Diya was reading some book, something that she loves doing on the weekends at a corner at Oxford book store. She smiled turning the pages of her book, when she was onto and for a moment her eyes drifted towards the thriller section of the novels. And just like that, her breath hitched just so fast that maybe should have sounded pretty in some romantic era.
“Ankit,” she whispered her voice low enough not to alert the person she was gazing at. Diya had learned the hard way she won’t be seeing him anymore when he had broken her heart. People say you get over it, she would have said too but every time Diya tried to be happy she remembered him. Every time she tried to fall in love again something reminded her of him.
Though lovers were merely lost, their love was not.
She buried her face behind the book and raised her tresses carefully. Seeing him after so many years reminded Diya of the autumn in her irrevocably ruined heart. She closed her eyes, hoping it was midnight by her bed and she had him right beside her but it was the dream she can no longer strive for.
“Diya…” She heard her name and stood up in her place confined by his smile. She was seventeen again, she was a prisoner to the dangerous addictive drug called “love”, and she had always been since five years. It was about damn time she accepted it.
Each moment after he had left gone slow and she was stuck. Infinite moments had lined up through her life waiting but she was stuck wondering the ‘ifs’ and ‘whys’ of his broken promises and empty clatters in her heart.
“Hey,” she said softly, her eyes resting on his. Right now she could hear his voice and sense his presence. Wasn’t it what she always wanted? But love was chaos itself. Things were never going to fix right.
“How are you?” he asked after a long pause. He had never found a space for anyone between the words and in the margins. She knew that because this wasn’t the first time they had talked within those five years. Their roadmap was restricted to the social networking sites. They had avoided any proceeding conversation to meet, to spare them the awkward poof of air when it happened.
“I am fine. What are you doing here?”
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Diya was supposed to be ready when it happened but honestly it was more forceful than she had imagined. She had long forgiven him because she didn’t want to fight over the two lines of punching him and understanding him at the same time. But caressing him through her eyes after a long five years wasn’t just a simple serendipity.
“Just buying a book. I see you’re reading the usual,” he said politely, then smiled at her. There were certain words that only the heart could hear and understand. And Ankit was the master of this art.
“Once and always.” She shrugged. Diya bit her lips involuntarily to escape the pounding of her heart. Ankit grabbed a seat beside her and his eyes rested on hers. Maybe this wasn’t so bad. But she didn’t want to visit their time.
Their conversation, however vulnerable it may be, went from the last time they had seen each other to recounting the last five years. When they asked for the refill of their coffee, that moment forever changed.
One of them had loved the other perfectly in complete abandonment and one of them watched the other closely. Maybe heart breaks the right way.
The evening seemed unaware of the fate’s advances but it learned more of the crippled hearts meeting by thunder light of love. The feeling of happening that was meant to happen never fitted into their innocent hearts.
“You know…”He was continuing with one of the escapades when his brushed against hers and right that moment she was motionless, every second felt like slowly creeping into reality. They sat there looking at each other saying nothing. She should have been the first one to look away but something about his eyes just felt right; for they might have been parted for years but his eyes brought the heartbeats back to their home without hurt and bitterness.
It took her a long time, a lifetime to speak, to shut off the distant sound of her past. But while they were in it, she had sworn she would stay away from his endearing trait of making her giddy fast and slow with his fervent gaze. This is how it all began and she should stop.
“Umm…so…I should go home.” She spoke slowly in a voice too low to be heard.
“Diya, let me walk you home then,” he said, like the perfect gentleman he is.
Maybe that was the moment they were slowly pulling away from the past into the future. It was wonderfully terrifying sensation.
The power was slowly ceasing out of her grasp, ‘how does she not fall in love with him?’ They walked quietly along the pavement of the road and he broke the silence, “Would you mind if we have some dinner before you go?”
Slowly and uncertainly, a thousand sensations swooped and she was surprised. Would she allow him to make this right without ruining everything? Maybe a dinner won’t do any harm after all they had been friends for two years. She had been keeping score of their interaction, the course of change from strangers after break-up to friends. She looked into his eyes and the emotions that held them filled her whole gigantic world. And she nodded knowing she had been afraid for a long time.
Maybe she could know if there were mornings he woke up and missed her, that some incidents in his life taught him some lessons. She didn’t want his surge of longing but she had hoped he would look at her with the kind of conviction that he had wantonly hurt the good inside her.
They walked side by side no point in hurrying because they didn’t want to stop the hour or the spot. Maybe seeking a chance at love wasn’t dangerous. Few steps ahead his fingers brushed against her skin and neither of them itched to withdraw their hands voluntarily. The fact that moment like this spoke volumes of quiet passion, they knew in their hearts they can be found again.