‘Are you concerned how I have been keeping a watch at your life all these years?’ Anuj asked innocently. Priya was startled at how he could understand her thoughts and raised her eyebrows in surprise. The sparkle in her eyes hinted at exactly how Anuj felt.
‘It’s important to tell the people you love how much you love them while they can hear you. I just don’t want this moment to simply pass by, unaccounted.’ Anuj’s statement made Priya consider how this was exactly what she had felt when Vikram left.
Priya and Anuj hardly had a conversation throughout the flight, on their way back to India and when he was about to drop her off to her apartment, he stepped out of the taxi.
‘I am not sure, what it is that keeps you pushing everyone away from your life. I don’t even want to know. The only thing that I want you to know is that I am here…and will be.’ The concern in his eyes was a reflection of how he himself felt. When he confessed his love for her, he knew he might not be reciprocated with the same fervor. Now that he saw Priya slip back into her cocoon, he felt remorseful to have bared his heart to her.
Priya was not sure if the kind of response he was seeking was something she could muster up. She was doubtful he would even understand the state of mind she was in. ‘I am sorry, Anuj. I did not mean to hurt you or anything like that. I guess, apart from my work, I would take some time to understand what I really want from my life.’ What she said was barely making sense to her. She knew how her fears were playing tricks in her mind and as much as she would have liked to trust Anuj, it was difficult for her to begin.
‘I understand.’ Anuj was a bit disappointed with how he felt presently. As much as he wanted to comfort her, he himself was unsure whether it was her who needed support more than he himself.
It’s during a calamity that we can’t decide who has been affected more, since all are in it together. As much as he wanted to be upset, he somehow felt calm inside. Promising to meet her in the office the next day, he took off.
‘How’s the marriage going?’ Priya sounded excited but not convincing. Hina at the other end of the phone could instantly feel this was a special occasion that Priya was the one to have called in the last one year.
‘Marriage is good. I am moving to Singapore this weekend, finally.’ Hina gave a pause. ‘I am glad you called. More than that I am surprised that you did. I am sure we have something special to talk about.’ Hina was honest in pointing out.
‘Hina, do you think I am being unfair with myself? Do you think the whole process of getting over Vikram is leading me nowhere?’ Priya sounded immensely stressed and that made Hina brace herself because now she wanted to jolt Priya out of her own misery.
‘Yes.’ The response hit Priya right in her face, but she was glad that Hina was being honest with her. She waited for Hina to continue. ‘I think you are simply trying yourself too much…. possibly for nothing. Quite possibly, Vikram would not return. Even if he does, we don’t know how long would that be.’ Hina knew she had to be honest.
‘Yes, but he came back…for me!’ Priya tried to reason.
‘That’s true. But that does not prove that he holds on to you’ By now, Hina was sure, this had to end.
‘So the next time when he comes….’
‘…there’s no next time…we don’t know when that next time is….’ Hina interrupted. This made Priya even more miserable that she already felt.
Hina added, ‘I am not saying that Vikram is wrong or right. The fact remains he is not there right now. You never confessed your love towards him and neither did he. When he came this time, he was indeed looking for you but that’s that. He looked grubby, tired and lost. He was leaving again the next day and even he was unsure when he’d be back. I am sure he means well, he’s a great guy, but the fact is he is NOT HERE!!’
All Priya could do was listen to what Hina was saying. Her worst fears were standing right in front of her and there was not much she could do to recover except listen to Hina quietly. She knew it was time for her to burst the bubble she had been creating for her self all this time.
‘Listen, Priya!Sometimes we wait for the storm to end; we pray just to get to the other side. But what if, we get to the other side and there is nothing left. Sometimes you have to let life take its own decision, let yourself flow, let nature take its course but sometimes you have to take the reign in your own hands, and all we can ask for is to know what precisely when. Now is your time to finally cross the bridge over to something that you can build, yourself.’ Hina had by now succeeded in calming Priya down by what she said.
Hina’s voice kept echoing in her mind all night and she barely got any sleep. Each time she would hear the name ‘Vikram’ in her mind, she felt uncomfortable. ‘It was love’ she thought, ‘whatever happened?’
At the break of dawn, Priya looked out of the window at the rising sun. Another day…a new dawn.
The Impeccable Life in collaboration with The XD Experience, are hosting a 13-day writing challenge since October 13, titled ‘Kill Your Darlings’. As a part of this challenge I am attempting my first 13 part fictional story.