Memories are like fragrance: effusive yet transient and quivering like wrinkled hands.

Greedily, we inhale them, hoping they live inside us and remind us of better times of Then.

My eyes shut as conscious thought bids good night, and unfortunately, as I look back upon what were the Golden moments, I see only short flashes:

Golden beams of the morning star, the lilt of my mother’s melodious voice, the feel of infantine feet on cold marble, the happy laugh of a little girl, her father—a tall man with a smiling cheek—bent over her unlaced shoes, the comfort of a comb through brown locks—a caress of womanly fingers.

And now, every waken morning, the same house paved with cold marble, cries for the pad of soft feet, the walls haven’t heard such laughter—real, brazen laughter. The lines around the man’s eyes don’t soften anymore; his laughs are measured intonations of sound and nothing else.

The doorbell rings at night, and the girl now a teenager, dives into bed, slowing her breathing to appear asleep. Her father never bothered anyway. She avoids the customary tense dialogue and unfamiliar hug, and mumbling answers to questions he doesn’t care for. Questions like, How was school today? Muttered without waiting for a reply.

Good, she replies, with a flash of a smile that doesn’t reach her eyes.

And relieved, she slinks off to bed, mouse-like, and waits until the house is asleep to dabble in luscious hues that remind her of her Golden cherished times—think pages splashed in yellows, oranges and warm reds, and the trees outside her window bathed in evergreen. Content, she lays her cleaned brushes reverently. She wakes into another morning, thankful for the sunshine, that stayed the same through the years, and lets the melody of her mother’s voice engulf her once more- the only dulcet sound in a home that never was a home.

TANISHA RAO is a sixteen year old Indian girl of South-Indian origin, who fell in love with words, in both English and French. She is passionate about writing and has countless diaries and journals since childhood stacked on her shelves. She loves to spend time with her brazen mother, and the stray cats in her building in Mumbai, and her idea of nirvana entails time among the covers, sipping on filter coffee and scrolling through Tumblr.