You Are Mine?
You Are Mine?8 mins 472 8 mins 472
There was an uncomfortable silence in the room. “May I come in, Sir?” the nurse asked the patient in room no. 24.
“Yes”, he replied in a meek voice.
“Sir, how are you feeling now?” she enquired.
“Doing very well. I want to go home at the earliest”, he replied.
“Sure. The doctor has informed that we will discharge you this evening. This is for you”, she said, handing over the white envelope to him.
“Official papers, I believe”, he said with a brief smile.
The nurse left the room in a hurry.
As he tore open the envelope, he was surprised to see a handwritten letter in it. In this age of emails and social media, receiving a letter was like travelling twenty years back in time. Little did he knew that he was about to travel to the past. He took out his glasses from the bag placed on the table next to his bed and started reading that letter.
6th September 2019.
I met your sister at a wedding in Delhi last month. She informed me about your illness. I feel so sorry for all the pain that you had to go through. For the last twenty years, there is nobody to take care of you. In all these years, you earned millions, built a palatial house for yourself, bought luxurious cars and travelled the world. I wish money could buy you love and care.
You remember we met when we were studying in Mumbai. We were two completely different individuals; however, love blossomed. Your eyes were deep and your gaze pierced my soul. You had big dreams but no money. I still think of that cramped one-room flat we rented because we wanted to live together. You were trying your luck in business and I was an amateur painter. I liked playing with colours while you were busy playing with the stocks. We always made sure to have a wonderful time with minimum money. I would read your favourite science fiction stories to you and you would help me mix colours while I painted. Those were the good old days.
There were times when you were completely broke. I knew your family in Indore was your responsibility. I was in touch with your sister through letters during those days. She was the only one from your family who knew about us. I sold my paintings to a gallery to feed us. When that was not enough, I took up a job at an art school. We survived because I worked day in and day out to make ends meet. I did not want you to lose heart. I was sure that you would get success in your business venture. We had to sell my jewellery when you needed money to pay your debts. I had saved every penny since college to buy those ornaments. You always said that I am your safety net. I made all those sacrifices because I believed you were mine.
I was all of twenty-two when I realised I was pregnant with your child. I begged and pleaded you to marry me. You promised me that we could marry and have kids once we have enough money. I had no option, except to get rid of that child. I cried until I ran short of tears. The physical pain and mental agony almost killed me. Not even once, you felt sad about it. There was neither remorse in your heart, nor guilt in your eyes.
Your business began giving you some returns. By then, your focus was only work. I would wait for you to return home every evening and pass out on the couch. At times, you came back the next morning. We would not even see each other on Sundays. You forgot birthdays and other special occasions. I thought you would make amends after you are at peace in your head.
Each time I complained, you made it clear that you were too tired to fulfil your duties towards me. Your success was speaking louder than your love for me. A number of times you slammed the door on our relationship. I did not leave you although you distanced yourself from me. You were always busy with your work and in no mood to talk. I continued to play the role of your cook, house cleaner, secretary and caretaker. It was my responsibility to maintain your appointment diary, pack your bags and book tickets for your business travel. I was patiently waiting for things to brighten up so we could marry and start afresh. I was hopeful of my forever with you. Nevertheless, fate was not so kind to me. We lived under the same roof for five years and one day my world came crashing down.
I called up your assistant after you did not return home for two days. He informed me that you were not to be seen in office too. A thousand thoughts ran across my mind. When I opened your cupboard, I saw that your clothes and other belongings were missing. Even your friends had no clue about you. I sobbed the entire night. Next morning, I rang up your sister to enquire about you. She broke the news of your marriage to me. She said she was ashamed of you. You left for Indore when I was not home and married a girl of your father’s choice. She belonged to a wealthy family. Her father gave you all the money you required to make it big in the business.
I was angry, lost and broken. This was the worst thing that could happen to me. Each time I called your office, your assistant made a new excuse for not letting me talk to you. The following week I visited your office. The security guard had instructions not to let me in. I tried to find out where you lived after marriage, but I could not. You ghosted me.
I missed you all the time. I wanted to ask you what made you break my heart so brutally. Your memories invaded me every night. I felt you tossing in the bed next to me. Your voice echoed in my ears during the dark, “You can paint later on. Come and sleep now.”
Sometimes I would hear you asking, “Where did you keep my keys?”
When I looked at myself in the mirror I would hear, “You are looking so pretty today.”
Your memories have been haunting me for the last two decades. My scars did not heal with time.
I miss you even today. You married that woman for her money. She gave you exactly what you wanted, money and nothing else. You neither found happiness at home, nor solace in your partner. I never found a company and you never found companionship.
I did not marry. No man seemed worthy of it. I had nothing to give anybody; it was all ugly and messy. I tried to forget you, hate you and at times curse you. However, I failed miserably all the time. It was not possible for me to give up on you.
A part of my savings was spent on repaying your loans and the other half you borrowed from me when you were running short of capital. I was left with no money. After a few months, I left that house to take up the job offer I got from Delhi. I got a degree in painting and made a living out of it. Some of my paintings are displayed in the best art galleries in the country. For the last twenty years, Delhi has been home.
I was told that you are suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy and the doctors have advised a heart transplant surgery. You were facing difficulties in finding a suitable donor. It was not possible for me to leave you alone to suffer. The next day, I rang your sister and accompanied her to Mumbai. We had a discussion with your doctor and he suggested me to undergo certain medical tests. We had to find out if I could be a heart donor for you. Fortunately, my heart was healthy and a perfect match for you.
I gave away my heart so you can live. I requested your sister not to disclose this to you. I wrote this letter the night before the heart donation and asked the nurse to give it to you only once you recover. I wanted to talk to before I breathe my last. When you will be receiving this letter, I would not be alive. We will not see each other again in this lifetime. I hope your surgery is successful and you are on your toes by now.
This world needs you. You are feeding a few thousand families. You are important to a billion people. Your death would affect them in some way. After all, this world revolves around money. The death of a middle-aged artist will not create any havoc in anybody’s life. I don’t even have a family back home.
I am leaving my unfinished business to you. We dreamt of raising kids together. Destiny had other plans. I wish to get rid of the little money that I have earned. Let’s give it to an orphanage. One of my students will give you the details. You have to look into it. Consider those children as our own. My only regret is we could not bid goodbye to each other, twenty years ago and today.
As I close my eyes, I see you sitting in your armchair with speckles of white hair and wrinkles around those oceanic eyes. A wise old man who is joyful and content with life. Learn to create your own happiness; this world is very cruel. It will not give you many opportunities to be happy.
You betrayed me in the best possible way but a part of me always loved you. I love you as I write this letter and I will love you when you will be reading it. I love you so much that you have my heart.