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A Treasure-Trove Of Familiarity

By Prapti Walia

Faith stood up and looked at herself in the full-length mirror. She often cleaned when she was anxious. As if decluttering would somehow sort out the messes in her life too. A neatly stacked bookcase would somehow rearrange her life story. A colour coordinated wardrobe would clear the chaos in her head. As if rearranging the furniture would give her a second chance at impulsive decisions. Today her futile efforts had helped her score a treasure. An old skirt. Older than atleast half her age but still in great condition. One of those things that we bury deep into the depths of closets or at the back of a drawer and completely forget about until they unexpectedly pop out one day just like old memories. Faith was holding the skirt in front of her waist. There was no way it would fit her anymore. But the fabric felt familiar to touch. That's just the truth about old things. Often, we outgrow them, and they are of very little use to us, apart from the sentiments they hold.

The scent of the fabric - a blend of time, mould and cheap deodorant (don't judge, it's all teenagers could afford in the 90s), transported Faith to simpler days. This was a skirt she wore often, and she could always tell that the neighbourhood boys' eyes were on her. Wait a minute! Wasn't this the skirt she wore to her first date?! Dinner, ice cream and home by 9. There's no way she could stay out longer. What if dad found out! Faith smiled. She could be anywhere she wanted now and till whatever time she chose to be. But this skirt no longer fit her and ice cream made her bloat. Sometimes she wished for those simpler days - conversations without phones, walks in the park, ice cream and slushies at the local shop, late evening drives, spontaneous dancing, hand holding, first kisses and butterflies. All but gone. She felt out of place - like something out of a time capsule. She laughed at her silly thoughts and chucked the skirt onto her donation pile. A different time zone. A different life. Faith went back to cleaning her closet, in hopes for more treasures, a slight touch of familiarity. But those are rare and these days hard to find, right?

By Prapti Walia

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