“…excuse me.” I said, instantly turned around and walked out of the office cabin with hurried steps.
I kept walking until I reached the elevator; I jabbed my finger in the down button until the lift finally stopped at my floor. I stepped inside, inhaled deeply and sighed after the lift door closed.
“Why is he here? Why the hell is this person back in my life? I hate him.” I muttered curses as the lift door opened before me. I stepped out and started walking fast towards the exit gate, emitting a wheeze at every breath.
I stopped after I came outside the building and sat down on a bench outside the tea shop opposite my office building. My heart was pounding like crazy. I realized I should not have behaved in that way, especially in front of my boss. His face flashed before my eyes; he had looked up at me and smiled as soon as I had entered the cabin. I hated that smile; that was the same smile I once was ready to die for, it was the same face I once thought I would never take my eyes off. Those were the eyes I dreamed about. The hand he held out to me was the one I thought I would hold all my life.
“May I sit here?” – the voice brought me back into the present and I instantly looked up. It was him. I remained silent.
“I take your silence as a yes.” He said, sitting down beside me.
“Huh!” I smirked and said,” You always did that.”
“You still hate me, don’t you?…it’s been two years Diya…” He said softly.
“You ruined 5 years of my life…I swore to myself that I would never see your face again.” I said gruffly.
“I still wonder if somehow I could save our marriage…” He said, staring blankly at the sky.
“Why are you saying this now?…it doesn’t matter anymore…”
“It does. We both claim to have moved on, but we haven’t. Have we?” He looked at me.
He continued, “that day when I stood across the table from you with a pen in my hand and was asked to sign the divorce paper, for a moment I thought what if I said no. My hands trembled…I looked at your face. You turned your face away. I froze up as I realized it was the end of our relationship. I wanted to ask you if you would like to give it another chance. Then I heard a voice inside my head – set her free…” he sighed and looking away added,” I signed the paper.”
“There was nothing left in that relationship.” I said in a calm voice.
“That’s what we thought and gave up on each other. I failed at becoming the husband you wished for, and you got tired of maintaining the so-called ‘good wife’ image. You buried your dreams, desires and wishes to live up to my expectations, and I shut that voice up in my head every time it tried to tell me that caging a bird doesn’t make it forget to fly. You eventually freed yourself and flew away. I’m happy that you did.”
We both were silent for a while.
“I never told you what I wanted. I feared I’d lose you…and would let you down. I wanted to save our marriage and ended up turning it into a cage made of disappointment, resentment and hate. I still wonder what if I didn’t leave your house that day…would it have saved our marriage?” I asked, not knowing why I did so; I was supposed to hate him for the rest of my life.
“What if we sat together and talked like we are doing now?…probably we could have saved our marriage…” He said, looking into my eyes.
“Maybe…” Our eyes whispered to each other.
We both stood up from the bench and walked away in opposite directions.
– Chirasree, a dreamer.