Carrying too many books at a time is always a bad idea. She found that out in an instant as the books she picked were on the floor now. Luckily, the old store owner didn’t heard crashing sound of his beloved books hitting hard on the floor. May be his hearing aid batteries need replacement, she thought about the old man.
She picked all the fallen books. One was still missing, so she sat down on floor to search under the racks. Grabbing the missing book from there, her fingers touched something else. She slides her arm a little more inside and grabbed the object. It was book, covered in dust.
With 1995 written on the cover, she realized she was holding a 20 years old diary in her hands. She hesitated for a moment about opening it up. After all, reading a personal diary of an unknown person is not right. But curiosity grabbed her up tightly and she sat on the floor.
The cover was inked black as if someone wanted to keep it in dark, away from rest of the world. 1995 was hand written on it from a golden pen. The back cover was missing and so were the last pages. Personal information page was blank and there weren’t any information sections for Facebook, Twitter or even Email. How the world connected back then, she thought.
But as soon as she turn over to 1st Jan 1995 page, a lipstick mark in the center grabbed her attention completely. In her hands at that moment, was something very special and very personal. She looked around as if someone was about to caught her red-handed for reading a diary that isn’t hers but she was alone in the room, filled only with books. She smiled and turned over to the next page.
There was another lipstick mark on 2nd Jan page, a different color though. She started to turn over the pages quickly and noticed that none was without a lipstick mark. Dark color or bright, every single page had it. And they were all circled over with objects like flowers, butterflies, stars, planets, leaves and even unicorns. Apart from lipstick marks and those drawings, nothing else was written up.
Most of the dates were only filled with those. But some dates had something extra. Like, on 27th April 1995 page, 2 games of tic-tac-toe were drawn. The cross was winner in both. Board for the 3rd game was also drawn but it wasn’t finished, as if players decided to quit in the middle of game. Confetti were also drawn on that page which seemed like an important day for the diary writer, she thought.
The summer of 1995 looked like a very special time in the life of diary writer, she thought. Beside lipstick marks and their circles, a new object also appeared on the later dates. Two hands, holding each other, were also drawn. With word “You” written on one hand and “I” on the other. Those hands were drawn over bridges, cliffs, trees and much more. As if the writer wanted to show all the travelings of that summer with the one he truly loved.
But as soon as summer of 1995 ended in diary, the lipstick marks started to disappear. Gaps between days increased gradually, which made her wonder what happened. The writer however, kept drawing empty circles though, as if the writer hoped for it to be filled up later. Beside the usual drawings of flowers, butterflies, stars, planets or leaves, writer also drew clocks in those circles.
The last entry was made on 14th November 1995 or at least that’s what seemed to her. Pages beyond that date were missing which made her wondered what happened. This diary must be really special for someone, She thought. But to whom it belonged? She was unable to find answer to this question as there was nothing much beside lipstick marks & drawings.
“Hey, you still there?”
The voice of old store owner was like a hammer thrown at a glass wall. She fumbled while trying to get up and dropped the diary on floor.
“What are you doing here? Did you find what you were looking for?” The old man asked.
“Yeah, I got what I was looking for” she replied.
“Good, better pay up for those. I don’t want a new thief in my shop.” At least, old man’s hearing aid batteries are working fine, she thought.
“It’s closing time now! Be quick!” The old man said and went downstairs, bringing her back to the present as she lost herself completely while reading that diary.
She grabbed her books and bags from the floor. Upon looking at the diary, which was on the floor, she noticed a piece of paper in the middle of it. This wasn’t there when she was reading it up, she thought. She picked the diary again and took the paper out. It was a photo strip of a boy and a girl, in their 20’s. Date of 28th April 1995 was written on the back, which seemed liked an eon to her.
In the very first picture, the boy’s face is gleaming with love while the girl was standing a little step away from him, with her back towards the camera.
The boy was holding girl’s shoulder in second picture, like prompting her to face the camera.
The boy’s attempt in letting the girl to face camera was half a success in the third picture. She admired the long hair of the girl in picture then.
But as soon as she laid her eyes upon the very last picture, her entire body froze within a split second as if someone had dipped her in icy water.
The long hair was the only difference between her and the girl in that photo!