“To love is one chance you cannot afford to lose”
Standing on the platform, flattered by the looks, branches straggling some distance away and the rain pouring intemperately like sweet torture, she closed her eyes and waited for the moment to pass. It had been a long journey, at least it seemed to be. Seductive anxiety, indocile thoughts, stomach in turbulence-like some noisy digestion, she wondered if it was a good idea. She wished to go back, she was too scared. She wished to hide her face, she did not know how to react.
Love and pain cannot be together. Because they are one. There was nothing painful, yet it would not leave. There was nothing to be afraid of, yet she could not stand. Come on. She was going to meet him. The man of her life- the part of her that needs no mentioning, her most unfeigned truth, her love… her legs shaking slightly than usual but heads held up she started her pace towards the exit. May be he was nearby somewhere, she was too afraid to let her eyes wander. What if, there he would be, looking at her and she could not recognize him…
It had been two years since they last met, since the last time he had taken her face in his palms and kissed her brow, her eyes, her nose, her ears… bending closer while taking her in his arms, he had whispered, you are the world to me. I just can’t let go of you… and finally her lips… Just a peck and slight suck on her lower lip and she had lived an entire life there. Even though she did not want to leave, she had to. Even though he didn’t want her to leave, he accepted she should. Life was tough. They knew. After two years, she couldn’t remember what he exactly looked like. Social networking sites had his bearded face, stronger hands, thinner legs and sometimes hairy ones. Had he changed? Had she changed? She looked the same, but a little more tanned than before, would that bother him?
Afraid to lose and certain to fall, her dizzied head soothed her but failingly. She was standing outside the platform and there was no sight of him. Why am I waiting, she asked herself. He never said that he would come, did he? Laughing at herself and fooling her mind in the process, she walked down the lane with her black bag dangling on her right shoulder. As she waited near the bus stand for her ride home, she saw a man in a black shirt and denims looking at her from the other side of the main road. The machines were moving left on her side and right on his, unruly but uniformly, making it brighter everytime, enough for them to know how far they stood, enough for them to see each other and just look…
The bus abruptly blocked her view, but her eyes did no waver, waiting for the bus to leave and waiting for him to vanish, waiting for reality to show up… The bus glided left and there he was, the same as always, beautiful like never and looking at her, just like the reflection of her eyes. The only difference was that they were not confused like hers, they were sure of her…
Then they start walking. One step at a time… knowing that this moment won’t last for long, knowing that this moment would be the last of all. They walked in silence, silence of the cars, silence of the gestures and silence of the movement. They were gliding just like the swans, in one constant motion, looking at each other and nowhere else. They were close to the middle footpath, and she was about to break into a run and tumble into his arms when she saw his smile, just a stretch across his lips, his faulty, twisted, irresistible smile. And then the air to his right became a pattern of zig zag black for two seconds and then he was gone. As a second later she realized that he was hit, she stops and tilts her head to right as his body reaches mid air and before she heard the thud of being whammed, bright halogen flashes some 10 cm away blind her eyes and in a second they were 8cm close..6…4…2.. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Screaming, panting, weeping and surprisingly wiping tears from her cheek, Ilmi woke up. Like a reflex action, her hands grabbed her phone and a message waited in her inbox. Without thinking she opened it and the forthcoming moment changed her life forever,
Khatti.. Are you angry? Do you think I am demanding? I am no good with words like you are, but I want to tell you that you don’t have to come if you don’t want to. It doesn’t matter. I am here. Just call me. I will be there. I love you. Always.
She doesn’t know for how long she stared at the screen, may be some minutes till the bright blink dimmed to nothingness… And she wiped her tears, only for more to flow down her cheeks and nose and wrote a reply. I am coming. This time forever.