It was early morning and I was lazing when she called up.“Is it really her number” I looked closely to reassure that she was the one who was calling then ignored it. “I won’t spoil my mood early in the morning”, I said to my self pulling the bed sheet over my head to slip in to the comforting world of morning slumber. A beep of the sms disturbed me again irritated I jumped out of the bed, it was her sms it read “ I know you are awake but not picking up my phone because you are distressed because of me, want to tell you that I am suffering from cancer. Wanted to say sorry to you before I die.” I deleted the sms thinking that it was her regular trick. She always resorted to such histrionics to set the train of our derailed friendship on track. She had that habit of offending people in public and pleading innocence in private. In our last encounter she offended me more than I could tolerate so we were out of touch for three to four years. Many days passed nothing in this matter happened and the message and its sender were forgotten forever. It was a lovely morning and I was scanning through the newspaper when my eyes detected a familiar name in the obituary column. It was her name. She was gone. My eyes welled up. Everything seemed so meaningless, my ego, my insult. But I realized it very late. I cursed my self for every thing but alas. We were great friends and took each other for granted. But on that fateful day the devil in my mind said she is guilty and must be punished. I have that habit of withdrawing myself without giving reason because what anyone else does is their problem but what I should not tolerate is my discretion. That was what I thought till that day. Today I have changed and say what ever others do is their problem but I will see only the good side of everything. Because of my stupid ego I did not answer the call of my dying friend. I have got a fitting punishment of living in permanent guilt. As children we speak out our minds openly but as adults it becomes difficult to speak out for so many reasons. The fruit of innocence once touched by the finger of reason loses its bloom permanently. Thereafter there is only reason for every thing. The beauty of art of living fades with childhood and the ugliness of adulthood survives like unwanted weed difficult to get rid off. Through the tainted glass of adulthood everything is tainted. Even the most pure things appear otherwise. The purity of thought fades away. But some events give you a jolt and you want to dust away the dirt forever and retain only the innocent purity, what ever the price.