That was a shock to him. She was just standing before him, with a wide smile. She was glad to meet him, he too was. He was more glad than he can express. But he was not surprised; he was shocked. “What are you doing here?” He asked, his voice tense.
Her expression changed, she wasn’t expecting that question, may be, “why? Shouldn’t I?” She asked. She more of got ready to answer the question, “woah, when did you come?” But he never did ask a proper question in all his life, he wouldn’t ask.
“No,” he said, contemplating over his own question, he thought of he should change it. He couldn’t, he just wanted to know one thing, “why did you come? Why did you come this far? What are you doing here?”
“I just came to meet you,” she said, her face beautiful, her smile beautiful, her every belonging; inside and out, the most beautiful with him. Beauty didn’t soothe him; the beauty is troubling his heart. “I wanted to see you,” she said.
“But why?” He asked, and he knows there is no need to wait for the reply. There would be no reply. “If you just say you want to see me, I’d have come,” he said feverishly. “Why did you come this far?” If it was any other girl, she’d really be upset. She just looked at him that’s it. “I’m coming every month, for you,” he said and slowed down. He didn’t want to be deliberate, “half the reason is family, yes, but half is you,” she is still just looking. “See, if you just ask me to come, I’ll come, right?”
“Ayyoo,” she cajoled with a smile, like a mother caressing her child or something like that, “don’t get nervous,” she said and she tried to take his face into her hands. He stepped back. He rejects her arms: the arms which he craves for. She looked hurt, “what happened?” She asked, in a low husky tone.
“I have only one question to ask you,” she was eager to know what that is, “why did you come?”
Silence hovered over for a while, “may be my adventure started,” she said, and that’s exactly what he is afraid of.
No, there is nothing like he can’t live without her and all. No, that’s the the deal. He always lived without her, loved many women besides her, went to extremes without letting her know. Don’t confuse them as a pair or something. They are not in a relationship, they are not lovers, no, they aren’t. They know eachother. They know eachother so well that no love can comprehend the understanding, they feel eachother so well that the physical sensations would unsuccessfully try to replicate the stimulus. They crave for eachother too much, for a sensible or a poetic heart the grievance might seem like another life’s. No, they are not in a relation, they are not lovers; they just know eachother.
He took her outside the place and wanted to send her back. Why was he incomprehensibly sensitive to her act? It is a mystery even for me. He was afraid, may be, he felt insecure; she staying somewhere away from her place, that too with him, may be, I can’t say anything for sure. His extreams are a bit “thought provoking!” If not, we can think of it from another angle: he is afraid she will leave him after a while. Till then he could meet her only in a completly secured area, like, her house or his house or somewhere in a public place. Those moments, she belongs to other people and other places as much as she belongs to him; but now, she is his. He was startled to take it all inside. She just became his and he didn’t know how to process the feeling of it, he was afraid of it and he, wanted to send her away.
It was drizzling. The light rain drops were all over the background. She loves rain. She loves being in a drive with him in rain. She doesn’t love him.
“Why should I go?” She asked, totally confused at good behaviour, “please, don’t get tensed,” she said, with the same feeling of love in her tone; the magic of it oozing out of her voice.
“Because you can’t stay,” he said and was searching his bike keys. Before she could say anything, he found them and started walking away, “stand here, I’ll get my bike,” he said, but his legs shivering, he doesn’t want to send her off really.
“I will go,” she said, he could hear. He shook his head and didn’t look back.
In a couple of minutes, under her semi-wet gaze, he dragged his bike out of parking, started it and drove towards her. She tired a scarf around her face.
“Drop me near an auto stand, I’ll take an auto to the bus complex,”
“That’s fine, I’ll show you where I live and then, I’ll drop you myself.”
He drove towards his house and on the way they crossed a temple. Immediately she opened her wish to visit the temple. He said they’d go after they see the house. He showed her the house but didn’t want to take her in; if he takes her inside the house, he might not like her leaving it. While coming back, he stopped at the temple and they both went in.
In the temple, all the while when they were walking around the diety (Padikshan) he ate her head to tell him the reason why she has come that far to meet him. “Is it really necessary?” Is what his question was.
“Shut up and let me pray for a while,” said with a smile.
“God is everywhere and you can pray to him even at your home. I can’t be everywhere and so answer me now. Why?”
She just gave a look and joining her hands, she closed her eyes and her lips were muttering. Deep inside, he felt the prayer of hers is about him. He too did the same.
They sat on the varanda. They sat silently. The drizzle was still on. The weather is pleasant. “Let’s go to my house.”
Her fingers are tangled in his. She was on to a wall. He was just looking at her. She too didn’t talk. “Why did you come?” He asked, again.
Her expression didn’t change this time as it would in his place or in the temple. “I wanted to see this town,” she said, looking into his eyes, unflinching.
“You could have just seen it and gone along, why did you meet me?”
She acted surprise, but she wasn’t, “shouldn’t I meet you?” She asked. He was silent, didn’t answer.
Their fingers are still tangled, he stepped close to her, only a hair strand of space between them. “You can,” he said, the temptation to merge into her was throbbing his heart. “But if you meet me, you shouldn’t go back.” There was silence again for moment. Then. She rested her head on his chest.
He didn’t know how she felt. He wanted to merge into her. Is it not what he is always talking about? Is it not My Love he is craving for? Is it not? Doesn’t she know that? She knows, may be.
“Stay,” he said and wrapped his arms around her shoulders. “Stay na,” he asked again, more soothing this time, as if trying to convince her for real. “Stay,” she was shaking her head. She doesn’t want to. May be she wants to, but she can’t. He doesn’t know. “Then why did you come?” He asked, leaving her.
She didn’t say anything for a while and then, “I’m afraid that you came,” he said, “I’m afraid what urged you to come to me,” she was just looking at him. “This is the last time I’m going to see you, right?”
She didn’t answer.
“Oh, so that’s the truth,” he said, as if something dawned upon him. “This is the last time I’ll meet you, right?”
She didn’t answer.
“Array answer first,” he was going impatient. She was just standing that’s all. “Don’t kill me with this silence, tell me. Is this the last time you are going to meet me? I won’t see you ever again?”
Rolling her eyes, “I didn’t say that,” she said.
“Then say that’s not the thing,” he was furious. He held her arms and got emotional. “This is the last time you can see me and I can see you, that is why you came this far to see me, if not you’d have waited till I come.”
She didn’t answer.
He went to her, forcefully dragged her into his arms, “be with me,” he said and she was struggling to break his hug. “Let’s take a flat, let’s take a house, I’ll take care,” she broke the hug and he held get face, and she let him, “stay, I’ll take care. Let’s take a flat. Be with me.”
“I can’t,” she said, simply. “I can’t.”
“Then you shouldn’t have come. You shouldn’t. You should come if you want to stay with me forever.”
She didn’t answer.
“Stay,” he cajoled again.
She didn’t answer. She started walking out of the house.
“If you walk out of the house,” his tone was of a warning, she stopped. “May be we will never meet again.”
She stopped. She walked back. She walked to a wall and leaned on it. She looked like she doesn’t have patience anymore. She looked like she couldn’t take some trauma anymore. She looked like she’s tired of living. May be, tired of living away from him.
He raised his hand, offering it to her. She walked to him. She placed her hand on his. Their fingers tangled. He drew her near. His lip was on her forehead and he was talking, “stay with me, don’t go. . . .”