“I won’t go back home…” Dishant muttered to himself and kept walking down the road. His phone vibrated again; he looked down on his mobile screen.” It’s Dad again.” He locked the mobile screen and hurried his steps. Dishant had no idea where he was heading. He had been walking for the last half an hour. “Shit!Shit!Shit! what have I done?” He muttered curses. He unlocked his mobile and opened the contacts; he kept scrolling down until his eyes fell on a name; Ruhani. Dishant stared at the name for a while; he was about to touch the contact to make a call when his phone started vibrating again. The caller ID showed Mihika’s name. His first thought was to disconnect the call, but he stopped. Mihika was his newly wedded wife. They got married today, just a couple of hours back. “She must be waiting for me in my room…should I answer the call and confess everything to her?” Dishant thought, staring at the phone screen.” What’s her fault anyway?” A voice inside questioned him. The call ended, but Dishant did not move; he stood there in the dark road. He again opened his contacts and scrolled down to Ruhani’s name. He was about to touch the contact when a voice shocked him – “What are you doing here?” Dishant turned towards the direction of the voice; “Ruhani!” He uttered and ran towards her.
“What are you doing here?” He exclaimed.
“I asked you first.” Ruhani replied in a calm voice.
“I don’t know…” Dishant lowered his head. All he wanted was to see her once, but now that she was standing in front of him, he fell short of words.
“You got married today…didn’t you? you should be home right now…with your newly wedded wife.” Ruhani asked; her face showed a strange indifference.
Dishant remained silent; he did not have enough courage to look up and face her.
“What’s her name?” Ruhani continued.
“It doesn’t matter…who she is…what her name is.” Dishant replied in an angry tone.
Ruhani smirked; she asked again,” Whats her name Dishant?”
“Mihika.” He replied, furrowing his brow.
“Mihika Trivedi…wife of Mr. Dishant Trivedi. Wow!” Ruhani sighed.
“Don’t link her name with mine.” Dishant snapped. A moment later, he took Ruhani’s hands and said,” I’m sorry Ruhi. Trust me! I have made a big mistake. I’m ready to leave everything just to be with you. See…I have left home. I was just going to call you before you showed up.” Dishant said.
“It’s too late…Dishant!” Ruhi said, giving him a blank look.
“No Ruhi! listen to me…it is not late yet. Just tell me that you’ll stand by me. I will call Mihika right away and tell her everything about us.” Dishant said, pressing her hand.
“I always stood by you. You left me Dishant. You broke off our seven year old relationship in just ten minutes by saying ‘It’s over’. Do you remember?”
“I do…I was scared Ruhi. Dad told me that he would disown me if I married you. Even Mom was on his side. I told you everything that day Ruhi.” Dishant said in a trembling voice.
“Yeah…and I listened, silently. I was so shocked to hear you say that our relationship was over that I could not say anything else…Those words kept ringing in my ears for days. I thought you would call me again because you loved me. You proved me wrong. You did not call. It’s been two months Dishant. You just vanished from my life. How could you forget me so easily?”
“I never forgot you. I can’t express how tough it was for me to stay away from you. I thought it was the right thing to do as I did not want to lose my parents. Do you know I tried to kill myself?” Dishant took a deep breath, and after a few seconds added,” Please forgive me Ruhi. I can’t live without you. Today when I was sitting in that mandap with Mihika, I realised what a blunder I had made.I ran away after the wedding. I can’t do this, Ruhi.” Dishant was on the verge of breaking down.
“Yet you did this. You did marry her. Why? because my family and I were not up to your standard…because we belong to lower middle class and my father is not rich. It never mattered when you proposed to me, when you spent hours with me, or when you slept with me. Did it?” Ruhi asked with a weird smile on her face.
“Please forgive me Ruhi. You can punish me all my life, but don’t leave me…please.” Dishant buried his face in her hands.
“Hey bro! are you mad?” A guy peeped out his car window and asked in astonishment. Dishant looked at him and composing himself, asked,” Why? what happened?”
“My wife and I have been watching you for the last five minutes…who are you talking to?” He asked with a frown on his face.
Dishant stared at him for a couple of seconds and then turned his face towards Ruhani. She was standing before him with a smile on her face. He furrowed his brow and turning again to that guy said,” Can’t you see? I’m talking to her.” Dishant pointed towards Ruhani.
“You must have gone mad…there’s nobody out there.” The guy laughed lightly and drove off.
Dishant stood there dumbfounded. He looked at Ruhani. She said,” Call on my mobile now.”
Dishant stared at her for a while; he unlocked his mobile and called her number. He put the phone to his ear. “It’s ringing…Did you forget your phone at home?” Dishant asked.
Ruhani smiled; Dishant heard a voice from the other end.” Oh! so you have got the news already!” a male voice asked in a husky tone.
“What news! who are you?” Dishant asked, looking muddled. Ruhani remained silent.
“My daughter killed herself because of you!” Ruhani’s father shouted from the other end.
The phone dropped from Dishant’s ear. Ruhani kept looking at him with a smile on her face. “It is finally over from my side too…I just came to say goodbye.” She turned around.
“Oh! I forgot to say…” Ruhani turned to Dishant again and added,” …that I forgive you…because I don’t feel pain anymore. I hope you too forgive yourself. Goodbye Dishant.” She smiled and started walking. Soon she disappeared into the darkness.
Dishant fell to the road; her words kept ringing in his ears, yet it was nearly impossible for him to process them. – Chirasree, a dreamer