Her hair was her sole crest of beauty, or so she believed. It was the only feature of her physical appearance that she flaunted with immense pride. It was a heavy dark mass of waves that extended well beyond her lower back. He was taken by all her physical features but her hair was his favourite. He often found himself stroking her gentle curls as she slept. Sometimes she would smile secretly as she pretended to sleep while his fingers carefully detangled the knots in her hair.
She retained the length of her hair for his sake because she enjoyed the way he was drawn to it and how he played with it, sometimes in almost childlike fashion. She would find maintaining her long hair increasingly difficult with time and many a times she considered keeping it at a slightly shorter length. His heartfelt protests always made a haircut impossible.
That night as she lay alone in bed, she made up her mind to finally get it chopped off. He wasn't around to appreciate her beauty anymore. He wasn't around to make his case against a pair of scissors on her hair, pleading her to keep her long dark hair the way it was. He wasn't around anymore and day by day, the awareness of his absence was increasingly drawing upon her.
" Don't" , came his muffled voice in the still darkness of their bedroom. Startled, she looked around and found him by her side, his fingers laced delicately through her beautifully long hair.
" Don't ever cut your hair. It's so beautiful", he pleaded in his gentle voice.
She smiled mischievously at his fervent request. She loved playing this joke on him wherein she'd threaten to cut off her long tresses, knowing full well that he would passionately object to the idea. She was surprised to find him still playing along with this game. She was surprised he even knew this was on her mind.
" Why not?" , she asked him, looking into his eyes deeply.
" Because everytime you'll brush a stray strand of your hair behind your ear, you will think of me. Everytime you glance at its reflection in the mirror, you will be reminded of me. You will always remember how i played with it and how much i loved the beauty of it "
She lay speechless at his words, as a smile crept upon her lips. He was right. Her hair always did remind her of him.
Before she could say anything else, he was gone. She opened her eyes and it was light in her room. Her eyes strayed to his side of the bed where their seven year old son lay.
It had been 4 years since her husband's untimely death but this was the first time she saw him again. His presence in her dream seemed so real that she sat there for a few minutes till reality hit her. It was a dream, she realised with a tinge of disappointment. It was a dream, but he was still with her. He was still watching over her and their son. She looked on at their sleeping son and the smile returned to her lips. She tied her hair in a messy bun and made a new resolution. She would keep her hair long always, just the way he liked it.
This post has been inspired by my own mother, who never got her long hair cut. When i asked her the reason, her answer was " Because your dad loved it like this. It reminds me of him." I'm publishing this today on what would have been a grand 25th anniversary celebration if he were still here. Nevertheless, Happy 25th Mom and Dad!