“I love you…”
“I love you too…” she smiled and closed her eyes and let her mind drift. She knew that they had created something beautiful together and the joy was exquisite. With the joy came a sizzling pain, she knew the time had come to choose her path, however painful it may be, it was in her crazy way the only way she could keep him in her life. She flicked the button on her cellphone, 2am… they had exact 12 hours together. She said a silent prayer, God let me live my entire lifetime in these 12 hours the rest I will accept wholeheartedly.
Before even opening his eyes, he could feel her snuggling up to him, he could smell her shampoo, her soft skin against his, her face nuzzling in his chest, he knew this was bliss but reality was never far away. He opened his eyes and his gaze fell on their reflection on the mirror, they looked a very happy and loving sight and he knew in the madness called life this will always keep him going.
The car pulled up at the airport, she fetched the trolley while he got her luggage off. Their eyes met and they smiled, she had a calm look on her face, her smile was slightly sad but a lot peaceful, he coulnt put his finger onto what exactly but something was amiss, and a dread filled him, gripping him making it difficult for him to breathe. But he knew things were okay, she still wore the ring he had given her, they had made love fervently an hour or so back, all consumed by the millions of emotions coursing through them, as if to make up for the next few months. Then why was there a sense of loss, why was her eyes so veiled? Her smile never really reached her eyes. Maybe I’m thinking too much, it’s just a figment of our imagination I’m sure, he thought as he wheeled her trolley to meet her near the gate. There was still sometime before her boarding, and he intended to make the most of it.
“Have you taken everything? What about the book you were reading the other night? And the tee? And hey I forgot about the pill! Make sure you get it, the first thing you touch down okay.. and I don’t want to hear any excuses… get me? Noyona are you even listening??”
She smiled and she couldn’t help even at a crucial moment like this. How could she not? This is like a routine for them now, forgetting about the cares and the worries of the world, they united time and time again. Caution was never on their mind. But instead of fretting this one time she was secretly overjoyed, she knew that the knowledge was for hers to keep. This was just hers and she did not have to share it with anyone, not even him. That filled her with a sense of satisfaction, she smiled at God knowing this one time she beat him to it, and that this one time, she will have her way!
“They have just announced boarding, I think I need to go. But there is something I need you to know… No matter where I am, what I do, you will always be loved and missed. You will exist as the most important part of my life, the reason for my existence and as the love of my life and no one can change that…”
He stared at her, his heart sinking. Her eyes had no tears or emotions no glimpse of the girl he had fallen in love with. She now filled him with a sense of numbness, fear gripping him in anticipation of her few words.
“Neel I have loved you like I haven’t anyone. I have been there for you selflessly but this one time I want to be selfish, I want to live for myself. I want a direction to my life and I want permanence! When we met, I never asked for any promises and you gave none, and that holds true even now, just that I cant live half a life! We have everything going for us, but there is always going to be something we will never have, because we were never meant to, no matter how much we deny that. I cant carry on this charade and all I ask you now is to let me go!
She was shaking, she couldn’t believe she had finally said those words but as soon as she said it she felt confidence and a sense of surety fill her. She looked up and saw him looking at her with eyes brimming with love and her heart ached.
“I knew I would have to let go but the day would come so soon I never knew. Know that I have always loved you Noyona!”
“I know and I love you too!” with that she hugged him, holding him tight against her, she wanted to tell him out aloud but she couldn’t. Before she moved away from him the one last time, she gently kissed him and she closed her eyes, to capture this feeling for a lifetime! Her thoughts were haywire! Forgive me Neel, I have let you down and now I’m taking away a part of you without your knowledge!
She hugged him one last time and then she turned away without looking at him and walked towards boarding counter. She knew she was leaving behind an important part of her life, she knew she was taking an enormous step which entailed a lot of responsibility, something that would change her life forever. But she smiled, she had a secret and she knew that it would see her through all the troubles that life may hurl at her.
To be continued...