It was time. I stared at myself in the mirror, stole a glance at the time and then fixed my hair for the last time. I was wearing a dark green saree, the blouse had gotten a little tighter for me but it was the perfect combination. I slipped into my three inch heels, almost took a fall, but caught my balance just in time! Thank god! She would be so surprised to see me wouldn’t she? She probably thought I wouldn’t make it. But how could I miss it!
I hurried out of the hotel, hoping I wouldn’t be late. I didn’t want to miss the best part. An autorickshaw driver caught sight of my waving hand and turned around, I quickly got in and mentioned the address. He asked me if it was a wedding. I happily replied “Yes, my bestfriend’s”
I arrived within 20 minutes, earlier than expected. I smiled and handed the driver a 100 ruppee note and told him to keep the change. I was in quite a good mood, wasn’t I? I rushed into the hall, and saw familiar faces just in time! I almost had a feeling that I was at the wrong hall but give me a pat on the back, I was at the right place! It was a beautiful feeling. Seeing everyone after so long. Everyone looked so happy and healthy. So alive. And then I froze.
There he stood.
I wasn’t sure if he had seen me walk in. But there he was. My heart skipped a million beats, I could hear each and every single beat. I looked away, tried to catch my breath. “You okay?” said a familiar voice.
It was Reena, she sounded a lot more mature than from 3 years ago.
I turned around.
“Yes, yeah I just need a little water” I said and headed to the washroom. “Better hurry, it will start in 10 minutes” she continued to say.
It was just me in the washroom. I stared at myself in the mirror.
I knew he would be here. Why was I in pain? Was I in pain? Was I sad? But why was I sad? It was years and years ago.
He looked a bit older.
Much skinnier than when I saw him last. He had changed his glasses. How did I remember so much about him? Why was it hurting me, something was just bothering me! He was wearing a white shirt, and black pants, his hair swept to the side.
He looked good.
What would he think of me? Why did it eiven matter? Was he alone? Was he here alone? Should I go speak to him? Would he want that? Maybe not.
Or maybe he would be happy?
I looked at the clock, I was gonna be late. I rushed out the door, my saree got caught in the lock! Seriously?! Now?
I turned around and removed it from the door and ran back into the hall.
I reached just in time!
God, she looked beautiful.
She just looked so beautiful and so happy
I was so happy for her.
A tear rolled down my cheek.
And thats when our eyes met
After 3 years for the first time.
I can’t explain the feeling.
And I smiled back.
But in those seconds
Almost a year worth of memories rewinded in my head.
The first hug, the first kiss,
The late night phonecalls, the tears, the fights, the flights, the surprises, the restaurants, the distance, the love..
I saw pain in his eyes. Not pain.
But it was the same look in his eyes when he said goodbye to me. The last time he probably loved me most.
I choked on my tears.
I pretended to be so focused on what was happening on stage. I held my own hand.
Why did it hurt so much? Was it because
he was the love of my life? Was it because it was weird.
Or was it the years of silence that
followed that year of unforgettable love.
I wondered what he would think of me?
I wanted to run to him.
I wanted to ask him why he suddenly disappeared from my life
Why it all went from everything to nothing
I had moved away
But it never left me
And I realized that now more than ever
But it was too late.
I found the courage to steal a glance at him again.
I wanted to see if he was still looking.
Wait, there was a woman.
She was slightly chubby, or no, was she pregnant?
She was holding onto his arm,
Complaining about something
Was that his —?
I saw him look at me.
Yes, yes he did.
He didn’t smile this time.
I didn’t either.
He was married?
He had moved on.
So had I.
But that look in his eyes.
It still read love.
Maybe it was just my head.
Maybe I wanted it to read love
But I had known knew him well enough to know that it read love.
My heart sank.
I suddenly felt the same feeling when I had left this country three years ago.
Suddenly, something dropped beside me, beside my feet.
I was so caught up in the moment
I bent downto pick it up.
“I’m really sorry” said a familiar voice.
My heart skipped a beat again.
It was a Titan wallet.
What had dropped.
I got up, “It’s okay” I said, as I smiled and handed it back to him
“I’m sorry too” I added, as tears pooled in both our eyes.
I woke up to the sound of alarm. My chest hurt. It was a dream. Couldn’t be.
It seemed so real. I rolled over to the other side.
And there he was.
“Goodmorning sweetheart” he said in his usual loving tone.
“Morning” I replied feeling somewhat guilty for having such dream
“What’s wrong?” he asked
Was I being different? Was I making it obvious? No, it is wrong of me to.
” Nothing, its nothing” I replied as I wore my socks, it was cold. So very cold.
” I love you”
It caught me by surprise.
It had been years since those words, meant so much to me, or more so that I meant them. Long long years.
“I love you too Arjun” I replied
“It’s Gary” he corrected.
The silence was deafening.