It was midnight and Romila still can’t sleep. She has been through a lot recently and is nursing her broken heart. Enjoying warmth of her chamomile tea near her window, she took a sniff again. Maybe it’s going to rain soon. It has been ages since she had felt those raindrops and jumped in puddle. Adults don’t do that. But she wants to rewind where was happy and not broken like today. Shifting from her window she started walking towards patio.
Cool breeze hit her and unknowingly her lips curled upward. She can hear words of her favourite song J.D. Souther’s You’re only lonely. Someone was playing it nearby. When was the last time she last heard this one? She joined humming
“When you need somebody around on the nights that try you
I was there when you were a queen
And I’ll be the last one there beside you
So you can call out my name …”
How she wished she could turn back time, those good old days, long bike rides under starry nights, movie and pizza marathons. Those memories still feel fresh. Had it been like earlier days maybe they would have enjoyed the upcoming rain, did a mushy dance. But those are all unattainable dreams now. Reminiscences were hurting her. Anuj is gone. Her husband, companion and best friend of 5 years is dead. He left her brooding alone.
She turned the key in the lock and opened the door. Lights were dimmed, air smelled of roses and lavender. Rubbing her eyes Romila thought this was illusion. Five minutes ago, she crossed the hall and it was nothing like this. What’s going on? Before she can think anymore, she felt two hands around her waist and someone rested forehead on her shoulder.
‘Sorry, I am late. Happy Anniversary sweetheart.’
The voice, warmth and roughness of palms were screaming it was Anuj. Romila was numb, she clueless. Those hands over waist climbed up and turned her around holding her arms. Her brain was haywire. It was Anuj in flesh. His eyes were holding the same affection, that charming smirk, floppy hair over forehead. She was still frozen. Anuj took her immobile form in a bear hug. Time stood still. Romila was unable to move a finger.
‘It’s me Baby. I’m back. Did you cry a river? Told you no one, no one can separate us.’
She blinked and tears streamed down. She was still not moving but her tears were not stopping now. A sob left her trembling body and many more followed. Soon she trembled down but Anuj caught her. Both sat in same position for hours, one crying her heart out and other whispering sweet nothings.
A drained out Romila could murmur only one word ‘How?’.
‘Don’t stress over that now. We shall that tomorrow.’
One thing that Romila can never deny and that was Anuj’s request. She nodded.
Anuj swiftly moved her to nearby couch and they jogged down memory lane. First meet, first impression, first fight and kiss all were relived again till Romila softly laid her head on couch. She was tired crying, reliving past and with unknown morning. As Anuj tried to move, he was pulled back by sleepy wife. She adjusted herself on her favourite pillow, arms of her husband.
When she woke up next morning, her pillow was missing. Afraid she scanned around. Distinctive smell of aloo-puri was there. She even found a plate on dining table. She checked the bedroom; a fresh lilac cotton kurta and trousers were laid on bed. Office bag was packed with laptop. But the man was no where near sight. No note. No message. He vanished. Again.
This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.