He was going through his wallet looking for some change to buy his bus ticket, it was then he realized that there was something missing. He paused his music player to look into his wallet furiously. His ATM cards were intact, so where the measly amount of money which he carried with him, his tickets from the previous journeys lay crumpled in between the crisp 10 Rupee notes. Lying almost faded and torn were a couple of receipts of gifts and commodities which he had bought months back, there lay a business card of the guy who worked at his bank which he rarely visits, and another one of his friend who had proudly handed it to him which he never bothered to give a second look since then. A visitor's pass to an IT park dating back to November and a gym admit card which he had not bothered to renew since five months. His cards were there, so were the measly amount of money, so was the inconsequential receipts, and tickets and business cards which he never needed, yet there was something missing that stirred him up to rummage through his torn wallet.
Few months back...
He: "Wow! You look unbelievably pretty in this. Haaaaawwwwtttttt!" he said exaggerating the last part.
She: "Shut up! I know you are lying" she said coyly.
He: "No re, Iam serious I now feel bad for things not having worked between us" he said disguising the truth with a half smile.
She: "Idiot" she said.
He: "Can I keep it ?" he asked.
She: "Why would you want to keep it? Its just an old photo". She asked.
He: "So that I could show off to my friends that I had such a hot girlfriend" he said with a wink.
She: "I was not your girlfriend!! Stop saying that!" she demanded.
He: "If you insist" he said feigning dejection. "But Iam gonna keep your photo" he shot back.
She: "Whatever, no point in arguing with you" she declared.
"Thank you!" he said with a smile and deposited the passport size photo within the crevices of his wallet. As their station reached they got off the train, bade goodbye to each other and walked away without turning back, never to see each other since then.
Almost a year had gone by since they last met, "Why do you still keep her photo?" I had asked him once for which he had replied "There comes a point in life where we wish for something which we know will never happen, yet we go all out to make it happen because at that moment that's exactly what we want. At the end of it all we come out hurt, bruised and weathered, those were tough times, and its times like those that change a man. I have that photo as a reminder of how much I have changed, yes I have the memories but they are only the happy ones. The photo serves as a much potent reminder, it serves me as a source of nostalgia as well as a scar which will make me never go back to become what I was."
As he was going through his wallet he was going through mixed emotions. Had he moved on that he did not need that photo anymore? Or does he really need a photo to remind him of all the tough times he had been through? After two minutes of complete searching he found her underneath the slits of his wallet, looking back at him and smiling. He gave back a wry smile, sighed, kept her back inside and turned on his player again.