He had what we generally term as chronic pain. His back ache had become a part of his new life. Whatever he did, wherever he was, he always talked about his back ache. It got repetitive after a while but no one really said him so. After all, both his parents had just died few weeks ago.
He had a little sister, who he didn’t talk to at all, not even about his chronic ever-lasting back ache. She was 14.
They lived in a two storied home with their relatives, father’s brother’s family. Uncle had been very kind to them, provided the whole upper floor for the two of them or I should say one of them, because he was never seen. They were concerned about him and the little girl, and it showed but it was tragic how he missed all of that.
No one really knew when he was home and when he wasn’t. He walked like a shadow, quiet and cold, pale and white. His eyes seemed to be distant and forlorn; his shoulders seemed to carry the weight of the whole world. With his parents, his spirits had also left it seemed. He just talked about his back pain all the time. He kept on muttering it under his breath, ‘Oh! The pain! My back’, he’d say. His one hand was always massaging his back, although not really in any productive manner. His one hand was always there, while taking a bath, while eating, while smoking cigarettes. Cigarettes after cigarettes, cigarettes after cigarettes. Even after he left the room, the smell lingered. You could smell the poison that was reeking up his lungs, destroying it bits by bits every second. Whenever he said anything, you could see tiny puffs of smoke coming out of his mouth. His voice always choked and some words always got lost. But he kept repeating like a cassette gone bad, ‘Oh! The Pain! My back!’ She offered him help, she asked him if she wanted her to fix a doctor’s appointment, ‘now I can, I just have to ring up this number’ but he never replied, he never looked at his sister who claimed she could fix an appointment with the doctors now right from her phone.