Bloody Pages

There are the days when Sue sits with Sonia under the warmth of the sun, waiting for the laughter of five voices that will never speak to her again. Sometimes she can actually hear them.

But there are the nights, too. The good... and the bad ones.

Sometimes she can't sleep. Then Aslam's graffitis seem to dance in the darkness, Sukhi's silly grin still hides his secret fear of being left alone and Laxman's eyes are burning while his voice delivers the heroic speech of a martyr. Karan is still burdened with the terrible shame about his father's corruption, and DJ... no. She can't bear thinking about DJ.

But if she manages to sleep, she tends to dream.

Then her Grandfather's diary opens under her touch, and the familiar handwriting is smeared and nearly razed. The pages are heavy and wet, and blood seeps out of the old, yellowed paper and trickles over her fingers.

She bolts up in her bed and tries to breathe in the damp warmth of yet another Delhi night, and she can hear DJ's voice, whispering right beside her ear: Ye Hindi bolti hai, yaar.

And then she wants to laugh and begins to cry, and she remembers him dancing with her, the challenge, the joy and sadness in his eyes, the firmness of his body when she clung to him on the bike, the soft, fleeting touch of his lips on hers, only once. Only once.

And the book is still seeping blood, and the truth she so desperately wanted to teach them was a sword she wielded without taking care.

In those nights she wishes she had never found her Grandfather's diary. Aslam, Sukhi, Laxman, Karan, DJ... they may have awakened a whole generation, but they are dead, they are lost, and in those nights she feels that this is all her fault, and her fault alone.

Heaven help her, in those nights she wishes she'd burned that cursed book before it was too late.