The sound of machinery was deafening and it caused her pain as it vibrated in her ears though the prayer room in which she was seated was silent. The silence was deafening and memories flooded her mind. The prayer room failed to offer peace to her troubled mind. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she silently knelt down praying for the life of the only man in her life.

The agonizing sound of machinery crushing the bones of a man’s forearm was heart-wrenching even today. Her white T - shirt was stained with blood of her son. On one hand she prayed for the life of her son who was being treated by the doctors and on other hand she thought about the man she had once loved. The man, whom she thought she had forgotten. But today, as he stood in front of her she came face to face with the fact that nothing had changed since the last time she had met him. She still felt the same way for him as she had done years ago.
She was weary of thinking about the consequences of this meeting. The past was right in front of her waiting to be a part of her present making the future uncertain.

There was a sound of the door being opened and as she turned she saw the doctor standing behind her. The look on his face was as if he had won a battle. Yes, it was a battle, her son’s battle against death. She wiped her tears and got up. The doctor told her that her son was now out of danger but still unconscious and if she wished she could see him.

She was very desperate to run to her son and embrace him but at the same time she was reluctant to face the man standing outside. She had faced him initially for a shorter time before now but circumstances were different then. At that time she was carrying her six year old son in her arms and was running towards the hospital. This man had stopped his car to give her the lift. Once in the hospital she had not even looked back at him to say thanks. He would understand that she was not in the frame of mind to talk to him but now her son being out of danger, things were different and he was bound to shoot questions at her she did not have answers for, or maybe she did not wish to answer.

She had forgotten that the doctor was still staring at her. The moment she stepped out of the prayer room her eyes involuntarily searched for him. He was not around. She thanked God.
She followed the doctor to the room where her son lay unconscious. The accident was the result of her carelessness; she blamed herself as she sat next to him and took his hand in hers.

Pages of her life turned back to the day when she had seen Roger for the first time. Roger was tall, dark and handsome and worked in her father’s factory and when she saw him for the first time she was attracted to him. As she spent time in her father’s office waiting for him to complete his work she would secretly stare out of the window from where she could see Roger working. Days turned to weeks and weeks to months and finally one day Catherine decided to go and talk to him. As she walked out of her father’s office she heard someone whisper “Mom”! When Alex moved his hand out of her grip she came out of her reverie and realized that Alex was staring at her.
“sshh” she placed a finger on his lips and moved her hand through his hair and Alex closed his eyes again. She stared at him for a long time, still moving her fingers through his hair, he’d told her he liked it when she did this and she was sure Alex would like it too. She sighed when she realized what she was thinking. She felt ashamed of herself for thinking about Roger as she sat next to her wounded son. After so many years, she still could not get over what had happened. Alex slept and she walked out of the room, the moment she stepped out she saw him.
“Oh shucks” she exclaimed. She was not ready to face him, she would never be.
He started walking towards her, locking his eyes with hers. He wanted answers, she knew it.

He turned around to look at her.
“I am Catherine”
“Roger” he said shaking hands with her.
“What are you doing tonight?”

That was how it had started. They had gone out for dinner after Roger had finished his shift. Catherine loved visiting her father’s office because she got to meet Roger and stare at him for hours as he worked. At times Roger would glance at her and she would send him a flying kiss.
There were times when they managed to find a secluded corner in the factory and allow their lips to join together in a kiss. Catherine enjoyed those moments more than anything and she loved to disturb him as he worked.
One day as she entered the factory she signalled him to come to her and before anyone knew what was happening Roger’s hand was caught in the machine.
The alarm echoed throughout the factory, the machine was switched off and everyone including Catherine ran towards Roger.

The question brought her back to the present. Her vision blurred because of the tears. She looked through the teary eyes and could see Roger standing close to her.
“I had no choice” she blurted. She had decided not to say that.
He laughed sarcastically.
She glanced at his hands. He was wearing gloves. Roger followed her gaze and then removed the right glove to show her the artificial hand. She closed her eyes; she did not want to see it.

“I hate you” she heard him say.
She looked at him through teary eyes and a tear-drop rolled on to her cheek.
He sat next to her, kept his mobile on the bench and opened his wallet. He took out a worn-out paper and handed it to her to read.
She knew the handwriting well.
It was the note she had written to Roger before walking out of his life. There was no need for her to read it, there was nothing written in it except one word – BYE.
She continued staring at the floor. The silence was deafening, once again. She wanted to hide, wanted to run away from this man. He was suffocating her.

“Is he my son?” the question took her by surprise.
“No” she replied. He seemed relaxed.
She was confused.
He smiled, got up and walked away.
The mobile on the bench sprung to life. A new text message, which read
“Honey, when are you coming home?”