Sujata looked at the small garden in front of her contentedly. She was proud of all the plants and flowers. She loved to work in the garden. She had volunteered to do gardening. She had just finished and now was relaxing on one of the many benches in the shade.

Ramkumar walked slowly up and sat beside her.

“Finished?” He asked.

Sujata turned and smiled at him. This was their routine everyday. He was a volunteer in the kitchen and was quite popular with the kitchen staff. They would finish their work and spend some time talking before lunch.

They lived in an old age home along with a lot of other elderly people. It was quite a nice facility with all amenities. The living quarters included a room with A/C, small kitchenette, a bathroom and a TV. Common rooms included library, prayer hall, garden area.

Sujata came here after her children left to chase their dreams and had no more time for her. She disliked living alone, and having to take care of day to day worries of bills, groceries, etc did not appeal to her. So she rented out her flat and used that money to get herself a room here. That was a year ago.

Ramkumar came after his wife passed away. He had no kids.

“Yes”, she replied. “Aren’t they so pretty?”

“Yes, indeed”, he said.

“You know looking at them, the sunshine, and all this greenery gives me a joy that I never knew before. I now have no sun or a lover. I am content.”

“Sun or Lover?”

“We all have different suns and lovers in our lives over the years. The suns change and lovers too.”

“What do you mean Sujata?”

“I mean, in our life we meet so many people in our lives. Some take important places in our hearts. They are either a sun or a lover.

Just like how a candle cannot hold before Sun’s brightness, some people have such influence in our lives that we can’t see their faults. And in people who we love, we refuse to see their faults.

“Parents, teachers were my suns and friends, my husband, my kids were my lovers.

“I simply idolised the suns and made my lovers perfect in my mind.

“Both could never do anything wrong. So I took all the blame myself, if anything went wrong. I tried to please both my suns and lovers. My guilt and frustration never found an outlet.

“Now that I have neither suns nor lovers, I am content. I need not prove myself to anyone. I finally live for myself. This garden is my salvation.”

Ramkumar nodded silently. Deep in thought, he too was remembering his suns and lovers.

Written for the prompt “Suns and Lovers” as a part of BarAThon by BlogARhythm on 28 Jun 2017