Love is overrated. This is something which I would not have said but with time and experience made me say it. Seems like it looks rosy in works of art but in reality, a complicated set of emotions surface when the significant other enters. Ursula was moving out of the city she spent for 4 years. She left with a heavy heart and was feeling free at the same time. She walked out of a 2 years relationship. Life seemed perfect with him but somewhere things didn’t seem right. He was from an orthodox family and his love didn’t assure her of her post marriage freedom. Maybe it was boredom or taking things for granted as he was the “husband material” she was advised about and she did not have to struggle to look for the right person which left her purposeless. She wanted to be at peace but at the same time she wanted to fight.
It was a 7 am flight she had to catch. Her yearly vacation started. She lived far from the airport so she had to leave early. She got up at 3 am and spoke to the guards of her hostel that she got the permission to leave. A black car was parked in the neighbouring lane right outside her friend’s flat. A tall and built guy got out of the car and hugged her as soon as they got out of sight of the guard. He helped her with the bags and took inside the house. He offered her a ride till the airport but she insisted she went on her own. They spent time watching the stars. She was touched by the fact that he got up that early for her. 4 am was next to impossible considering the kind of life they had. Night outs were often for the city boys. She was moved by his efforts to get up that early for her. She did not expect him to so. She somehow felt that he might be a keeper.
The following semester was not a smooth one for them. It was the final semester and there were mixed emotions. She wasn’t ready to settle in the first city she lived outside her home town. She bid farewell to him and the city she as she watched the stars from the car windows.
Therapy was something she wanted to go for but she wanted to fight her demons before resorting to help. This was something she always did. She believed that she shouldn’t pray otherwise it is like doubting the creator’s ability and faith in us that we were created well.Why should we pray if the gods loved us? Why would not he make us able? Or is it a reminder to love us and be there ? Her arguments went on. Time did help her in forgetting the details of him and the parts of the city. What seemed trivial when she left was a long process to accept and move on.
There was a film festival in the new location she moved in. Being an art enthusiast she booked the 5 days event passes. There was no one to accompany her but she didn’t mind.
There was long queue. A young man stood in front of her. She carried a shawl to use in case it got cold as the movies were to be screened in the open. The shawl got stuck in the guys jacket. She pulled the shawl to put it inside her bag without realising that it got stuck. The man was holding Pepsi and it spilled on the person who was standing in front of him. It was an embarrassment. She expected a fight but the person standing in front of them scolded and cursed him. All this while he did not mention her. She tried telling it was her but the old man must have assumed they were a couple and he said,”Couples now days! ”
“I am really sorry. Why did not you let me say anything? “she asked.
“It’s alright. You look new here. Assam? Sikkim?” he smiled and asked.
“Burmese and Pahari. But from Manipur”, she said.
“Watching all five days? ” he asked.
“Today and the last day. Not interesting line up the days in between”, she said.
“I will see you lady on 5th day then in case we stand in the same queue”.
She never thought she would see him again. He had the most honest smile she felt. She ran to him in a local grocery store. He was a philosophy student and lived nearby. He was an author too. He was a very calm person. He asked her if she wanted to come for a poetry session the weekend. She agreed.
He turned out to be a baller. There were elderly people in his group of friends. He did not drink or smoke with them but had a lot of Pepsi. He came and sat next to her after the recitals as they were handing out some pamphlets.
“You can speak next time. Anything you want”, he said.
It was the fifth day. He waited for her outside her house. She was glad to see him.
“You smell nice”, he said as he hugged her.
She prepared for that compliment with a Nina Ricci.
Weeks passed. They frequented the parks nearby and heard each other’s poems under the trees and street lamps.
She was not sure if he took her seriously. She had to leave for home and she did not know what was the best thing to say or do. Was he meant for her? She just wanted to know if he cared for her for real.
It was time for her to leave. Taxi was arriving in an hour. 7 am flight she had to board. It was 3:30 am and she was all ready. After 45 minutes she got a call from him.
“Come to the bench under the street lamp in your lane”, he said.
She was elated and forgot all the questions she had for him. She rushed and hugged him. He held her cold hands.
She asked,”What time did you get up? It is so early! ”