over to the scrap dealer in exchange for a few bucks.” Lucy sobbed. “That devil ! He not only crippled me but also sold me off!”
Oh dear! I wanted to take her in my arms and comfort her. But then I heard the dealer barking orders.
“Send this lot for recycling.”
Our eyes met for one last time.
1 year later :
“Time for a test !’’
The locksmith caressed my shining new body. I refused to budge. I wanted only my beloved.
He nudged me gently in her direction. I blinked.
There was no more distance between us. She welcomed me with open arms and I slid into them smoothly.
The locksmith jumped with glee.
“Ha ha! The key fit perfectly into the lock.”
His exuberance was short lived though. “Damn! Looks like the key got stuck in the lock.”
In vain, he tried pulling us apart. I laughed out loud.
No use Mister!
We were now locked till eternity!
Potla – a makeshift bag made of old saree or cloth
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