Back when Jimmy left me, and I used to be this little 12-13 year old girl. It was the night of 14th December. I had my Math exam tomorrow so my eldest sister was helping me out with sums the night before when suddenly the lights went out. Mum came upstairs to my room where my sis was teaching me and lit a candles and all so that I could study. She told me not to come downstairs and to sleep on time. I was so scared of the Math exam that I didn't pay much notice to the blackout. Jimmy had been ill for more than a month now and though he didn't walk much but I was so young that the thought of him leaving me never occurred to me. To me he was there and was always gonna be there.. just like perhaps we are okay with our grandparents being on the bed most of the time. In a while lights came back and I saw my other sister get inside her blanket, with her head also inside it and shiver.. as if she was crying. I thought to myself she must be feeling cold or sad or something. No time to think, it was Math exam the next day.
I went to school, took the exam and when I came back all my family was at home. Mum fussed over my food a little. I could not see Jimmy around but that was normal since it was winters so we used to take him to the roof top so he could get warm under the sun. I asked about him and as I did, Ma told me in an almost apologetic tone as if I was to pardon something bad that had happened under her care. She said, "munna, wo nahi hai.." (Swts, he is not there).. the words did not reach the sane corners of my mind. Without a word and with a constant and quiet chant of "no no".. I ran to the roof top to find him. A thousand thoughts and feelings collided in my little heart under the scion of disbelief. I checked the roof but he was not there nor was his bedding. Teary eyed and shocked, I checked the bathrooms but of course he was not there. My sis came to take me downstairs and I could not believe that Jimmy was nowhere. They said it happened last night. It had happened the moment the power cut happened. My mom thought not to tell me then, as I had an exam and she knew how attached I was to him. So they sent me to school and decided to break it upon my return. My sister was not shivering under the blanket but crying the last night..and the lights had gone out at that precise moment he departed. They had then taken him away and never told me clearly about where he was buried. I never asked a lot. Took me many days to be fine. I hated those winter rains.. and I cried in them cz that meant he was out there somewhere and getting wet.
For months afterwards I used to scrawl Jimmy's name in my Diary..I was a regular diary writer and I used to keep mentioning it to him and assuring him that I have not and will not forget him ever. All my diary entries used to mention him at the end and I had this whole sheet of paper on which there was nothing but his name written again and again and again thousands of time both sides of the sheet. I saved his collar and a little toy frog he loved to annoy himself with. I have those with me still.
Jimmy was already a grownup little doggy when he came to me.. he spent last two years with us here..and with his jolly nature and harmless ways he easily made friends. With Panther's arrival 6 months later, I did forget Jimmy’s loss, but always remembered his death date. This year I forgot to remember him on that date. It made me feel horrible. I had just lost Panther. And I felt one day I will forget him also.. and its not something I want to happen..
But I know life will eventually go on. It always does. And the most important things are not to be remembered or repeated.. there are no days assigned for them in the calender.. but there is and there should be space assigned for them in the heart.
I don't know why his thought came to my mind. It was a reality I had long overcome. Long long back. Ten years is a big time when you are going on from 13 to 23. But I love that little girl and her white little Jimmy. And I will always do. The need to reassure, after all, is not his, but mine.