For One Last Time
For One Last Time9 mins 38.2K 9 mins 38.2K
I am standing alone in front of a house staring at the hazy blue sky. I wonder why I uttered ‘a house’ when I am standing in front of my own. The weather outside is pretty cold that my hands have gone numb. But it doesn’t matter. Having a numb heart is what matters now. I am bleeding inside having no clue of how my next second is going to pan out.
Every passing second is pulling me in and out of my long-ago retentions.
I am Anju, a very calm yet easy-going person until I met someone years back. It was April 2009 when Jegan stepped into my life making it exquisite than ever. We lived a life that anyone would long for. Yes, I know I said ‘lived’. He made every single day of my life memorable. Friendship bloomed to love and very soon ended in marriage. Yes, I know I said ‘ended’. It didn’t literally end with marriage but it did end very soon.
At this moment, I am craving for the life I lived years back. But it’s too late to have such a yearning. No, Jegan isn't dead, he is very much alive and sleeping peacefully not knowing that something big is waiting for him when he wakes up.
“Anju … where are you?”
His voice roused a tremor in me which soon transformed into a wild shudder. I applied pressure on my chest forcing a beat out of my heart. I made my heart pump factually. I started sweating on my forehead, not letting the chill breeze play its part on me. I hardly felt my legs on floor. I sensed the tension building up in me by the minute. How am I going to face him? The fear gradually engulfed me into its world, absorbing me completely within flashes. Considering him as my kid than my husband would help me overcome this situation, I convinced myself.
Gaining my strength I stepped into the house and latched the door behind. Hesitating to look at him I walked, gazing elsewhere and took a place beside him, on our bed. Without a second thought he sprung onto my lap. I couldn’t resist myself from embracing him. At this instant, I understood that true love is pure madness no matter what. I promised myself I wouldn’t make the situation worse and chose to talk.
“Jegan, do you love me?” I asked holding him close to me, though this question sounded worthless now.
“Hey! You can’t start your day without this question!! Of Course, I love you.”
“I need some answers.” Some uneasy feeling crept in, stopping me from talking more. It repeated everything is going to end in sometime. It chocked me to death, literally. I held his hand and continued, “Where were you this weekend?”
“Anju, didn’t I tell you? I was on an official trip to Delhi.”
Ah! His reply suffocated me more.
Even a year has not passed by since we got married. As close friends, we respected our dissimilarities. As lovers we accepted. As a married couple we adjusted. Practically, adjusting doesn’t last too long. Yes, it loosened the strands of our love. Three months back, Jegan spoke to me about Nisha. It did shake me that day.
“Please don't make this difficult for me, tell me what happened this weekend.”
“What is wrong with you, Anju? It was around 11:30 pm when I landed at Delhi airport, then my friend…” I stopped him abruptly. “Jegan, I need only the truth.” I spoke caressing his hair gently “… please.” I said.
He lifted his head and looked at me, as though he suddenly sensed the seriousness of our conversation. Staring at me for less than a minute he got up and sat facing me.
“Are you fine? You look restless. Shall we go to the clinic?” he asked.
“I know you are not able to get head or tails of what is going on now. It’s too late already! Where were you this weekend?”
“Cochin.” He couldn’t face me anymore following his answer.
Nisha and Jegan were in love during their college days. As any other college love story, it ended in break-up soon after their college. He told me they mistook their closeness as love and had worried saying friendship wouldn’t have let them depart. Yes, I knew he missed Nisha. Still I trusted him. Missing an old friend is not a mistake.
Though I knew he was in Cochin last weekend, his reply shattered me into pieces. I thought I would break down and shed tears when he uttered ‘Cochin’. But here I am, sitting strong in front of him, at-least strong on the outside.
Forcing a smile out of me, I held his hand a bit tight this time and asked “Fine. Why Cochin?”
“Bachelors party. Sathish had arranged for it.”
Jegan is like a kid. Though he realized that I am aware of the truth, he prefers lying and escaping from the situation. My Jegan cannot bear even the slightest pain. He fears heartbreak.
“Well, Sathish came home this weekend to invite us to his marriage. I told him you were out of city.” I remarked.
“What the hell? Do you doubt me? This is what I hate in you. You don’t trust me, it hurts. I said Sathish had arranged a party for us but he couldn’t join us for some personal reasons.”
Finally he landed on his typical discourses that he uses when things go beyond his control. Every human tends to do that, trying to pull a point and reverse the situation. I am not sure how someone would feel in such circumstances but I just had one thought, I wanted to hug him tight and feel his warmth. I wished everything happening now was a dream and I wake up soon having him beside. I wanted my life back. Unfortunately this isn’t a fairy tale.
Nisha was residing at Cochin and she still is. Things were falling out of hands when Nisha started confining Jegan within her rules. Slowly Jegan begun losing his identity that he badly needed a break. No matter how hard he tried on bringing back trust in her, Nisha could barely stop her thoughts turning weird. Jegan lost confidence that Nisha would ever trust him back like before. It was then he realized his relationship with Nisha would have been longstanding if it was ‘Friendship’ than ‘Love’. He broke up with her and after almost a year he fell in love with me.
“I know I will not get the truth out of you even if I sit here for hours. Let me put it in plain words, you met Nisha, isn’t it?” saying thus I crossed my fingers hoping for a ‘NO’ from him.
After minutes of silence, “Yes.” he said.
BANG! I felt blank for minutes. I opted to have my eyes closed, wanted darkness. Everything around got blurred as I opened my eyes. Did someone give me Vodka? Damn, I am fainting.
“Jegan, get me some water, please.” I spoke holding my head.
Even now I hoped I would wake up at some point ending this dream. I felt better after sipping some water.
“When Nisha’s friend told me that you were in Nisha’s room, I promised myself not to believe her words. But those two days you had your mobile switched off saying your battery drained, power shutdown, and too many lame excuses. You hesitated to pick my calls.”
“I am sorry," he held my hand, trying to convince me.
“No, I want you to listen. I don’t have a count on the calls I made, minutes I slept. Do you even understand the pain I went through?”
“Nisha contacted me recently and cried explaining her loneliness. She wanted to meet me for one last time. It was just like meeting an old friend.”
“Ha-ha! It is just like meeting one of your old friends, huh? I know you slept with her. Damn!”
“ I am really sorry, it was an accident. I never intended to do it. I was drunk that night.” I saw tears rolling down his cheek as he spoke.
I couldn’t see my Jegan crying. I had always been his support during his hard times but I couldn’t do that today. I am a modern woman; my attitude, my dressing, my thoughts have changed compared to the women in the past years. But, my mind strongly denied on accepting this. I needed some time in bringing myself back. I needed a break to digest the facts. This gap might change many things. Jegan might change his mind and get back with Nisha. None of these mattered anymore.
Love is a beautiful feeling. When you hold on to it truly, it never leaves you behind.
“Jegan, I am letting you go. You land on decisions without deliberating and later complicate things. I think picking me as your partner tops the list. Go ahead and change your life the way you wanted it to be,” saying thus I got up and walked to the door.
“I love you, Anju. Things that happened this weekend went wrong. Don’t leave me alone. I am scared.” he was shattered.
“I have to. Let time decide.”
“Please stay. This will never happen again, I promise.”
“For one last time … Can you hug me?” I asked.
“No … Don’t... You are killing me little by little.”
Without more ado I lifted him and hugged him close to me. I just melted in the warmth of his hug. Within seconds the life I lived with him flashed before me. 'Lovely' I said to myself and kissed him on his forehead.
“No matter what, I love you, Jegan. Be a good man.”
I walked out of his house. I know I said ‘his house’.