“How can I tell her”, he almost cried out, the pain and hurt, clearly evident in his voice. “Its just not possible for me to do this to her.”
“Then let me know where I stand wont you”, she replied, her voice too mirroring her emotions. “The stakes are high for me too you know”, she exclaimed, almost disgusted at his attitude.
They sat together in the park, almost like the Dylan song he so loved. It had been 6 weeks. Only 6 weeks, but it seemed that they had known each other for an eternity. They had spent a lot of time together in these weeks and it had taken both of them very little time to realize the enormity of this relationship. They both were married, to other people of course, and were having their own problems. So it wasn’t strange that they kind of found solace in each other, but what was frighteningly fascinating was the intensity and pace this relationship had gathered in such a short time. It was almost like I finally met my soul-mate in you, he told her, fully aware it was a cliché. But then like all clichés it was true…so very true.
“What do you want to do now”, she asked, her voice more in control after her initial outburst. “I think time has come when we need to take a call and decide.”
He hated such things. The very idea of having to take a decision and that too an unpleasant one, was killing him from inside. And as the inevitability of the situation was becoming more and more clear, he was getting edgier by the day. She knew the reason for his moods, but didn’t quite know how to handle them.
“Yeah I know what you mean”, he said, without even looking at her. There was an air of resignation in his voice, almost a sound of passive defeat, a defeat that was actually conceded. “You tell me what you would have done if you were in my place”, he asked her, knowing well he wouldn’t get the answer he was looking for.
“I think you should go back to her. Because when you are away from her and with me, there is always a part of you, which is still with her. So you are never with me completely anyway. And I know that even if we are together, she will always remain in between us. So it’s better that way”.
“And what about you”, he asked, surprised enough at her answer to look her directly in the eye,for the first time that evening. “Will you be able to take this? Can you really go on without me”?
“I don’t have a choice do I”, she implored, her eyes finally filling up, despite her brave resistance all evening. She quickly took out her hanky and wiped her face in a flash and opened her purse. “Here this is for you, perhaps my last gift to you”. She handed him a neatly wrapped package. “It’s the Tull Live in Greece CD you always wanted, hope you like it. I always hated them Live anyway”, she said.
The moon gave its first glimpse of the evening as she was getting up…
“PAPA PAPA PAPA….”, the angelic cries broke his thoughts of the past and made him come back to the present. He turned around to see his little angel running towards him with a bunch of colourful balloons, obviously bought for her by her mum. Walking behind the little one, she had a contended look on her face. She was glowing like the sun as her extended dress gave away for the first time that an addition to the family was expected. After all it had been 5 months now. “Ready to go home darling”, she asked as she came near him.
“Yes my dear, finally”, he said……after all it had been 4 years and 5 months…..and he was finally coming home.
Copyright (c) Pratik Majumdar