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Preethi Venugopala

Romance


4.4  

Preethi Venugopala

Romance


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8 mins 41.2K 8 mins 41.2K

He caressed me with his eyes and every glance from his liquid brown eyes made me fall deeper and deeper into his spell. Neither of us cared for anything other than the other’s presence.  With his breath playing havoc on my neck, seated encircled in his arms, we roamed around on his cycle talking about anything and everything. The evening had turned magical.

 

When the ocean breeze kissed my cheeks, he said he was jealous of it and pushed it away with his own lips. He traced his name on my palm and then sealed it there with a kiss. Lying on my lap in that unexplored cove, sheltered in the curtains of my tresses, he eulogised my beauty in words that exuded love. My soft, dusky skin he said, reminded him of the tastiest chocolate. My hair were the clouds that promised rain to a parched earth. My body was a sitar that belonged to celestial singers; it sang a divine rhythm when he strummed it. My fingers combing his hair were the touch of love in its purest form.

 

 Time froze when he captured me in a passionate embrace and the whole world vanished. It was just the two of us….

 

The shrill scream of the alarm washed away the last remnants of his presence and my heart weighed down with the despair that tugged at it all of a sudden. He had visited again, to leave me pining for him in a strange bed. I curled into a ball willing the numbness, which was spreading, to go. I prayed for it to stop but the ache of loneliness slowly engulfed me.

 

 

My heart continued to throb, grew wings and began chasing that elusive dream. Yet again!

***

I had always been obsessed with my Bala. Even when we were kids, a smile from him would make my day. He was my lucky charm; his presence in my world made it a lot brighter. Every year that passed made my obsession grow until I blurted it to him one day while we were in the final year of college. I had started crying when he hadn’t replied immediately. With my arms imprisoned in his, he had dragged me to the nearby park bench, which had been a silent witness to our friendship over the years.

 

“You call what is there between us as obsession. In a way, you are correct. I am obsessed with you too, but I prefer to call it love. Unadulterated love. It is evident in the way my heart beats when I am near you, the way my blood gushes chanting your name, the way every single day becomes meaningful when you are around. Dearest Chaya, my very own shadow, I am yours since how long I don’t even know,” he had said, wiping the wretched tears from my face.

 

That evening comes haunting me these days in the form of an elusive dream. It recurs leaving me bereft of tears for days together, leaving me numb.

 

The decision to let him go had been entirely mine. He had married the daughter of his widowed mother’s best friend after I had cruelly made him swear to forget me. Though he had promised me it would never happen, I had insisted. I wanted to bring happiness to his mother who had raised him braving poverty and social stigma of being a Brahmin widow. Her biggest ambition had been to see her son settled happily in life. Perhaps our relation would have broken her heart; I belonged to a lower caste. I loved her enough and did not want to risk losing her love in a bid to own her son. She always had treated me with love whenever I visited with other friends. She never knew of my special bond with her son.

 

Even after his refusal to let me go, I had pleaded with him to fulfil his mother’s last wish; she was in the last stages of cancer. He had given in out of love for his mother but accused me of robbing both of his loved ones simultaneously from his life.

 

A few days after his marriage, she died. He left for Texas to join a new company along with his new wife within a month and I stopped all communications with him.

 

But my obsession never died. I stalked his Facebook profile, googled him to find details and even updated myself with every new development in his life with the help of common friends. He was still in Texas and his wife too was employed in the same company where he worked.  

 

I had started blogging to vent and whenever a visitor from his part of the globe showed up on the visitor’s widget, I would obsess that it was he. I started to pen down poems, which talked about a non-existent new lover just in case he was the visitor. I wanted him to have the perfect life that he deserved.

 

The past five years without him had been hell for me. But perhaps I didn’t deserve Bala. If I did, God wouldn’t have thrown obstacles in the path of our love.

***

It was not by chance that I was in Texas. I had been planning for it since years. I wanted to see Bala one last time. From far, without him knowing that I was watching him.

 

I was spending my hard earned money to feed my pathetic heart. I wanted to see him in his happy world. I watched him go about his day from far. I watched him go for jogging in the nearby park and on most days I jogged behind him camouflaged in my goggles and hooded track suit.

One day, he stopped jogging all of a sudden and fell onto the lawn of the park clutching his head. I looked round for help; the park was deserted except for the few kids who were playing football in a faraway corner.

 

He appeared to be shaking and I feared he was having a stroke. I ran towards him and squatted beside him. What I saw tore at my heart; he was crying his heart out.

 

“Bala, Bala… what happened? Tell me dear,” I asked unable to stand his tears. Hearing my voice, he looked up and grabbed me. He removed the goggles and pushed off my hood.

 

“What sweet madness is this? Is it really you, Chaya?” he said and swept me into his arms. His sobs rocked us both and I cooed to calm him down.

 

“I cannot go on anymore without you, Chaya. I die a little every day being away from you. Please Chaya, be mine,” he said caressing my cheeks.

 

“Bala, you are married and I don’t want to be the cause of destroying a marriage,” I said trying to talk some sense into him.

 

“What marriage Chaya? We live like two strangers inside the four walls of our house and pretend to be happily married in front of others. I can’t and won’t ever consider her in your place. My life has become a huge farce,” said Bala and broke into tears again.

 

“Bala, you are acting like a kid. You need to grow out of this madness. You can’t destroy your present , based on your past. You have to move on,” I said.

 

 

“Have you moved on? Don’t lie to me. Your presence here is proof that you haven’t. Why should we keep up the pretense, Chaya? We can recreate the heaven that we once had,” he said and looked at me with so much longing that I felt the wall of numbness around me crumpling.

***

The month that followed was one that quelled many things.

 

Bala took me to his home that day and introduced his wife to me. She was totally what I had not expected. Boisterous, loud and condescending, she openly blamed me for being the cause of her failed marriage.

 

“Oh I know you. He whispers your name in sleep and would not touch me though we have been married for over five years now. Every day, I hoped for a change. Now I look elsewhere to quell my needs,” she shouted under the influence of the alcohol that she was reeking of and I cringed. What kind of life had I pushed onto my dear Bala.

 

Once she turned sober, Bala announced to her that he planned to set her free. She was happy to hear that. Divorce was granted by mutual consent and both of them walked away from each other happily.

Bala and I got married in a quiet ceremony in the temple where we used to go and we began a life of passion and happiness.

 

One day, Bala explained to me the reason behind the recurring dreams I was having. He said he was haunted by my dreams too.

 

“You dream of a person when you are awake in the person’s thoughts. I used to dream of you every day and you of me. We lived in different time zones. When you were asleep, my thoughts would be trained on you and vice versa. We humans are intricately connected. Especially two souls who were always destined to be each other’s for eternity,” he said.

 

I smiled. May be it was true. The recurring dreams had vanished altogether.The numbness that used to invade me had vanished in the warmth of his presence. Life had begun to treat us well and our days had turned happier.

 


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