I still remember the first time I met him. It was one rainy day. I was waiting at the bus stop on my way home from the office and could see somebody noticing me keenly yet in a disguise. Yes, he stood far away from me, hiding his glances under an umbrella and seemed to return from work too as I could see folders and a bag in his hand. The manner in which he kept gazing made him seem like a decent man as my eyes could quote him to be yet history unknown.
I wasn’t so outspoken to go up to him and talk a word so I stood there for a while and headed off as my bus arrived. That night I don’t know why I kept thinking of him. He had deprived me off my sleep and I remember sitting up the window sill whole night thinking of him and smiling by myself in the rainy night. I often sat by the window and kept noticing the beautiful weather outside and people in love sitting in the park. It was somehow a peaceful sight to watch people in love.
Next morning I was up early as I ran short of time for the numerous chores I had planned for the day. As I headed to the bus stop, I saw the same man standing next to my patent spot and his lips trying to struggle a smile as his lips didn’t coordinate well. I gave such a blank smile which seemed so cold but I couldn’t give more than this. I was astonished as I kept trying to gauge the intentions behind his gesture.
I walked further to sit on the bus and reached office soon. You won’t believe me on this. I saw the same man in front of my cubicle. Yes, he had recently joined work in my workplace and Oh my God! The work, the office and God himself never seemed so fortunate to me than this particular time. My heart kept cheering deep inside to be happy being able to watch my new crush during every hour of the day and so did he seem too. Few days and we became great friends and few more months passed and we were totally in love.
We kept our love hidden from our officemates as he wanted to let our love be a secret till he was ready to declare it and I simply abided to it, thinking did it even matter if the two of us is all that matters. Later one night I got my mom’s call convincing me to marry soon and select one nice decent guy out of the few pictures she had sent me and what else could have raged my anger as deep inside I had already married someone else. I didn’t even bother to check any of her messages and simply deleted it out of anger.
I kept gazing at the starry sky from my window sill and the outside park seemed lovely as always. It was around 11 in the night and I could see a couple walking around holding hands. It was so nice to see them declaring their love to the universe. I so much wanted to walk with Alok hand in hand and love profound. But his clause of a hidden love story was what stopped me.
Next day, I told him about the marriage turbulence that was happening in my house and showed him my urge to marry him soon. He accepted that we’d marry but it isn’t to happen this early. I somehow felt betrayed at his response to my restlessness. I felt cheated inside my heart. What does a vow to marry and delay that marriage mean? Couldn’t he see how restless I was? Couldn’t he pacify my burning heart ?
I returned home early that day without telling him as I couldn’t work much and felt sick inside. That night I ignored all his calls and kept around my own self. As I opened the window to appreciate the beautiful view outside, I could see Alok standing outside. What I just saw was so astonishing. He called me again and I didn’t pick up. I somehow melted at his sweet gestures and went down to meet him. That night we walked together in the park the way I used to see and love couples. That one moment was the spring to the desires to my autumny heart. I felt as if he finally declared me as his love and we felt so full that day. While he kept hiding glances from the office tables, he kept cherishing me in the universe that night. It was starry all over the sky and so in our hearts.
Next day we met in the office, he messaged me to come by the cafe as he had something important to talk. We had a cup of coffee and talked the next few minutes, he informed me that his parents aren’t ready for a love marriage and he had tried out everything he could. If we needed to marry, it needs to be a secret affair and once we are married we can let the news out and parents would accept us anyway after that. The same circumstance prevailed in my home too, as my parents wanted me to marry the guy they had seen. I just couldn’t understand what to do. I thought a lot that night trying to think what could be done.
And ultimately I came to a settled decision that said maybe Alok is right. Maybe we can marry on papers as he wishes now and let the news out later in good times and good hopes. Maybe this was right. Just maybe!
This morning was so special. The day finally arrived when the man I had already married in my heart and soul was the one I would finally marry officially. Alok who was my husband already inside my conscience would be declared my husband in laws and legal. I woke up from my rosy dreams and stood by the window adoring the love in the park and counted us to be one of the many too. My phone beeped and there was Alok telling me to get ready and stand by the court and I was told to bring along Anjali too was my best friend so that she could be one of the witnesses of our union.
I rushed to the court with Anjali and waited there for an hour as Alok had messaged about the huge traffic he was messed up in. An hour passed by and a few more minutes to it too vanished away. My most awaited day started to seem not so awaited day and started haunting me the next hour. I called up Alok to know where he got stuck after all. What happened next was the ultimate shocker. I never imagined hearing this in my worst nightmares. He picked up the phone to tell me that his dad had suddenly fallen sick and was taken to the hospital and he needs to reach out to him ASAP. He headed towards Baroda from Delhi without even letting me know on that important day. I was pained. But I always felt parents are the first priority of our life so I didn’t yell at him although my heart kept wailing inside. I bid him goodbye and told to take care of dad.
Anjali was shocked to know how Alok didn’t turn up on our own wedding day and I kept consoling her trying to show how Alok was not a villain. I felt sorry for myself. I didn’t really know who was right. Me or him? Either of us or neither of the two. But maybe he was right for why would he lie on his father’s name.
Maybe is what I believed in again and again since the day we were together.
Next few days I didn’t disturb him thinking him to be busy in hospital stuff. I dropped him a text a few days later which didn’t get delivered. I wondered why. The next series of weeks I didn’t get a news from him. I tried reaching a common friend Amir who was our colleague too but unaware of our love and the ‘soon to be marriage’. He did tell me about Alok’s whereabouts. And what he said was equivalent to a heart attack to my already fainted heart. He informed me of the new job Alok had got in Switzerland and he moved abroad already a few weeks ago and shared pictures of how happy he was there. He also told me that he was happy with a new found love abroad.
I kept listening to him with tears in my eyes that knew no end and kept flowing like rivers. The floor beneath my feet shook owing to the earthquake that just happened in my life. I was now equal to a mannequin after that very call. I ate nothing, talked nothing, slept nothing and kept gazing by the window that night crying my heart and soul out to the man whom I already married in my dreams and near reality. The man who promised me marriage and said he’d return as soon as his dad gets well was enjoying his new job and the new girl in the foreign land. The pictures where I imagined him around a hospital changed to mountains and fountains of Switzerland.
I pitied myself for trusting the wrong man. I was sorry inside to not trust my parents and my instincts. I deeply cried and wailed and scolded my heart to plan of marrying the wrong man. The heart didn’t really reply at my allegations to it for it was already broken and shattered and beaten to pieces with a commitment-phobic lover who loved to love but feared to stay in love and as soon as it demanded commitment, he found a new love and would keep doing the same each time.
I closed the window that night and let myself be surrounded with despair and disappointment. I knew I wasn’t the same person now as I was before him. A lot was changed. I couldn’t gather enough courage to love myself more as all the love I had was no more mine.
The window remained shut since then along with me too in the same room. I skipped office for a few days and couldn’t imagine myself sitting in front of that same cubicle which belonged to him. I still weep out at those days. I was nothing more than I was nothing more than a negative vibe in my sad home. I knew I was strong but somehow my weak heart had paralyzed my spirits.
I ignored all the calls I received that week and let nobody enter my space. A week later I woke up to my doorbell ringing continuously in the morning. As I opened the door, I saw Amir ( the same common friend and our colleague who had let me know if Alok’s whereabouts). He saw how terrible and weakling I had turned into. He tried knowing what happened to me. I spoke nothing but my eyes said it all and a pool of tears went flowing yet again of my already cried enough eyes.
I felt like hugging somebody and let my pain out. I held him and cried harder and told him the entire story. He was all bad words for Alok and kept consoling me. He hugged me tightly and it seemed as if he took away all my pains.
He reminded me how beautiful I was. He reiterated how well determined and sincere at work I was. He talked to me and kept consoling that a guy couldn’t break me so bad. He reminded me of how I had strengthened my colleagues in their bad times. He talked his heart out. He was totally in praises for me and also how much he missed my cheerful smiles to which I struggled a gentle smile at him. His words made me realize how strong a girl I always was. I felt that not a guy can make me a timid creature only to end my entire world . I had a whole life to live and such wonderful friends and family to love and live upon.
I felt a bit better than before as he made me feel so better in an hour to the damages Alok had done in these weeks. My friend Amir seemed to be the proton to my negative turned life.
He left to work after that.
I got off my bed.
I opened the window that kept closed from weeks ago.
I still saw some love holding hands outside.
I still fear love but it didn’t seem a nightmare though.
Maybe I judged love wrong.
Maybe I was too early at loving.
Maybe marriage isn’t such a quick decision.
Maybe I was wrong at not paying heed to my parents.
Maybe I didn’t trust my first instincts.
Maybe I was poor to understand that a love that isn’t determined is unreal.
Maybe I couldn’t find if a love that’s afraid of the world would never be your world.
Maybe my eyes kept crying but my heart still hoped to love me harder at missing my old self.
Maybe I married the wrong man inside my soul.
Maybe he needed to go out of my heart to make room for a forever that would really last like they vow to!
And since that day, my window stays open all the seasons of nature, as I lean a little more towards life while life embraces me a little more. !
The window is still open and the air outside has changed and so have I !
And maybe someday I find what is finding me too and we simply stay ! <3