He held his hands out to her. The starlit sky gazed down at them as they had done at it often. She pressed one palm to his beating heart and the other one in his strong palm. His other palm rested gently and firmly on the smooth bend of the curve of her waist which was now clad in her favourite purple silk gown.She leaned into his muscular chest and the white shirt ruffled. Inhaling his breath one last time, she did her best to etch it in her memory. Who knew what the light of day would illuminate before them? He was so determined to die for his nation, that, she didn’t have the heart to dream of living with him. After all, what really mattered was his happiness over hers always.
Somehow, all the years leading to their happy marriage and the four years since moistened her eyes with joy and sorrow. Biting her lower lip, she looked up and caught him watching her with longing eyes. Was he thinking the same as her? Who knew? She stopped mid-step and he took the cue too and held his step too. As gently as she could, she stood on the tip of her pointy heels, and closing her eyes, sought the lips of her beloved husband who would leave as soon as the van would be here to take him away next morning. The kiss seemed to last a happy eternity. But, eternity ended too soon and left her dissatisfied and consoling herself. They’d gone over this over and over again for a year now. At last, she had relented unable to see him in more plight. A Mother always mattered more than any Beloved.
“ Thank You.”, she whispered with her eyes still closed and making her best efforts to stop her tears from overflowing. She could not determine if she was thanking him for this night or their love and their life together. But, her answer was predetermined for the anticipated query.
“ For?” his came as a laboured whisper.
“For this dance that I will carry in my heart forever.”
“ Sneha, I am not just a soldier just because I am most of it. I am also a lover. And I love you so very much. I will make you and our cute little sleeping son so proud of having ever loved me.”
She fluttered her eyelids open but didn’t look up at him. He cupped the sides of her face and turned it so that he could look her in her glistening eyes.
“ I love you. “ he continued-”I have loved you right from the day you came stumbling into our first lecture; when you fell asleep in my arms; even when you got under my skin for petty issues like informing you where I am when I am away from you. You’re my first Commander - in- Chief. I don’t know how long or short my life is , but, I will never regret having spent every breathing moment loving you. You get me?I want to go down on my knees and propose a forever with you all over again. But, let’s continue dancing through the night and into the day.”
With a soft smile and a nod of her head, she let him take the first step. She would never get bored of musicless ball dances ,filled with their own symphonies, despite the millions of times, they had danced together in the clubs. She could, however, not bring herself to tell him that she was not like the brave wives of his comrades. She would choose him over the pride any day. But, there was someone she would choose over herself or anyone in this world , for that matter, and it was him.
The day came and passed by.
24 hours after their dance, she stood on the same terrace and knew, that last night was definitely not their last dance. Because true love is eternal even if your beloved is out their defending the honour,peace and dignity of millions.Someday, they would dance again. And as she stood there, she finally found what he was talking about - the pride - that she had been brave enough to love her Beloved so entirely that he was now out there not only living his dreams but bringing smiles and restoring faith in so many hearts.
She was proud of her Soulmate. She was proud of being his lover. She was proud of being herself.
Though, she knew, there would never be another like him in her life, there was still a three year old waiting for her downstairs hoping that his father would return after the bravado-that his father had explained to him three nights before-was done.
Little did the cute three year old know that to love a soldier is an act of a bravado equal to putting one down, if not greater, with so many glorious gifts and above all a pride and a love that only few would understand and that could eclipse and mutilate any sad moments thereafter.
I don’t know if he returned or not. After all I am just a burning ball of passion and fiery gases that skids around the sky ever once a while in a million years hoping to find what these immortal Mortals had found to keep them burning and going for all eternity.