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She set aside the book and switched off the stove and sat there reminiscing. The small note with the phone number on it had triggered it all the memories hidden away..…”call me..i am dying to talk to you”the note said. God was it for real! 20 years have passed and now suddenly all the hidden emotions were rushing through her mind making giant waves of pleasure and pain. After so many years would he really be waiting, wanting to talk to her…what would he say…would he finally confess his love..if so what would she do..she was so married!!! She picked up the cordless and called the number. His voice was so real. This was the first time she was talking to him on the telephone. Those days it never existed. So good to hear him. There was just a moment of hesitation and then everything was fine… so much to say and share..to laugh and cry…tears stinging her eyes…blurring them but she was happy too.They planned to meet!! She was standing outside her house, drying her hair waiting and there he came one step at a time hesitating (oh!! He had glasses now!! ) smiling…it was pure joy…they were so thrilled to see each other thou never once had they spoken about their feelings to anyone. It was just there..unspoken, just felt in their hearts.
One could feel it around them at that moment.
He came not so sure, with a box full of sweets, thinking, anxious how she would react..how she would look, but one look and he was tongue tied! SHE WAS BEAUTIFUL AS EVER! the same as the picture so deeply planted in his memory well hidden away so he would not feel the constant pain. If only he had had the guts, she would not have been a stranger, she would have been his, in his arms looking into his eyes, smiling at him, for him, making his life lively, liveable!
She too looked at him, he was the same but had become darker and bulkier. She remembered him as the shy guy with the sweet but haughty smile and the spark in his eyes….his eyes, she searched.
OH!!! where was it??!! She could not find it there and then she understood…and her heart bled. They talked for a long time about everything..there was no hesitation no holding back…the tears just flowed unashamed. So many questions and only one answer…CIRCUMSTANCES!! So mature and painful at the same time..he had not married, she was happily(??) married… They did not want to hurt. After all it was their first ever meeting. So the facade continued. She totally married with kids and he happily unmarried, independent and settled.
Then he was gone,promising to meet again and they could not wait a moment longer.
They met again in an obscure cafe blissfully unaware of the people staring at them, at their choice of place. It was too public yet they felt safe there. The clatter and din only adding to their need for each other and the untold feelings bursting to be in the open. He told her then. Of his journey, his reasons for cutting off, his family, his parents, their divorce and how everything changed overnight and through all this she sat tight lipped tears brimming in her huge round eyes but holding them with great control lest he be embarrassed.
He smiled through it all. He was happy too he said. Now that she was settled and married to the love of her life and was well taken care of. She managed to smile through her tears not wanting to break that illusion. She just held on to his hand and wept silently. “What fools we have been”, she thought!! If only she had known then, she would have done anything to share the pain and his life too.. loved him like no one else – always forever. And then….. OH the pain…it was so real. Now she was clutching her chest unable to move and reaching out to him wanting to tell him she loved him, loved him still..but she cud not , the life had just gone out of her…they would never meet again! Ever again.....