Her knuckles were white as she gripped the handles of her two wheeler tight–lost, teary-eyed, not sure where she was driving to, except that she had to get away from…herself? Because he, clearly, wasn’t following her when she walked away without looking back.
Why would he? He hadn’t made any promises…just an ‘I love you’ spoken on the phone from a thousand miles away.
She, on the other hand, had taken another month to speak those words until she meant every syllable and was ready to make a promise, because for her, saying ‘I love you’ meant ‘I can’t live without you and that I want to marry you so that I can be around you for the next seven lives’. Her ‘I love you’ was a promise of eternity. His was a spurt-of-moment statement spoken in the wake of Valentine’s Day–a day she never celebrated before him and had never ever since.
She was going too fast–the road was too crowded for that kind of speed, but in that moment, she didn’t care that she couldn’t see with tears filling her eyes, couldn’t anticipate with her mind crowded with so many thoughts, couldn’t stop if needed because her brakes weren’t meant for that speed.
She wanted to die…
No, he hadn’t slept with her or done any thing to incriminate him, but knowing that she wasn’t anywhere on his list of priorities in life, was painful, heart wrenching. When during their date, she broke the news that her parents were looking for a groom for her, he wasn’t the least concerned. He later told her of his life plans, probably to clarify his stand about her, she could clearly see he wasn’t considering a future with her.
And here she was worrying night and day about losing him…Somewhere between their phone conversations, he had become her life. Somewhere between those conversations, she hadn’t become that for him.
Her stomach had dropped in a bottomless pit and she was going down with it. She couldn’t let him see that though. So, she had quickly ended the date and drove away in silence at an irrational speed.
Blurry-eyed, she saw an open rickshaw. She was ready to die but not to kill. Instantly, breaks screached and two wheeler halted–without skidding. She could hear the drivers from vehicles behind her shouting profanities.
The rickshaw had moved on without noticing her.
She moved to the side of the road and stopped. There, she cried with her face hidden under the helmet. She wasn’t sure how long but she could finally breath and see again. She drove back to her parental home, then, wearing that unwavering smile, pretending that all was well in her world.