Cleaning Out, One Last Time


A single finger nail scratched at the clear tape’s edge. A corner of the tape turned up and I tentatively pulled it off as the glue gave way. And clinging to these bits of tape were tiny paper stars.

The exhilaration on the day I moved into my college dorm was no less than when I had finally gotten my own room back home. On so many nights I stayed up making decoration plans for the 28 sq. metres I had to my disposal now.

AND my first feat here had been to cover the whole of my bathroom’s glass partition wall with these paper stars. I had spent numerous hours watching Big Bang Theory while simultaneously making these stars. I wouldn’t be lying if I said that the end result of the whole process had not been mighty satisfying. In those initial days, my favorite pastime was to stand there and marvel my own gorgeous achievement.

And yet I stood here plucking one paper star after the other off the glass, feeling like a soulless bitch deficient human.

Why wasn’t I shedding a single tear at parting with my beloved dorm?

Or at least having a flashback of all happy and the other times I had here?

I cornered and coerced my conscience to supply me with whys and wherefores that would make me seem genuinely sentimental. Because really I believed I was.

In a matter of an hour, I wiped the glass bare. And I stood there staring at a whole reflection of me in greenish tint, still thinking why the grief hadn’t come to me yet. If this were a movie, the realisation of leaving would have happened, at least by now. Yet nothing.

Guessing human attachments might awaken some emotion in me, I started bringing down the birthday and new year cards, sent to me by school friends long forgotten, from the wall. The last of them pealed away failing at their task.

Hadn’t I dropped to the floor and wept when I had gotten this card on my first birthday alone, away from home?

Hadn’t this very piece of paper meant so much to me?

And hadn’t this been the only thing capable of making me miss home then?

But now it was just blue paper with meaningful words on it.

Then, came the turn of the crisp autumn leaves that bedecked a door opposite to that glass wall. Each leaf was a reward from me to myself for being strong on another lonely day in a strange new country. Each leaf held a message in my own words scrawled over it. And each message was another thing I had learned in that rapid process of growing into a 19-year old adult from a teen.

When the eyes that read the words on a leaf began to get watery, I finally knew why I hadn’t felt the soreness of leaving a life well lived behind.

I don’t value my hard work. I don’t value things lost in the past. I also don’t value anything that is here today and gone tomorrow.

I value what will last. End results last, processes don’t.  So, these tears came by because each one of those leaves carried the end result of the enriching process of that very day. And it doesn’t hurt me to move out from the place of my re-making now because when I move out to that new apartment, I will be taking my best person with me.


And I am back this week at Yeah Write for some great reads!


8 thoughts on “Cleaning Out, One Last Time

  1. I’ve moved so many times that I have become less sentimental about things. Of course, there are still some objects that hold more value than they might appear to have to others-like your leaves with messages.


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