After I settled into my new high school, I made some new friends and one of them was Rohit. We were of the same class and hence, we studied together before any test. We shared each other’s things and spent our time together. His father was a police officer. I did not feel lonely in the company of Rohit.
One day, I was sitting on a bench in a park with the book Going Solo by Roald Dahl, in which the writer describes about his own life. Rohit saw me there. He was also carrying a book along with him. He sat beside me and started reading the book My Childhood, the autobiography of Maxim Gorky.’ After a few minutes, Rohit broke the silence, “Your watch seems to be very old,” he remarked, pointing to my wrist.
“Yes, it’s very old,” I said, looking at the watch which said ten minutes left for the break to be over.
“Why don’t you buy a new one?” he asked.
“No,” I said. “It carries some old memories.”
“Memories?” he asked. “Of what kind?”
“It’s a very long story about my friend Rohit,” I replied.
“What, me!” he exclaimed.
“No,” I said, laughing. “He’s my old friend and incidentally, his name was also Rohit.”
“Please elaborate,” Rohit said and he was very eager to hear the story.
“It’s about the time when I was six years old,” I went on. “I was enrolled in a school a few miles away from home, where many children of my age came to study.”
“Seems that’s where you met your very old friend,” said Rohit, very excited to know about a boy with the same name as his.
“Yes,” I said. “We had a lot of fun spending eight years of our school days together...”
“One day, a football hit Rohit during a game played by a group of junior students of our school. Rohit was angry and he wanted to thrash the boy up as he came to takethe ball.
“ 'Hey guys, pass me the ball,’ the boy said. Rohit went forward angrily. But I heId his hand to make him understand that I didn’t want him to pick a fight with the boy. I silently passed the ball to him. Then we sat down again and there was silence for some time. I gave him some time to cool down.
“After my old friend Rohit and I spent eight years together, my father and Rohit’s father were transferred to different cities.”
“So, you and your mom came here with your father,” said Rohit. “Yes,” I replied and
continued my story again.
“Before the two of us left our hometown, we met at the school field for the last time. There he gave me his watch, but I did not take anything for him. And then we were separated,” I explained.
“So, where is he now?” Rohit asked as if he wanted to meet him.
“He is no more in this world. His family met with an accident and died on their way to the new destination,”I said in a choked voice. Rohit was shocked. He now understood why I kept the watch safely.
“This is the only thing that is left in this world now from Rohit,” I said, looking at the watch.
“I am really very sorry to ask you about it. I did not know that there’s such a memory behind your old watch,” said Rohit.
“It’s okay,” I said, and we walked to the classroom together with heavy hearts.