The sign board glimmered in the pale light of passing vehicles.
I was crossing this sign board third time this night. This was probably the most crowded place at this point of time. That’s why I loved crossing this place several times during my night walk. Random faces, random talks.
The weather was calm & clear. The cool breeze tickling through the bare skin served as cherry on the cake.
I wish if ria was here, walking to my side. I would have held her hand & enjoyed the breeze. She is beautiful, beautiful as the full moon in a cold winter’s night. I was in love with her since the first time I saw her. She always appeared the same to me, an angel bestowed by the mighty heavens in my vapid life.
Suddenly it struck me. I took out my cell phone & dialed her number(although it was on speed dial) .
“Tring Tring – Tring Tring – Tring Tring – Tring Tring – Tring Tring. . .”
That was all that I heard. Was she busy? Or maybe she couldn’t find her phone(she always did that, i.e, misplaced her phone). So I tried a second time. No luck!
Maybe she was busy with something or the other. She would call me as soon as she reaches her phone.
These thoughts crowded my mind as I walked across the streets. Suddenly I stumbled into a stone & hurt my toe.
“Damn! The right toe again!”.
I stamped my left foot on the ground & stared at the dead stone.
“You are gonna pay for this!”.
I picked it up & threw it in the road side drainage. Well there was nothing I could have done practically but I satisfied myself. So with a hurt toe & a busy mind I decided to walk back home.
This was the fourth time I guess. I crossed the road to the other side & joined the crowd in motion. Soon I reached the road to greenery. I used to call it that because it was endowed with green trees on both sides. This road lacked the glimmer of street lamps because of the tall trees. But it didn’t matter much as the path was still clearly visible. One of the lamp post was damaged due to the storm the day before. I kept looking below to dodge any further foot injuries.
Progressing on the road to greenery I think I heard something. So I took a pause & looked around. Surely it was someone talking. Someone very familiar!. I recognized the feeble voice but my mind neglected to accept the thought. It was odd. Still I gazed around to check & recheck. I reached for my cell phone but it was unattended to.
At last I discovered an image in the far corner, near a tree. I decide to move a little closer in order to get a better glance. And there it was,… the familiar image, the familiar voice. Yes! She was there. But?!? Yes it was her. I could sense her beauty in the flickering light passing through the leaves. She looked beautiful as ever. My eyes were fixed on her & maybe I skipped a heartbeat or two. Then my mind came in with the obvious question, ‘What is she doing here, alone??’ Well the latter part was discarded quickly as I saw another figure emerging from the dark corner.
This was a new figure, none that I can recognize. He was standing fairly close to her (My eyebrows frowned). Both were looking at each other in an unusual way. My heart beat jumped to 84 or even 90. I was flabbergasted at the entry of this individual in such a moment.
I knew something was wrong but I didn’t knew how to react in that situation. I felt completely blank, blank like an empty glass(Everything but nothing). In a micro moment he took her hand & looked straight into her eyes(I clenched my fists tightly). The quite environment & the serious moment made me restless.
“What the hell is going on??” I whispered in an angry yet calm voice. The guys lips twitched a little & I rushed to my nearest tree. I could hear his voice in the quite environment.
“I know it has been difficult for the both of us but believe me everything’s gonna be alright.”
“Just remember that I will be by your side forever. Whenever & wherever you need me.”
Sobbing faded slowly.
“I know… I know…” replied ria in melancholic tone.
Both remained silent in the moments that followed.
My breathing was heavy & I was trying very hard to listen to any word, any sound. But nothing. I wondered if they were still there or if they just disappeared. I sneaked around the tree to get a glimpse.
‘What the ….!’
For a moment I thought it was one of my mind’s trick. But no. They were hugging each other shamelessly, like lovers do. I reached the state of EXTREME SHOCK. More of shattered than hurt. Betrayal & anger were at their most. My mind flooded with numerous thoughts –
‘She a liar, a manipulator – Slap her in front of this guy – Call her mom & tell her about it – Punch this guy in the face – Snap it & post it on facebook – Call the police!’
But how could she have done something like that to me. Why me?(because I was the other guy?) Why in the world only me? We were in love(Well, I was). What could have possibly gone wrong?
In between these mindless thoughts my ears reacted again.
“Don’t worry. It will all be over very soon.””
“I wish” replied ria with a vapid tone.
“I know I must have told you this many times… but I just want you know that I L. . . …”
I realized what was coming. But I wasn’t prepared to deal with that(not on a casual night walk). I became furious. My mind was not in the state of making decisions. I don’t know what overruled me but in a flick of moment I reacted.
I picked up a fist-sized stone from the ground & threw it in their direction furiously. I didn’t even knew what I was doing & why. As soon as the stone left my hand I turned around and ran, ran as if being chased by a bunch of bulldogs(I hate bulldogs). I was blank & in no state to understand what was happening.
I heard two screams, two high pitched screams. But I kept on running, with a hurt foot and a damaged heart.
I don’t know what really happened but when I regained my senses I was entering my house through the main door.
I hurried towards my room with quick & heavy steps. That seemed the only practical option at that time. I closed the door behind me & gazed at the clock.
’10.20’ it showed.
“Aditya! What happened?”
“Is everything allright?” called my mom in a concerned tone.
“Good night mom” was what I replied to those morbid questions.
I threw my phone on the bed & occupied my chair with the head in my hands. I tried to remember what I had done. Nothing. Nothing at all. No guilt, no anger, no depression, nothing. The emotions were somewhere there deep inside but outside just a stone face. The images of ria & that random guy were flashing before my eyes. Steamed up by the emotional scarcity I punched the table in front of me. Lucky I was as the punch landed on my firm but soft notebook rather than the hard wooden surface.
I gently picked up my notebook & turned around some pages. This notebook had been my oldest friend & the best part was – no complaints, no arguments & no fights. Most of the moments of my life(happy & sad) were inscribed somewhere in between those pages. Turning those pages I realized what I had to do. I decided to pen down my feelings, describing each and every emotion, reliving the nightmare.
This notebook contained various segments of my life & now I was ready to add a new one to it. I picked up a pen from the table & adjusted the notebook on the table. The pen flowed & the words accumulated, emotions revived.
Love and faith are overruled by emerging hate
I can’t help but remember our very first date
The words seems meaningless, emotions hollow
My mouth is full but I can’t swallow
From angel of love to a lover’s kiln
Your picture changed like a moving film
Our moments are fading, losing their charm
The heart is cold but mind still warm
My love was pure & so is my heart
But you nailed the bull’s eye with a single dart
Now my love is confused, dying with the moments
And the heart is sinking far from the banks
My soul is hurt, tethered to the fatal blow
And life has suddenly turned into a comedy show
The emotions are shattered, I won’t love again
Back into the grave, I won’t live again….