• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 12
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Naphthalene Regret

You wrote letters (to yourself and sometimes, to me) which owed no name in the lousy cacophony of this decadent metropolis, whose lanes we traced through on the city map, on a Saturday evening just like this. The cobbled stoned path, drenched in the sticky, mid-June rain glistened and the drains gurgled as we made our way to your favourite shop. "My grandfather had an eye for treasure islands! "- your eyes beamed, as we entered the place. The antic shop was unkempt, but if one is observant, one will find fascinating things- vintage books full of annotations, wooden lamps, lapis lazuli or turquoise trinkets from Tibet or Afghanistan, ceramic cups with little " forget me not" designs, everything was so alluring to you!

I still have that Victorian flower dictionary you left me as a goodbye present before moving to Australia. Before the forest fire.

That photograph of yours, with your grandfather, that I clicked on my Polaroid, two pairs of eyes, stare back at me every night. When we were seventeen, we fought over what I called "useless", lashing out that you live in the past – angry and warm tears turned your wordless face red. And yet, despite trying not to, the photograph tugs me back. You were dressed up as a postman. While I was a reporter at our kindergarten school for Halloween. Before you went away, I confessed that I was jealous when you got the opportunity to work as a wildlife photographer on the other side of the globe. At the same time, I typed about local murders that I never investigated, in my square cubicle. I have those stamps too, that you meticulously collected and gifted me when we were ten. And oh, how am I haunted by the ghost figurine of your past.

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Naphthalene Regret

The kangaroo stamp, the Polaroid, and an aerial view of downtown I clicked on my iPhone from my office building – You would have laughed at the quirky patchwork. Forgive me for remembering you with a big, goofy smile. That mouth was only trembling to suppress emotions unspoken and choking on an agitated heart when we parted. I wish mine met and comforted yours back then. I found the letters this morning under your old bed, smelling of naphthalene and my regret.

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