Fiction Park

On the edge of love

- Sarthak Byanjankar

Mar 17, 2019-

He never really cared for Valentine’s Day. It was a mere symbol of commercialisation of emotions for him. However, this year something felt amiss, he wasn’t feeling his usual self. A strange urgency shadowed his thoughts, but he could not tell what it was.

During the most part of their relationship, he was the clear-headed one. Today, however, it seems the roles have reversed. He tried wiping his spectacles to clear the mist that had formed on the glass. He was repeating the same action every five minutes. His restless mind had spilled over to overtake his physical course of action, and he felt as if he was a puppet—someone else pulling his strings.

He decided to sit down to give everything a rest. But his mind was refusing to slow down and he kept standing. He kept thinking about her. He wanted to let her go. He wanted to be alone until yesterday. But why is his decision coming back to question him, he did not know. She was the clumsy and indecisive one—at least that is what he thought of her but she has made her decision now. She seemed to have moved on.

When she had asked for a second chance on their relationship, he had coldly told her to move on. He had no intentions to hurt her. He didn’t feel the chemistry anymore and he didn’t want to drag on. He thought he was doing her a favour by letting her take a different path. But it wasn’t all altruistic either—he wanted to be free too. He wanted to be by himself.

But it wasn’t easy for her. She kept coming back to him. She kept calling him, texting him. He knew that she was hurting and he wanted to alleviate that pain however he could—but not by being with her. He once even whispered to the universe that it let her mind free from him. He did that in a passing thought, like a careless wish, but the universe had decided to make it come true.

He was no stranger to being alone. In fact, he cherished it, nourished it for it was a staple of his soul. Having to wait upon no one, being responsible for own decision and any consequences it bore was what he lived for. Being solo gave him time to reflect upon himself. But he was so engrossed on the idea of being alone that he took no notice when his decision to stay aloof had pushed him to loneliness, and consequently to self-imposed solitary confinement.

As he stood there, on the edge of a cliff, with wind ruffling through his hair, he looked onto the Kathmandu Valley. The concrete jungle also seems to have been jailed within its own existence. If only they could have befriended each other, peering through each other’s veil—maybe they wouldn’t be so desolate.

Few pebbles tumbled down the cliff as he peered onto the depth of the hill he was about to lunge from. He gulped, his throat felt dry. Maybe the lovers are holding onto each other’s arms celebrating love, he thought.

His thoughts then drifted when she was with him. “Yours, forever,” she had spelt it out aloud after she finished writing over the sand with a stick. “We’ll see about that forever part,” he had to tell her. “Oh! So you don’t believe me?” she had teased him.

A gust of wind jerked him to the present. Had anybody seen them at that juncture of life, they would be baffled seeing him calculating his fall from this edge. And here he was—questioning himself one last time, before he dared to fly.

It didn’t hurt as much to go separate ways, as much it did to see her in other man’s arms. An invisible knife cut through his heart. He knew it was his fault. All the things he could’ve done or he could’ve changed to make the relationship work, came rushing down through his memories but there was no second chance. He didn’t give her one—now it was his turn to despair.

“But now everything is over,” he said to himself as he moved closer to the edge. He always thought love was overrated but now he couldn’t think anything past her. How he wished to erase all of her memories from his mind, like how you delete the files from the computer’s memory disk—it was but a wishful thinking. He had never thought love will haunt him like this.

“Burrr Burrr,” the vibration of his phone nudged him away from the moment. Shocked, he took a few steps back from the edge and looked around. He started to pat around his body and took out his mobile device from the left pocket of his jeans. He had decided to leave his phone at home but he must have picked it as a routine when he left his place.

It was his mother. “What difference does it make if I don’t answer the call?” he murmured with himself. But he decided to take the call anyway. “Yes Maa, what is it?” he asked, irritated. “I just saw a bad dream about you. I just wanted to hear if everything was all right. Have you had your lunch? You are eating well, aren’t you?” she questioned as usual.

His throat began to parch, rendering him unable to voice his thought. He reminisced all the times he fell down, scraped his knee and every time it was the ground’s fault. He remembered the times when he used to wake-up in his bed no matter where he had fallen asleep, times when exam was his but she was the one awake, when stupid, childish whims of his became life goal of hers.

She had been bedridden for a month and even now, all she could do was worry about him. But there he was, not giving his mother a second thought, not asking about her health all this time. How ungrateful, how selfish he was, trying to throw away something that never belonged to him. How could he throw his life away for a girl when he was forever indebted to a woman who loved him more than her own life!

“I will be alright Maa, now that I’ve heard your voice,” he replied. “Why? What’s wrong?” she asked, with a tinge of worry clouding her voice. “Just caught cold,” a quick answer. “Ginger, honey and lukewarm water then, remember?” she replied with her usual caring voice.  “Ok, Maa. I’ll call you in a bit after the classes,” he lied.

All his life he was searching for someone who would love him unconditionally. And he was about to give up because he thought he had lost that person. But his Maa was still beside him, no matter what! Even when he is being terrible and selfish, she doesn’t judge him. She never stopped loving him. “Love didn’t fail me, but I was about to fail myself,” he said to himself before he turned around to take a long way back home.

Published: 17-03-2019 08:24

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