“Just forget it. Please!” She said as she stood up and turned to leave.
I could have stopped her. Maybe I should have held her by the arm and made her sit back and talk. Maybe I could have just said her not to go and she wouldn’t have left. Maybe… I should have given a try.
But I didn’t do anything. I just kept on gazing at her figure moving away, step by step, from our table till she walked out of the cafe. I was in confusion. Totally blank. Out of stimulus. Void of any reactions.
“What did she just say?”
“Did she really leave me?”
“Did she break her promise of never leaving me alone?”
“Did she break up with me?”
Numerous questions burst in my head within seconds. And before I could figure any one out, she was gone. Forever.
‘Forever’ is really a mocking word, ain’t it? We tend to have a certain ‘affection’, so to speak, towards using it in our daily conversations.
“I’ll be with you forever”;
“I’ll love you forever”;
“She’s gone forever”.
Technically, forever is made up of ‘for’ and ‘ever’. But that doesn’t imply that it’ll really be for that ‘ever’. Because, being honest, no one knows how long a certain ‘forever’ is– it can be a year, a month, a millennium, or simply, till the time someone decides to end that ‘forever’ and walk away.
I kept staring down at the coffee mug on the other side of the table as I recalled what had just happened.
“I’m sorry. Just forget it. Please!” Her voice echoed in my mind.
What should I forget? memories that we created under the glittering stars? Or the promises we made to each other while holding ourselves in each other’s arms? Should I forget how you made me feel the first time you said ‘I love you’?
Or the love that you and I felt?
The love that meant more than the world to me– the love that is the essence of my existence?
What do you want me to forget? Do you want me to forget myself as well?” Everything within me asked for an answer. But she was gone and she wasn’t coming back. She ain’t coming back. I don’t think so. Would she?
I felt something stuck in my throat. I felt the need for air. Or did I felt the need for her? I don’t know what it was. I placed a thousand bucks on the table and stormed out of the place determined not to visit it ever again. It’ll remind me of her and how she left and I’d feel the curse all over again. I wouldn’t be able to take it. Ever.
As I stepped out, I saw a bus halt in front of me. I didn’t know where it was heading to but I climbed in and sat down on the first empty seat I saw. I wanted to go to some far away place –away from all the noise and nuisance. I wanted some time by myself.
“Last stop”– I said to the conductor handing him a ten rupee note.
I leaned back on the plastic seat and closed my eyes; trying to relax and keep my mind at ease. Her face popped up in my mind –again and again. No matter how hard I tried not to think of her, I failed every time.
I don’t remember when I dozed off amidst all the thinking. I woke up to the sound of the evening adhaan of the mosque across the traffic signal. The bus had reached a muslim burial ground and was at halt so I stepped down and headed towards the graveyard: “Al Kauthar Burial Ground” the sign board spelt.
The people around me were in a hustle-bustle. Some were rushing back home from work while others were heading towards their prayer call. I noticed a tobacco vendor’s stall near the wide open graveyard gates. I bought a cigarette and a match box from him and stepped inside the colony of the deads. The serenity of the place erased all my troubles within moments. I went a bit inside and sat down at a place where no human could see me; or rather, no ‘alive’ human, I should say. I lit my cigarette and sucked its filter-end. It was the first time I was smoking but I didn’t cough. To my amazement, it soothed me. The warm smoke seemed to embrace my broken pieces from within and cuddle with my soul. I rolled my eyes in pleasure.
Around me, I could see the squirrels climbing up their trees. The birds chirping and chanting among themselves in a language unknown. It all seemed so good that I wondered why people were so afraid of dying, if they could sleep peacefully in such a beautiful place –away from all sorts of drama and worries. I may even pay to get such peace if someone offers. Residing in a peaceful neighborhood, after all, is what every home-seeker craves for. “People are fools”, I smirked to myself.
My cigarette was finished by now and it was almost dark around me. The yellow path lamps of the graveyard were switched on and people were returning from their prayers. My phone vibrated within my pocket. I took it out, still sitting in the same place. It was her text: “I deleted your number. You may do the same as well… And sorry again. Forget me. Goodbye.”
I locked my phone back and sighed softly, glancing at the purple sky above. Then I lowered my head and closed my eyes, trying to calm myself down. I didn’t want to get washed off by my idiotic emotional self.
I stood up, deleted the chat history, blocked her and removed her from my contact list in a snap. I exhaled a huge sigh as I placed my phone back in my jeans and walked out of the burial ground.
I had buried all her memories in the graveyard along with the lover within me. They’re all dead- no more alive to me. RIP.
Yes, I may come across someone again and may get attracted towards her. I may be asked out by someone again. I may even fall head-over-heels for someone. But will I ever come back into a relationship again?
I’m not sure if this ‘No’ will be ‘forever’ or not, but for now I understand that this scar would take a forever to be healed.
And how long would that forever be?
–I don’t know. Two years? Ten years? Or maybe eternity?
Perhaps, only time will tell.