I remember you, Christina Homes!
She was always on the move and looked very elegant in her attire. I had no idea where she was from, where did she go everyday and why she was found always on her own.
I must say I was very eager to know about her. I didn’t know what but there was definitely something special about her that fascinated me.
One day I bumped into her in a shopping complex where I was with Lily, my little cousin, to buy her a frock as a birthday present. I had never been inside this complex before but my cousin had been quite a few times. She knew in which floor and where frocks of her size were available. She held my hand and led me to the counter for beautifully designed frocks for girls of all ages. She told me that I would have to buy the one she chose. I agreed.
What a surprise, the lady was right there. She didn’t see me as she was then busy in trying to select a long gown , possibly for her own.
There was Lily trying to figure out which frock to pick out of so many which were on display, she was scratching her head to make up her mind and then her face lit up with joy as she lay her hand onto a bright red frock with laces, saw herself in the mirror with that frock and said excitedly ”Uncle, don’t you think it’s gorgeous?”.
I said “Oh yes my little princess but are you sure this one is the right size for you?”
“This one is just perfect” she said with a big smile.
The lady made a little move to look for other materials when we had eye contact and this time we came quite close. I said ‘Hello’. She didn’t reply but bowed her head slightly, smiled and stood there still looking at me for quite sometime as if she wanted to say something. She was tall and slim, complexion fair, brown eyes and had bouncy brown hair - shoulder length. Her smile was mixed with some kind of sadness that she possibly tried to hide. She looked beautiful.
Lily started nagging me and practically dragged me to the payment counter. I looked back. The lady was still looking at me and smiling. I had to return home fast with Lily as she was to attend her music class.
Next day I was returning from Bank and all of a sudden found her heading toward the shopping complex again. She had not seen me. I went inside the complex and found her again at the same counter where she was yesterday afternoon.
I moved on to the other side and wondered whether I should buy something for me or leave the complex and wait outside till she came out.
I thought for a minute or two and then picked up a pair of slippers for me, the cheapest one that I could find as I didn’t require any really. By then she was out from the complex and was on her way.
I came out from the complex and walked as fast as I could and soon caught up with her.
I said “Hello.”
She appeared to be absentminded, she neither looked at me nor did she speak to me but kept on walking.
I said ‘Excuse me” but she didn’t reply.
Mrs. Evans, an elderly lady, who I knew well, was right there. She stopped me and said “My dear child she is deaf and dumb, She has not heard a thing you said”. Then looking at me for a while she added “ Do you know I had been thinking for quite sometime that you very much resemble someone and it has just now clicked, yes, you very much look like her husband. Unfortunately he is not alive”.
Then as she started to walk with me, said “She is Christina, Christina Homes, She is from Sweden. She was not born as deaf and dumb you know. Her husband expired only last year following a car accident. Christina was there too in the car and she received severe head injury and remained hospitalized for months. She would never be able to talk or hear, what a pity!”
“But where does she stay now?”
“Well she is staying in a flat with her sister-in-law, Mrs. Thomas, two miles away from here. Mrs. Thomas is a dear friend of mine and she told me the other day that Christina would return to Sweden on coming Friday, that is 25th February.”
“Has she got her family there?”
“No she is totally alone there except for friends and distant relatives. Her only elder brother died five years ago and her parents expired when she was a little girl. Christina has no children.”
“What does she do for living?”
“She works as a teacher in a school for the deaf and dumb.”
“Will she come again, any idea ”
“No idea my dear.”
“Madam, can you tell me by which flight she is going and at what time?”
“Why, do you want to see her off?, well let me find out.”
Then she phoned up Mrs. Thomas , had a little chat with her and then told me
“She is flying by British Airways Flight, departure time 4.30PM”
I thanked her a lot.
She smiled and said “My pleasure but my child, tell me one thing, have you fallen in love with her?”
I smiled and then kept quiet.
“Well you don’t need to tell me, I can see everything in your eyes. But how will you communicate with her when you see her?”
“Madam, I have no idea but I wonder why she always kept staring at me every time we saw each other.”
“Well there you are, it could well be that probably she also found her husband’s resemblance with you.”
Mrs. Evans smiled, wished me luck and disappeared in the crowd whilst I took a short route to return home.
For the next three days I was in the town looking for her in all possible places I thought that she could be but couldn't find her.
I was there at the Airport on the scheduled day but as ill luck would have it, the taxi in which I was traveling got caught in the traffic jam quite a few times. I thought that I would not be able to see her but there she was standing in the long queue with her hand luggage. She saw me and smiled. I asked the Security personnel if I could please be allowed to go near her and come back soon. As could be expected my request was denied. I could hear the announcement for the passengers to proceed for their security check. She was almost at the end of the queue. She kept on waving her hand and I could see her smiling.
The queue got smaller and smaller in size and finally she went out of sight. I went upstairs and waited for at least an hour till I saw her board the plane from far away and finally the plane took off and disappeared in the sky. My eyes were in tears, I left the airport with a heavy heart and proceeded home thinking about her all the way.
I haven’t seen her since but I still remember her from time to time and often wonder how she is, what she is doing now and if I would have a chance to meet her again someday!