After what seem like ages, I realize I am not crying anymore. There is a hollowness in my heart- like a barren long stretch of road. I don’t know which path I should take, except I can only see a single expanse. Sitting by the beach with the waves kissing my feet, I feel empty.
Why does beaches make me nostalgic? No, I don’t have any good or bad memories tied up with them. I guess it simply makes me sad and melancholic. I guess, it makes me confused too. Else, what am I thinking now! I had removed my stilettos- those shiny sparkling red ones! They are a treat to the eyes. Wait, am I drunk? I think I’m going bananas.
I slowly stand up and go further into the waves. One second! That’s all it takes to decide. Should I let the tides consume me? Wait, I AM DRUNK!
I turn around to see him stand behind. When and how did he come? I haven’t heard him approach.
“What are you doing here?” I ask.
“I wanted to see you”
“Hmmm…..” and I walk towards the shore with my sparkling red stilettos in hand and him walking besides me.
“Shalu, I want to…”
“Wait, before you say anything, I want to ask you something. Are you married?” I have no idea why I ask him that. I bite my tongue for having asked that but is glad I would finally get some answer.
“WHAT????” He seems shocked!
“Okay so you are not! Are you engaged or seeing somebody?”
“Why are you asking me all this now?”‘
“Okay, so again, you are not! I am asking you this because I believed you suddenly fell in love with God-Knows-Who and hence you didn’t want to talk to me anymore! Of course, you would have got the love of your life. So, you didn’t need a friend. Hain naa?”
He is silent. Maybe he didn’t expect an outburst from me. But then he speaks.
“Yeah. I fell in love”.
Did I just hear the sound of my heart breaking?
“Well, good. Happy for you.” I somehow blurt out.
“Shalu, I fell in love with you. I still do. I love you and I know I always will”.
All of a sudden, I begin to feel an enormous cool breeze washing over me. As I stand there looking at his eyes, he adds, “I met your friends”.
And now I realize the burden of his words. “Sympathy!!! Ha, I should have known before letting my heart skip a beat, before letting the butterflies stir in my stomach again. But listen to me, Tareeq. I began loving you even before you knew. You were the first one I remembered each morning and the last before I slept. I should honestly say, that you are still the hero of all the movies I see, or the books I read or I don’t know. I can’t define what I feel for you. Not that it means anything to you. I simply wish you beside me whenever I am happy, whenever I smile. It may have been in bits and pieces, but I had given you my everything. And yeah, I don’t need your sympathy!” I cry again and I am hating myself to let him see my tears, I hate myself for being so vulnerable.
He comes to me and takes me in his arms. “Shh..baby! When will you stop thinking so erratically? Why don’t you listen to me”.
As I cry on his chest uncontrollably, he continues. “I know you don’t need my sympathy. Or in fact, anybody’s. I know you are my brave girl who did what was right for you, whether or not I was there. You finally let go of all the cords that tied you. You stopped taking blames and you decided to live for yourself. You are my Queen, Shalu. Remember?
How can I forget? He used to consider me as Kangana from Queen- the girl brimming with innocence, who decided to live for herself.
I don’t say anything but my tears have stopped.
“I believe you can understand why I hurt you. I know I did wrong and I owe you one hell of an apology. But do we need to go through all that?”
I still don’t say a word. I love him, so much! I know I have an option here- to let go. After all, I am his Queen! I know I can live a life of my own, pursue dreams which I always had. I can be a free bird with no rules or regulations, with no barriers to stop me from doing what I love to do.
I finally take my head from his chest and look into his eyes.
But there is so much love in my heart- for him! So much so that I know he might hurt me again. We might quarrel again for all the itsy-bitsy reasons. But I know even in those disastrous of days, he will still ask for my hand and say, “Dance with me..” That mere thought made me smile. He is holding me as delicate as a seashell. I bury my head on his chest again which is soaked with my tears.
I know he smiles and is happy. I can hear his heart beat in my ear and I say, “Tareeq….”
“Hmmm…. tell me, Shalu!”
“I never thought I will not reach even your shoulders”.
He laughs…. It is nice to see him laugh with all his heart.
“I can see that you are not wearing your heels”.
He cups my face with both his hands and bends down to kiss my forehead. “I don’t want to miss you anymore, Shalu. I have died a thousand deaths. Be with me. And yeah… Happy Valentine’s!”
“Happy Valentine’s”, I smile. I feel at peace, safe in the arms of the man I love. I thank Heavens for giving him back. And I hope I can say…. and they lived happily ever after!!
Thank you for showering me with all your love. This is my maiden attempt in penning down a story. Yeah, forget Novella, a story!! I hope I made justice. Pen down your praises and critics, I will love them alike. 🙂
There are a few names I should mention:
Vishal– for literally giving me a deadline and asking me to write a love story!
My parents, hubby and sister- who doesn’t even know I am penning down one!
Manas– for being the first to realize that I have it in me, however small it may be. Thanks for being there, even in your absence.
and all you friends and bloggers who took pain to read, comment and share! I’m overwhelmed!
Take care, all. I guess I now need to take a break!
<3 <3 <3