It's in the Eyes
It's in the Eyes8 mins 482 8 mins 482
I could feel my body burning, the heat in the room becoming unbearable. Fumes of smoke were creeping up in my nostrils, making their way down to my throat. I was coughing incessantly, the opening in my mouth allowing more and more smoke to get in and fill up my lungs, making it extremely difficult to breathe. I still couldn't process how the fire had started in my flat, growing so rapidly and massively. I could feel my eyes closing of their own accord. I knew I was going to lose consciousness soon.
"Help me, somebody help me. There is a fire in here. I need help," I tried to make my plight known to somebody. There had to be somebody who could help me. I waited there for what felt like hours, when in reality only a few minutes had passed. When I had almost given up hope, I saw the door being pushed open. In walked a tall man, making his way across the house towards where I lay on the floor. The smoke and the brightness of the fire were hindering me from properly seeing my savior. Not to mention my eyes which kept opening and closing. Suddenly, i felt myself being lifted up into someone's strong arms. By this time my eye muscles were getting too heavy. But before I completely lost my consciousness, I noticed his eyes. They were this unique shade between blue and grey. I could never forget those beautiful eyes.
FEW HOURS LATER:
My eyes slowly drifted open, adjusting to the bright white light in the room. I realised that I was lying down on a hospital bed, which was obvious considering the events that had occurred. As the memories of the burning apartment slowly started coming back to me, so did the blurry visions of my savior. I instantly looked around in my room, searching for those hauntingly beautiful eyes. I had hoped he would be here, so that I could thank him for saving my life. It was a very chivalrous and courageous deed that he did, putting his life at stake just to save a stranger's.
But is that what we were? Strangers? Normally, the answer would probably be yes. But I felt a strange connection with this man. It was a different feeling, a new feeling I had never felt before. I had always been skeptical of love at first sight, thinking that no deep connection could be forged instantly. But I guess I was wrong. And I have to give credit to that man for making me feel like that, because I am rarely wrong. And adding to the firsts that were happening with him, I realised, to my utter surprise, that I didn't mind being wrong.
A man's voice brought me out of my chain of thoughts. He was speaking to the nurse outside my room, possibly asking for permission to see me. It had to be him. I started fixing my wayward hair the best that I could, realizing that there was nothing else I could do to improve my appearance. Just when I was reaching for the glass of water at the table, the man walked in. Disappointment would be an understatement for what I felt at that moment. This was a different man, one that I had never seen before.
In my state of shock, my outstretched hand lay forgotten. He must have noticed it though, because he passed me the glass as he sat down on the chair near my bed. I gulped it down, feeling strangely distraught and empty. He passed me a smile. I couldn't bring myself to smile back.
"Umm who are you? And what are you doing here?", the words flew out of my mouth, a little harsher than I had intended.
"Well, I would say I am hurt by your tone, but I understand. I didn't expect you to remember me. I am Ved, the man who saved you."
"That is not possible. I may not remember much, but I know for sure that it wasn't you who saved me", I said defensively.
"You were slipping in and out of consciousness. I can assure you, it was me who brought you here. You can confirm with the nurse if you think I am lying," saying that, he walked out of my room.
This couldn't be true. That man was obviously lying. Those bluish-grey eyes were etched in my brain and heart, and I couldn't have been wrong about those. The nurse walked in and confirmed what he had just said. She even showed me the documents which he had signed when he brought me in, the name Ved Kashyap written in block letters. She told me that the man had stayed here for hours, waiting for me to wake up. The sense of humanity didn't dictate for him to wait here till I was awake, yet he still did. I instantly regretted being mean earlier, knowing this man had gone out of his way just for a stranger.
I asked the nurse to send him in, apologizing profusely as soon as he sat on the chair. And being as gracious as ever, he humbly accepted my apology, highlighting the fact that my mind could be playing tricks at me at the time of the fire. While he seemed like a genuine man, I still couldn't believe him. What could be the possible explanation behind those eyes? The explanation behind the instant connection which i felt with that man, but that which was missing with Ved?
FEW MONTHS LATER:
I had completely recovered, returning to my normal life. To express my gratitude to Ved, and also to make up for my rudeness, I had invited him for coffee. It went quite smoothly. I discovered that not only was Ved a gentleman, but he was also quite smart and mature. In the weeks that followed, we saw more and more of each other. While it was always just friendship from my side, it was obvious that it wasn't the same for Ved. I could tell that he liked me, and it went beyond infatuation.
So when he asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend, I wasn't shocked. I had seen it coming. But it didn't mean that I wasn't confused. Because I really was. I had convinced myself that the man I had imagined was precisely that- my imagination. But I would be lying if I said that no part of me wanted him to be real. So, it was not free will, but a sense of obligation that prompted me to say yes to Ved. Yes he was charming and perfect, but something was missing. That spark wasn't there.
With all these thoughts flashing in my mind, I made my way to the restaurant where I was going to meet Ved. Ved had reserved a seat in the most popular and expensive restaurant of the town, indicating that today was going to be special. I walked towards the table where he was seated, hugging him as soon as he got up. After an amazing dinner and great conversation, there was a deepening silence for the longest period. Judging by his fidgeting, I knew he had something important to say, something that was making him very nervous. As soon as he looked up with a sparkle in his eyes, realization dawned upon me as to what he was going to say next.
"Naina, I know this may seem too sudden, but know that I have been longing to do this for a long time now. I know the circumstances in which we met were dark, but the period after that has been filled with the brightest light. You brought that light into my life. It may not be appropriate for me to say this, but I have been in love with you since the day I saw you. That is why I waited for you to wake up, I wanted to make sure that you were alright. I never believed in fate or destiny, but thanks to you, I do now. We were destined to meet, to be together. So, what do you say? Will you marry me?", saying that, he opened a red box and held out a beautiful ring in front of me.
I had prepared myself for this. I knew this was coming, sooner or later. With my heart and brain fighting over what to do, my brain eventually won.
"Yes, I will", I said, trying to put on a bright smile on my face.
FEW WEEKS LATER:
Today was the day I was meeting Ved's parents. Today was also the day that I had promised myself something- that I was not going to remain conflicted anymore. It wasn't fair to me, and specially not to Ved. We were going to get married now and I couldn't afford to have any doubts about my decision. Howmuchever I didn't want to, but I had to let go of the gray eyed man in my heart and make space in it for my fiancee.
So this time when I reached his place and hugged him, it was with a warmth and affection that I hadn't displayed before. When we broke apart, I could see the look of pleasant surprise on his face. But all I did was kiss his cheek in response. He introduced me to his mother and father, and his younger sister. I had lost my parents at a very young age, and I didn't have siblings either. So seeing their bond almost brought tears to my eyes. But they made me feel so welcoming and homely, as if they were my own family.
Just as I was talking to his sister about something, I heard the front door open. Ved had told me that he had a brother as well who would be joining us later. I was excited to meet him, knowing that he would be just as loving and caring as his other family members. But what I saw made my jaw drop in shock. Standing in front of me was a tall man with a vaguely familiar face.
It hit me like a truck why I found his face familiar.
Or rather those eyes familiar.
Those beautiful, blue-gray eyes.
It was him. My savior.
What an irony. The day I decide to let go of my supposed imagination, it comes back to haunt me as reality.