Night had fallen. faded darkness, and no hint of anything else. A gentle draft flowed in the otherwise dark room and sent a chill running down my spine. The night had started to get cold.
Harriet B Stowe once said, “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and for deeds left undone.” These were the words that kept going through my mind as I was lying on my bed, gazing at the night sky through the window. It was a beautiful night, the sky was mostly clear with spots of stars twinkling here and there, becoming spotlight in the dark for forsaken souls. It did look like a storm was coming from north, maybe in few hours. Mine was already there.
“What is wrong, Atul?”
“I don’t know, Radhika, maybe you know, uh, you know, just forget I said anything, alright?”
“How long are you planning on keeping whatever is eating you from the inside? You do know, you can tell me anything. Isn’t that the point, dear?” She replied with a dead serious look in her eyes.
“What is the frigging point? No matter what we do, no matter how nice I try to be, everyone ends up believing me to be rude? I’m not a bad person, but yet every single time I’m misunderstood. I’m worried you’ll misunderstand me too,” I simply ended up blurting random ramblings that made no coherent sense.
“How can you say that? There is nothing that you can do that will make me run away or hate you for that matter of fact.” She said while I simply stared at her, stared in the way we do when we stare at an everlasting abyss.
I glanced around the room, my eyes fixing on the abstract canvas which looked just a brown mess under the dim street light peeking through the window, before I muttered up the courage and finally spoke, “These things, Radhika, this larger than life dialogues, these self motivating quotes, these unbelievable standards of love, they all look good in books or movies for that matter of fact. You won’t, not won’t, you can’t make peace if I suddenly end up confessing I do not love you any more, or if I say, you’ve never understood me, these things, um, this concepts, only in books will you find characters forgiving others for that kind of shit. You’ll not forgive me if I end up telling you all the filth that goes in my head?”
“And who says, it’s filth? Why are you always so hard on yourself? Don’t you deserve a chance at happiness. Or are you really that fucked up that you believe you do not deserve any happiness? What is wrong with you Atul? She asked me. Despite the craziness of the situation, I could still hear the edge of calmness in her voice.
“Too much, I guess,” I murmured, as I shook my head.
“You know what, you don’t want to tell me, be my guest. But do not question my integrity to you, there is nothing you can do that will make me hate you. I just love you too much for that.”
“Really, that’s your question, even after so much time, that’s what you want to know?”
“I do not know what I want, Radhika. How much time is too much time?” I asked, giving a voice to a thought that wanted relevance somehow.
“Just go to sleep, Atul. You’re not in a mood to talk, you’re looking for a reason, I don’t know what for, but you, um, you are an idiot, you do know that, right?” A gentle smile did creep on to my lips by that particular comment.
“Seriously, that’s the big climax you were going for?” I replied, still smiling. Deep down I still harbored that conflict but on the surface I did felt better for a while.
“You smiled, didn’t you?”
Emotions can be so fickle, anger, guilt, sadness, happiness, they all just thrashed into each other in the storm that had engulfed my mind.
“A smile doesn’t make everything OK. I’m not going to forget or forgive.”
“Forgive whom? Who are you blaming?”
“Umm, you know Sandhya, right?”
“What about her? Don’t tell me you cheated on me with her, you’re too nice of a person to do that.”
“I didn’t yet I feel this guilt, you know, it’s like no matter what I do, I always end up hurting someone,” I said, in words bereaved of hope, blackness bereaved of light.
“She loves me Radhika, she said she loves me,” I finally gave the voice to the thought that had kept coming back to my mind, over and over again.
“Wh..what did you say, I mean, um, what did you do?”
“What the hell was I supposed to do? Are you out of your mind, what kind of a question is that? What could I have done?”
“Don’t shout on me, Atul. I’m trying to understand,” She said, with a hint of anger in her voice.
“What? There is nothing to understand, she said she loved me, had been for a while, and I simply broke her heart, there wasn’t any way I could have soothed her broken self.”
“But why was it your job to soothe her, no see, I’m not trying to be heartless, or a bitch for that matter of fact. If you didn’t loved her, I don’t know, why would she love you?”
“Why do you love me? Love makes us irrational, Radhika. I don’t know why she loves me. I didn’t had the guts to ask her that. But if you’re asking whether I sympathized with her, then yes I did. No one should feel the rejection when they give their heart to someone. I don’t even know what is the fucking point I’m trying to make? Just talking about love is confusing, how could we then expect to understand why we love anything?” I said, my words weakened by my relentless need to drift into sleep. The minutes just seemed to pass slowly.
“Do you love her?”
There was a long minute of silence after that, the silence that almost kills. I wanted to keep my mouth shut, conflicted and torn, yet I spoke, “An entire day has passed and this burden is becoming just a little too much to carry now, you know. I use to wonder, whenever you prayed, is there really a god? If yes, is he seeing me right now, watching every step, reading every thought I have in my mind? No, don’t think that I have just committed an unspeakable sin and I’m worried of the implications it will have in my life. I’m worried, but not because I just committed my first murder, because I feel like I betrayed my best friend today.”
“She was you best friend? How long have you known her?”
“I do not, I, uh, I do not, but I just can’t stop feeling like there is a part of me that does belongs to her. See, I told you I feel guilty for a reason. Maybe I did cheated on you, after all.”