Continued from The Rendezvous
‘‘I’ll wait…I’ll wait’ the words never stopped ringing in her head. The words she had been repeating to herself when Vikram left. Familiar words. The decision was made. She can’t let Anuj go through what she had gone through all those years. She got back into her car and drove off to the next café she spotted. ‘Was it the café she used to visit?’ she thought. ‘Seems to have changed a bit…. or is it me?’ The thought made her feel good about the way she had changed from a foolish love struck girl to a thinking woman.
As soon as she entered the glass door of the café and approached the counter to order a latte she noticed something. Someone…. Vikram.
‘You know, you could’ve called.’ Crossing paths with Vikram suddenly made things tougher for Priya. Her torments stood right in her face- ready to be killed yet again. How long had it taken for her to resurrect her faith in love and here she was back to where she had begun. Just in a moment.
‘Yes, I could’ve. I can explain.’ Vikram’s voice was sincere no doubt but that was no solace to Priya’s bruised heart. ‘It happened so suddenly that I simply could not. I was required to leave instantly and all through the way there were news pouring in from the field, friends dying, colleagues abducted and we were required to stay available for our orders all the time. It was all so overwhelming and scary. I just could not. I did not know how to make you a part of all that.’ He was desperate. As if he was waiting for the explanation to burst out like a volcano of words, all these years too.
Priya sat there quietly, her hands folded neatly on the table. She knew there was not much she could say. Her heart was aching to let him know how she felt when he had left her unannounced….waiting for him. However she knew, anything that she would say right now would not make things all right. It would not reverse the void she had lived for so many years with. It would not make her whole once again from the fragmented pieces that she was still trying to fix. So she just rose and started to leave.
‘You can’t leave.’ Vikram stood up as well.
‘I can…. because you could.’ Priya did not really want to put blame on him for the situation that she had found herself to be in. But this was all so natural. It was all coming back to her and she wanted to give it away before she could get drowned in it herself.
‘I left because I had to, Priya. That was important. And I am here…now.’ He was shaking with expectation. Priya just stood there. She was simply unsure what she must say. ‘Can I drive you home?’ Vikram offered. Initially, in the car, they were quiet but Vikram needed to know where he belonged at the moment. His chance meeting with her was obviously a God sent.
‘I am glad we could meet. I never imagined, today, that I would see you. I tried to reach you in so many ways this time when I came. I guess, even Hina is away so I really did not know who to ask for you. I tried.’ Just once more, he wished that Priya could accept his apology.
‘I know. You must’ve…. but don’t you think its just too late?’ Priya asked sincerely. Vikram pulled the car over and sat facing her at the driver’s seat. He had to get this sorted out. He knew, before he could get to gaining her faith back in him; it would be time for him to go, again.
Vikram held her hands in his and looked in her eyes. He knew how much she had loved him. He realized he loved her as much too, though it was unfortunate that when the time was ripe they could not profess their love for each other. ‘Now is obviously not the time’, he thought. Nevertheless, he had to clear the air between both of them. In spite of how much he declares that he tried to reach out the fact remained that he was not available for her. And that was a fact that he was quite familiar with.
‘ I am sorry…I really am. I understand that nothing that I do or say will ease your pain. But it is important for you to understand that you were not abandoned.’ Vikram was sure that whatever he said now would not work in his favor.
‘Once I was at the border, there was obviously no way for me to have called you. After a few days of being there, I returned here for two days before I was required to report again for a mission across the border. I was not sure, if I would be back ever, at that time and so when I came to see you here, I was disheartened when Hina told me that you had left for Delhi. Since you were not there, I was not sure if I should take your number and call you since all this, I knew, I could not have explained on the phone. And you would not have understood it all. However, I wished to see you again.’ Vikram went on and on explaining the situation he was in. Priya was quiet all this time.
‘Vikram, sometimes the pain seeps through and through unless we feel it no more, unless we decide to feel no more. Everything can be survived but death, so as long as we are alive, its nature’s way of telling us the game isn’t over and that whatever it is, it can be survived. Be it love, be it failure. So I thought I must face it the way I can, because ultimately we got to survive.’ Priya paused for a while to absorb the overpowering feeling she was getting right now. Her voice quivered. The tears welled up in her eyes.
‘I must’ve waited so long for you that my feelings went numb. I could barely decide if I was living for a cause or a cause for living. I had no answers; I did not have your whereabouts. I ceased to imagine myself trusting anyone again. I was lost, Vikram. And that’s a scary place to be.’ That was the first time Priya had cried ever since he had left. The tears kept pouring as if the floodgates had been opened.
‘What will I do… now?’ Priya asked. Obviously, Vikram had no answer for her.
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.
Chapter 1: The Best Summer Ever
Chapter 2: A Delightful Surprise
Chapter 3: Good News…And Bad
Chapter 4: Moving On
Chapter 5: Inner Turmoil
Chapter 6: Unexpected Turn Of Events
Chapter 7: An Honest Confession
Chapter 8: Sleepless Night
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction and resemblance to any person, living or deal, is purely coincidental.
Image courtesy : Google.