After five years she saw him again today in a similar rain dipped afternoon that they used to spend their dating days in. Crystal droplets of rain that wash clear all the dust-laden ‘things’ had been doing the same to their emotions and amalgamating their souls it seemed from eternity.
She pondered over as rain beat against the lonely roof with all its noisy ferocity...
Is it destined they come across each other when it rained or when one came upon the other it rained to felicitate the occasion?
But before she could reach the safe banks of any conclusion, the flood of past memories washed her down to the path of no return.
She saw herself back at the milestone as though she was never gone.
Sushant looked just as handsome as he did when they first met...the same chocolaty boyish disarming charm, the ease n sophistication of casual mannerism, pink as though lipstick-kissed puckered lips against his fair cheeks with silken wavy hair flirtishly covering a part of his forehead.
His eyes though a little deeper now, as if laden with grinding thoughts, had somehow lost the innocent mischief that used to perpetually play there.
His five feet eight inches frame could have passed off as just another face in the crowd had God in all his magnanimity, not bestowed on him the gift of gab by which he could convince anyone of the impossible and ended up being surrounded by drooling females.
He still would pass off as a fresher in college she thought and not as a thirty something soon-to-be father.
Ameesha had kept a tab on his life even though their ways had parted...not that she consciously wanted to stalk his existence but when someone somewhere mentioned the name of the renowned businessman Sushant, her ears would stand up a little more than usual.
They say first love is the hardest to get over and Ameesha had convinced herself of the accuracy of this theory.
Despite all the pretence of having moved on, she knew her life hung around him like tiny leaves clinging on to the tendril, in a terrible fear of being driven to the unknown by the wanton wind.
She clung to his memories as though her life depended on them.
It had been a weird kinda feeling when she had heard five years ago that he was getting married and that the girl was an extraordinarily pretty Punjabi kudi. Part of her that loved him n his happiness so dearly from years, had been happy for he was getting what he always wanted-a pretty girl to show off by her arm. Part of her pined n ached in envy that burnt her insides and charred her peace for days.
And after that they had not met...lived in different cities and their paths had never crossed.
But now when she was back home and as though conspiringly he appeared before her eyes like a mystical fantasy materialising irresistibly and within hurried seconds they had decided to meet again.
And she was leaving that evening for the States...
Was it fate that brought him to her just before she was to go away forever?
She had spent many a rain soaked days sitting at the French window of her palatial abode remembering him.
They suited each other like the plug fits the socket for lack of a better allegory!
They hit off the day they were introduced...she was eighteen and the eighteenth girl*in the twenty one years of his eventful life* that he was trying to seduce into being his girlfriend.
He would tell her unabashedly and she would laugh at all the dumb blond-ish kinda lasses who fell for him...until that is she joined their ranks and got super convinced that she was made of the fabric that altered the indulgent hearts!
They were crazy about each other...he would follow her school bus just to catch a glimpse of her...or on a holiday visit her home and ring the bell on the pretext of asking an address. He would call every hour and be restless when he didn’t hear her voice. She filled up his loneliness and he filled up her senses like a mountain in spring time.
Ah! She remembered how he so wanted her to come to his big birthday celebration and she could not...he left his own party and was missing for an hour during which he had parked his car at a lonely corner and was talking to her over the newly introduced mobile phones spending almost forty bucks a minute on the call.
He cried, laughed, thought, felt and lived with and for her.
She smiled at the thought.
Then she sighed at another that why couldn’t she get over him despite five years coming in between them.
Why could she still feel his fingers on her arms and even their gentle press?
How could his smell fill up her senses still?
It was as though his lips never parted from hers and as she rolled her tongue over hers, she thought she tasted him all over again.
They say life ain’t a fairy tale and ‘happily ever after’ she now believed was the dumbest phrase ever coined.
For three years he was wrapped around her fingers and danced upon her whims until a pretty young thing got him to stray.
He was caught with the temptress by a mutual friend in the empty flat that belonged to his father, where Ameesha herself had spent many a love drenched moments of complete abandon with him.
Hearts that were addicted to each other trembled at the rude shaking of the foundation yet continued to beat for they knew no other way except to heave for each other.
Within a year she accepted her parents’ decision and got engaged to their choice.
He called...said she should have told him!
She heard him in silence!
Also heard that he banged his car into an electric pole the next day but she had committed and given her word.
He had his chance n blew it.
She didn’t know then that what she thought was her parting gift of torture to him with a sense of irreparable loss, would become an unbearable ache of life for her.
Her deep sighs would have been audible had battering rain not eaten them up.
Closing the leaves of the book of reminiscences, she got up from the chair.
Ameesha walked across to the other end of the table to the love of her life.
She put her fingers lovingly against the flaccid face of Sushant, the deepest of peaceful sleep spreading across his pallor.
Sushant would never be able to cheat on her again.
Sushant would never be able to bed another woman.
Sushant would never rise again.
He lay there dead before her and she stood there dead before him!
Death is so liberating, na?
Washes away the entire wrath you feel for someone.
Suddenly she felt love again for him after just moments ago of uncontrollable hatred.
She stacked away the poison bottle in her purse and cleaned the coffee mugs.
She looked around his same flat to dig up any traces of her that still remained.
The flat still looked very much the same as it did so many years ago.
Abandoned, not really furnished...away from the civilization and probably used as a den by his father and him to bring unsuspecting vulnerable souls there and crush them for life.
That’s why they never kept any servants or care-takers there.
Probably the wives didn’t even know of the existence of that house of doom.
Would anyone even discover his body?
Funny she thought that she should still think of his interest.
Funny he should ask her to meet him here, where his acts had terminated all relations that existed between them!
Funny he should coldly mock at how childish she was to hold one act of straying against him for life!
Funny how he should selfishly propose they sleep together once before she goes away forever!
Guilt is such an infectious thing!
And lack of it- even more contagious!
He was going to have a baby, she had thought for a split second.
But she could never manage to have one with her husband for she could never dig up any love for him, as Sushant had drained her of any vestiges of the same.
What goes around should come around too, right?
Ameesha hauled up his lifeless body to the French window of that two-storied flat and similar such windows adorned every room of her wedded home as they had always reminded her of him.
This French window would perhaps bring an end to this all!
She heaved him up full length, kissed him one last time and sent his body staggering down on the water blanketing the cemented floor of his weed- adorned backyard.
The boisterous rain gobbled up any thump that could have been immediately discovered and anyways the house was forgotten enough for anyone to realize for a couple of days even if dinosaur eggs breathed to life there.
Good thing she had insisted to take a cab to the flat.
Good thing she had found rat poison in the shelves of the coffee counter of that almost haunted house, before the flame of wrath in her could be simmered.
Good that he had admitted she was just another feather in his cap.
Good thing that all good things come to an end.
Good...bad...evil...divine...love...hate...guilt...isn’t it all relative?
Ameesha rushed outside to the waiting cab to take her to the airport.
It was time to go away...
Isn’t ‘the end’ always a beginning of something else?