He could see the clouds gathering in. It was time. He didn’t know whether he wanted to smile or cry at the expected irony. Of course it was going to rain. As if there weren’t enough frogs croaking around him these days! And then he sighed. He wished for those rain filled clouds to fill the void that had grown inside him. He hoped they could do the job, because he wasn’t sure what would. After 8 years, he was where he had stood before. He pondered whether he was any different from then... Hmmm! Maybe lesser hair! Finally he managed a broken smile, but he knew this was just the beginning.
He felt the warmth and cool on either of his cheeks together. The drizzle couldn’t have been timed more perfectly. Sometimes it seemed like humans got their flair for dramatics from Providence itself. But that was just the beginning of the torrent. It seemed like the skies weren’t done with him yet. The downpour came suddenly, without restraint and relentless. It seemed like the clouds would empty themselves in one go but he knew better. He could just stand there at the top of his bubble and wish life had given him either a colder heart or cut him some slack. Her words of by Chance or by Choice echoed through him now. And the echoes didn’t seem to end in that void.
He sat in the room alone and yet he couldn’t stop smiling. He dared think that maybe this was something like heaven. He finally knew what it felt like building a family, if anyone could call it that. What he had realized was the fact that people who were meant to be with each other, found each other somehow. And if they were smart enough to hold on come-what-may, that’s what a family was all about. And he finally managed to get himself off the bed with his grin; she would be home any minute and he really didn’t want to stink when she barged in.
Tttttrrrrrrrrrrnnnnnnnnnnnn, the doorbell rang right when he came out of the shower. He couldn’t help grinning opening the door in that state. Her smile when she looked at him slowly grew into a grin itself and she pushed him back, locking the door behind her, while she threw her bag aside.
“I like what you have done with the place”, she said.
“Wait till you see my plans for the weekend!”, his grin had grown the usual devilish twitch.
“Just see?”, seemed like she wanted to play this game for some more time, and he wasn’t in a hurry to end it himself yet.
“Completely depends on how much you want to enjoy my efforts”, he turned around walking towards the wardrobe. Before he had even reached it, he could feel her breath on his nape, and the grin faded into a sigh with his eyes closed. He knew the time for words was over. He turned around again and looked at her looking back into his eyes. It was time to take the leap.
“I am afraid this heaven won’t last forever.”, he managed to finally speak while helping her with dinner. Their small family was going to be home soon.
“It will! Don’t think otherwise. You have me, remember?”, she turned back and kissed him. He never seemed to want to let their embrace break. But she made him confident enough to believe that they will embrace again. And he smiled while she turned back to wind up dinner, knowing very well that she needed him to believe in what she was trying to instil in him.
Soon after dinner, he watched them all sleep right in front of him while snow fell outside. His love for rain was immense, but he had recently realized that the silent fall of the frozen specks of snow made one’s thoughts so much louder. But then all he was thinking was that maybe life wasn’t that unfair. He had found not just one, but three of them. Three beacons- which always beckoned him home. Trying to keep each and every one happy was sometimes taxing but it was all completely worth it, especially when they surprised him back with efforts to keep him happy. He smiled, and knew it wouldn’t be long before one of them woke up.
He went back to his room, drenched to his bones. He laughed at the concept, knowing very well he had been soaked even deeper. Life had become so busy, that everyone that mattered to him seemed so far away. And he wondered whether it was all worth it. True, that he knew why he was there. He had strived to reach here, hard or not, but he had persisted. And now that he was here, he owed to everyone that had stuck by him during his struggle, to make the maximum out of it. He lived everyday thinking the same thing; I have to be better than I was yesterday today. Many days he failed, many he succeeded.
Things were in place, but he knew why they were out of place. The distance that had never bothered him, had now become excruciating. The hope that was there was all gone. As always, he had to make a choice between what he wanted and what he thought was right. It dawned on him how foolishly he should realize to choose in the beginning what seems inevitably right. But the dawning had no effect on his desires and wishes. Some choices are by choice, some are by chance.
He changed into some comfortable clothes and lay down on his bed. It was fresh, cold, and felt empty. He knew he had to get back to work soon. But for now, he wanted to just lie there and let the feelings reach back where they had come from.
He saw her after a month, even though it seemed never ending back then. And as soon as they met, they knew they had been missing each other relentlessly.
“Hey!”, he smiled. She looked at him, smiled and pushed a loose strand of her hair behind her left ear.
“Hey”, that one single word made him want to grab her and steal her away from everything around. But he just let his hand rest on hers over the gear stick that she shifted then. The warmth seem to spread across his body and the blood rush to her cheeks. The hands automatically caressed each against each other while he stared at her and she stole glance at him while driving.
“You should focus on the road”, he jested.
“You should stop distracting me”, she retorted with a twitching smile.
“What did I do?” he couldn’t have looked more glad to be guilty.
“Yeah Right!”, she finally grinned fully. He knew then this drive might be short, but they were going to make every moment of it worthwhile.
He woke up with a start! The reminder on his cellular jolted him to the confines of his room. What was he dreaming? He couldn’t place his finger on it, but he needed to remember it. He knew he was being paranoid, but it seemed like he had to remember it. He tried to go back to sleep, but to no avail. He had lost track of it. Frustrated he sat up and looked out. Night had silently crept around him. But the downpour continued. But through all that, he looked for the moon. And when he couldn’t find it, he wished he had the words to put down his feelings. And then he remembered. There was something in his past that he had borrowed from his recluse into melodies. He rushed to find it again and find it he did. And when he listened to it, he knew why he had remembered it.
Oh wary night! Abate thy hours. Steal me a while from my own company.
Let me Sleep,
For when I Sleep, I dream that you are... here, Your mine
And all my fears are left behind. I float
On air. The nightingale sings gentle lullabies,
So let me close my eyes....
And sleep, a chance to dream, so that I can see
The face I long to touch, to kiss,
But only dreams can bring me this.
So let the moon shine
Softly on the girl I long to see,
And maybe when she dreams,
She’ll dream of me.
Hide beneath the clouds,
Whisper to the evening star,
They tell me that Love is just a dream away
A dream away.... a dream away.
So let the moon shine,
Softly on the girl I long to see,
And maybe when she dreams,
She’ll dream of me.
He stopped after a few times. He felt light in his head. He needed to get out. In the wee hours of the night, he strolled out. It was time to let go. But if he knew it, why did it hurt so much? Why did it feel like there was that void at his core, which will consume him? Why did he feel like the cruellest and yet the most helpless soul to be walking this road?
“What do you want to do now?”, she asked him.
“There isn’t any question of what we want anymore”, he replied. The coldness in his voice was evident to himself, and he wondered about the sadness they hovered over her.
“There is no hope left. And I don’t want you to wait for someone who will never be able to give you what you want and deserve.” He knew the words needed to be said out aloud. Don’t do this. This is killing you, imagine what it would do to her. But he knew this reality would not change. And he didn’t want to stake his and especially her life on what was unfathomable.
He didn’t remember all her sad words, but what both of them went through was engraved in his heart forever. He had heard her tears from afar, and felt them burn his face. Her heaving sighs hurt his chest. And he felt drained. Right now he wanted to fall into a deep endless pit, not to surface until the void was gone.
He looked up, and somewhere behind the clouds, the sun was rising. But this was not a morning he revelled in. For her words he will never forget, “You promised you will always be there, no matter what. You couldn’t keep it. But why did you lose your hope?” He knew she wouldn't understand. Neither would he.
To have hope for my hope!