She stared at Ashok, unblinking. He repeated what he said thinking he did not understand her.
” I am getting married next month.”
Shots of pain in her eyes this time. Ashok flinched. He felt a tight squeeze in his heart.
She finally blinked and a couple of tears slid down her cheeks.
” Why? Is there nothing you can do?” her voice breaking.
Ashok looked down. ” You know how it is. You’ve met them. They would never change their minds. My mother has not been eating for weeks. I have to give in or she might die.”
She stood up slowly from the bed as if in a dream.
Ashok started when she let out scream. Sobbing, she turned to him. ” I hate you! I hate you. You are so weak!” she slapped him repeatedly. Ashok let her. Finding penance in her rage.
” Why did you even let me hope. I built a dream of a life with you. I was willing to live a life less than what I deserved! Damn you! You promised you will not marry anybody if we cannot be together!”
” I tried. You know I tried. I hold it off as long as I could.”
Tears flowing ceaselessly she shouted, ” That is not enough!”
Ashok held her hands tightly close to his chest silencing her. ” I know.”
Both of them sobbed in each other’s arms when their passionate grief subsided.
“It is you I love. You know that.” he whispered raining down kisses on her wet face.
“Your love is useless if you can’t fight for it. Be a man damn it!”
She pushed him away and turned her back on him. He felt the finality of goodbye when she left his arms. Heaviness settled in his heart as he stared at her unforgiving back. Arms around herself. Her body twisted in grief.
Silently he walked out of her apartment closing the door softly. Taking a deep breath he walked on without knowing where he was going unmindful of the rain pouring down on him. Gloom swallowed his being. Dark days. Only dark days ahead. He thought.
A Parallel Life