“How are you, Di?” I asked my elder sister, who was sitting on her bed holding a photo frame.
She looked up – “I’m fine…”
“How long will you stay here like this? Let’s go home.” I said, sitting next to her.
“This is my home now.” She took a deep breath, then asked, “What did you decide?”
“There’s nothing left in this marriage, Di…I’ll file for divorce.” I lowered my eyes, and sighed.
She smiled, then laughed lightly. I looked up – “What happened?”
She closed her eyes, remained silent for a minute or so, then asked, “Do you remember I was in love with someone before marriage?”
“We were madly in love and could die for each other. But our parents didn’t approve of him. They forced me to get married to this man.” She looked down on the picture in her hand. Then continued –
“I didn’t have courage to elope with my boyfriend. So I ended up marrying this man. Every time I looked at him, that incomplete love flashed before my eyes. I hated him, I loathed him. It was not his fault, he didn’t have any knowledge of my past. But I blindly hated him for no reason. He asked me one day – why don’t you like me? I replied angrily – because I hate you, I hate this marriage.
He didn’t stop loving me, you know! He was insanely patient with me. While I turned my face away, he kept staring at me. A couple of months later, one day he said – you’ll miss me one day…you’ll miss my eyes on you. For some unknown reason, that day I didn’t look away. I saw his eyes for the very first time and asked myself – will I ever miss this person?
I didn’t get a reply that day; I got it after a month when his lifeless body was brought home. I realized my love for him only after he was gone…the pain of missing him intensified with every passing day. I cried for months…I wanted to tell him how I felt and then my eyes fell on this photo. I looked at it and imagined looking in his eyes. When I touched it, I pictured holding his hands. I started sharing my feelings with it.
But there’s still something missing. I miss his eyes on me. I miss his stare, his voice, his touch. But it’s too late, isn’t it?”
I placed my hand on hers and kept mum; her empty eyes scared me.
“But it still isn’t too late for you…I’m sure you’ll take the right decision, but just make sure you don’t spend the rest of your life looking at a photograph. You are lucky…you married the man you loved. It’s very easy to hate, to turn your face and to leave. You know what takes real courage!…to love when it seems difficult, to hold hands when you are mad at each other, and to say sorry before it’s too late.”
– Chirasree, a dreamer.