Saturday, May 28, 2011

Today & Tomorrow

As she put on her makeup, she could hear the sounds of the band playing downstairs. They were just around the corner and she could feel her pulse running and her heart throbbing wildly as the moment came closer. The sounds of hundreds of people walking up and down the house had kept her awake for the last two weeks and the festivities knew no bounds. Loved by everyone, it was the occasion that they had been waiting for, for years. She was getting married to the guy they had selected for her. She deserved the best there was and they made sure she was getting that.

Ironically, the only person who wasn’t sure was her.

She knew this was inevitable, she knew that this was her destiny – yet she dreamt. She dreamt of a world where she could be with him, a world where all the wrongs would be righted, where everything would magically fall into place – just the way they’d always imagined. A parallel universe they had created in their minds, a place to escape, to find refuge in when the intricacies of a permanent existence seemed too complicated for them to handle.

They’d met each other in the most absurd way, stayed together only because they wanted to. Times had been hard, but they had managed to grow with it, in the right way. People often wondered how they managed to do it, even expressed their incredulity at their strong bond, which only seemed to get stronger with each passing day. They never realized how precious their relationship was, until someone pointed it out to them. To them, it seemed like something they had always shared. A part of them, which they knew, had existed long before they even realized that it did.

Time is a cruel mistress they say, and it only showed when they began drifting apart. More so for reasons that were beyond their control, but the events that followed took a toll on everything they had ever believed in. Things could never remain the same, and one of them had to bow down to accommodate, to exist and to let it be easier for the other one. So great was their love that both of them chose to do so, inadvertently sharing the pain and misery.

It was love that helped them grow together and it was the same love that helped them to grow apart.

He wandered out into the world to find his calling, an alternate route to the dreams he was chasing and an exit from the inescapable labyrinth he found himself trapped in. The thought of existing without her was hard, almost life-sucking but he had to go on. And he did. At least that’s what he wanted her to feel.

She found herself sucked inside a vacuum of loneliness and despair. A feeling of helplessness broke her down every now and then. Life, to her, was always with him – be it the simplest act of waking up and hearing his voice to talking to him at the end of the day, all of it seemed so pointless without his existence around her. She would often talk to herself, telling herself all sorts of stories that this was just a bad dream, and it would all be over and things would be back to what they were. But stories are not very convincing when you know deep inside that they are merely stories. She was losing her sanity, and to save herself, she did what she had to do.

Scared and nervous, she was now here, in this moment. She had gathered enough strength to agree to what everyone had to say. She had been bold enough to take the first steps, to start life all over again. She was anxious to start and yet frightened of what tomorrow might bring for her. Walking out to the window, she looked out to see the huge procession, celebrating what was supposedly the best and most important day of her life. She looked around and found herself scanning the crowd for a familiar face. She knew what her eyes wanted to find and her mind kept telling her that she was a fool to even expect that to happen.

As she was escorted downstairs to the hall, she walked slowly – not just because it was a ritual to do so, but because her feet were unsure of what her destination might be. Every moment she wanted to break the shackles of love and fear that kept her from doing what she wanted to do. Every step that she took made her heart leap with the hope of being with him somehow, somewhere.

She knew that today was not the day to harbor such thoughts, but thoughts have a funny way of creeping in when you least want them to. She was disturbed and prayed for a sign. A sign to tell her that what she was about to embark upon was for her own good and that she could love and live again.

She was looking as gorgeous in a traditional assemble as only she could, with the spark in her eyes outshining the ones her pearls provided. Little did the onlooker realize that it was because of the fact that she had stayed up crying all night. Her smile, mostly for the cause of everyone around, was as dazzling as ever. It was impossible to look at her and not look back – Such was her radiance that night.

As she reached the stage where her husband to-be was waiting for her with the wedding ring in his hands, she felt herself losing her senses. It took all of her effort to take those steps, escorted by her family, to get up there and face him. He was smiling, looking at her and thanking his good fortune. One could see that he was besotted by her, and she knew that too. She knew that it wouldn’t be fair to him if she couldn’t love him back, and a part of her even wanted to. She just didn’t know how.

All she wanted as a sign, an idea telling her that it was okay to move on, to love and to live. She gathered all her courage, looked up to him and then looked at the people spread around the hall, who were waiting for the magic moment when they would exchange rings. As her eyes moved across the hall, she stopped at one in the corner. It was the face that had given her countless sleepless nights. It was the face she had adored and worshipped for as long as she could remember. It was the face that made her believe in a better tomorrow, a beautiful world. And today, it was the face that was smiling for her, holding back his tears but at the same time, his eyes giving her the strength to do what was needed to do.

She got the sign that she was looking for. Holding back her emotions, she wore his ring and adorned his fingers with hers. As the hall erupted in joy and celebrations, her eyes fell back to the corner where they had seen that face. This time, there was nothing there. Maybe she’d imagined it, Maybe she didn’t. All she knew was that she was finally able to be at peace with herself.

It was love that helped them grow together and it was the same love that helped them to grow apart.

1 comment:

  1. I find it extremely amazing that you could portray the female protagonist's character so well.
    The last line was amazing, poetic and very comforting too. I know love gives strength to grow together, I have never experienced the second part of the deal so I wouldn't know, but it's wonderful to know it stays on.

    Well written, very. Kudos :)