Even though her eyes were fixed on the large oil paintings on the wall, she was trying hard to get herself out of the crowded art gallery. The weekend crowd – all those unfamiliar faces, trying hard to form futile queues distracted her a little. She turned back to leave. At that very moment, her eyes met his!
It had been ten long years since they last met. For a moment, both of them stand rooted to the spot, staring at each other, trying to discern the changes in each other. He started walking up with his eyes fixed on her.
“Rohit!” the name escaped her mouth. Her eyes filled with joy and then began to fade in a few seconds.
She first met him at the college cafeteria, when he generously handed over the last piece of dhokla to her, which they both happened to order at the same time. She smiled, feeling a little amused. That was the beginning of their friendship. She felt like she had known him forever.
With him around, her life had been electrifying. She thought she had found her soul-mate. But destiny had other plans for them. They had to part.
She had moved on, but he often had come in her thoughts. Some of his lessons – she still practiced in her day to day life.
“Long time!” he said with a smile. “You have changed so much!” his voice shook her out of her thoughts. She was lost, gone back to her college days. His dark, intense eyes met hers again. It felt a little awkward though.
She reciprocated with just a smile. He looked smart in his mauve T-shirt, but a little pale.
They walked out of the gallery to the adjacent garden. She sensed he wanted to share so many things with her, perhaps some things which he had never told anyone… but somehow he fell silent.
There was a sense of defeat deep within. She could feel the spark was missing between them. They both had parted ways, literally!
“Daddy! Where were you?” a little girl came running up to him and hugged. He was overwhelmed, his eyes filled with fatherly joy.
“My daughter Sarah,” he said in a gentle voice, cuddling the little one.
She faked a smile, stood there like a stone not knowing what to say.
“Come on Dad, momma is waiting in the car!” the little girl said feeling a bit impatient.
For some time she looked foolishly at the father-daughter duo that’s supposed to be a beautiful moment on earth. But, she couldn’t savour. She felt a deep sense of void within, perhaps a little envious too!
She shouldn’t have condemned his love then, ended all of it bitterly. Now she could feel the sharp sting of abandonment, a sense of drowning.
“Need to leave now…” he said feeling a bit hesitant. “Hope to see you soon!”
He left…. Leaving everything around her like a whirl.
“Tring a la-Tring-a la!” the cellphone rings, shaking her out of her thought. Nikhil called.
“Honey, what’s up? Are you still at the art gallery?” he asksed.
Before she replied, he said, “Be there, I’m coming to pick you up… We can get something packed for dinner tonight, right?”
“Okay…”. She sighed!
There was so much more to say — so much more to ask! May be some conversations end this way… or maybe some things are not meant to end ever!