A Nice, Doctor Son (Excerpt Five)

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In honor of Valentine’s week, all week long, FemmeFuel is proud to post excerpts from A Nice, Doctor Son, written by our very own FemmeFuel writer, Bindu Adai-Mathew.

Loosely based on Bindu’s own personal experiences, A Nice, Doctor Son is about the heartbreak of losing your first love, the importance of giving love a second chance, and the hope that maybe, just maybe, the 3rd time will be the charm.

Click here if you missed Excerpt One…

Click here if you missed Excerpt Two…

Click here if you missed Excerpt Three…

Click here if you missed Excerpt Four…

A Nice, Doctor Son (Excerpt Five)

By Bindu Adai-Mathew

The sky is pallid and grey, a befitting backdrop to an otherwise barren, dead landscape. The cold, dreary weather permeates the atmosphere, sending a deep chill through me despite the layers of clothing. When I arrive at Central, I see that it is completely empty. Dry, brittle twigs and branches snap beneath my feet as I walk the well worn path, past the swings and slides of my childhood, refusing to veer of to the left or to the right, past the bridge of my youth.

With eyes focused, I march on, refusing to be pulled back into the web of self-pity that had entangled me for so long. I march on forward, eager to see something new. The landscape, once thriving and full of life, now looks naked, stripped of its golden, autumn beauty, which now lays crumbled and gray like ashes beneath thin spiny limbs. But even in the desolate bareness of the trees, there is an arresting beauty. A beauty in its nakedness. A sereneness in its very stillness.

For a moment, it feels as if time has stopped. There is no wind, not even the slightest breeze. I have been here hundreds of times since childhood, and yet here I am, now a thirty-year old adult, feeling like I am seeing it all for the very first time. It was almost as if my vision had blurred through the years, dulling my perception, and slowly without realizing it, I had been looking at everything askew. Now everything seems so crisp, clear, and bright again, and I could finally see what I had once been blind to.  During the winter, everything had always seemed so dead, but now I finally understood that to make room for the new, the old had to be shed. This time, amongst all the barren, bare branches, I saw beauty. The beauty of what once was…and what would be once again.

I breathe in the chilly air, the acrid coldness pinching my nostrils like a sneeze. As I survey my surroundings, I look around the familiar terrain. Was it over a year ago and a half ago that I had come back from India and walked here with Reena as she told me about her engagement? And was it only the year before that when Armaan broke the news of his own engagement? Like the rings of a tree, each of these events mark a significant year in my life, scars reminding me of time passing, serving as a reminder of both pain, joy, and inevitable growth. And now another year has come and gone. And soon enough, this moment, too, would be a distant memory.

I could suddenly feel time ticking again. It is as palpable as my heartbeat. I could feel the grainy sands of time slipping through my fingers. As much as I want to curl my palm into a fist and cling on, it is inevitably slipping through my fingers. I have only one choice, I realize. To embrace it. To embrace this life—my life. Because Life was happening—with or without me. There was already so much wasted time spent on wishing, wanting, waiting…when life was all around me, ready to be experienced and enjoyed.

Our lives are like this forest. Seasons of beginnings and endings, marking both life and beauty as well as desolation and emptiness…all leading us to where we are, where we are meant to be.

I dig my hands deeper into my jean pockets in a futile attempt for warmth and march on, eager to explore parts of the forest that I had never seen. It seems to go on for miles, but how far had I ever gotten? Something had always stopped me from exploring—contentment…laziness…fear. Always saying I wanted to explore, but somehow I never had the time. I was always rushing off to somewhere, and somehow it never seemed to be the right time. But now the trail lies before me, a seemingly never-ending road of possibility stretches before me, winding and twisting, leading me…and now Life has simultaneously presented me all the time, the interest, and opportunity.

As I walk, while some markers are initially familiar, soon enough, I am on unfamiliar ground. I haven’t even gotten farther than a mile when I come upon it—there amongst the brittle, dead, seemingly barren branches—one little leafling, pushing through the lifeless tree bark. The beginning of the budding. Alone in its dark green, fragile glory, it dares to breach its tiny, blade through. It is a reminder that yes, change is on its way and what was once barren would bear life once again. One small bud. Of Hope. Of Life. I smile at the reminder. Lifting my head to the waning sun and with outstretched arms, I twirl around slowly and then faster, faster—for after the winter, the spring surely comes, and with it, I, too, am reborn.

 

A Little Bit About Bindu Adai-Mathew:

For most of my life, I have been a writer in one form or another. Through high school and college, I worked on and contributed to the school literary magazines as well as the school newspaper. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in English and Mass Media and a Master of Arts in English Literature with a specialization in technical writing, I have been working for the past 15 years as a business analyst/technical writer in various fields, from IT to healthcare. While I have written a few short stories, A Nice, Doctor Son is my first novel.

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