I am 31. A married woman. Standing at a bus stop at midnight, ignoring the murmurs of silence, prickling of darkness, and waiting for happiness.
A year back from now, I was supposed to be standing right here, right at this time. But instead I was seated in a car, adorned with flowers and balloons, passing by this bus stop. I didn’t dare to look out. Because my heart knew he was still waiting. Yet strangely I was at ease with the fact that I betrayed someone. Because it meant I did what everybody else had approved. What society had approved. I’d married the man who belonged to the same stratum my family did.
With my face streaked with tears, I turned to my husband. He had his eyes fixed on something in his hands. It looked like a photograph. I could hardly see his face as the road was dark. But I could tell his hands were shivering. Suddenly asking the driver to stop the car, he ran away into the silence of the night. What he left behind was a picture – that of a girl, her stare drilling straight through my heart and scarring it for life.
He came back a day later. Not as my husband, but as a soul who had lost his mate. The girl he loved had taken her life. My heart skipped a beat. And I ran to the bus stop not knowing why. It was empty. My eyes teared up yet I couldn’t muster the courage to phone him. To ask him if he was fine. To tell him to stay alive…just for me.
Mother convinced me I should go back to my husband. That it was now my duty to fill the void in his heart. It was strange how even she didn’t notice the void in mine. Was it that inconspicuous? Or was even a mother blindfolded by the prejudiced society?
Days passed. Then months. The more I walked next to my husband, the more I felt lonely. His eyes searched a dead soul in the crowd and mine, my lost love. With time I realized we weren’t walking the path of life together. We were two lost souls looking for a bend where our paths would diverge leading to our mates.
And at midnight, I still walk down to that bus stop and wait for him, knowing he would never show up. Happiness would never show up.
Written by Chirasree Bose