Lost And Found
She could find him while he was instructing people to pack and move his refrigerator. She was watching him from her balcony, from her special corner. He was wearing red polo t-shirt with his all-time favorite checkered 3/4ths. Her tear-blinded eyes could see it all. Washing machine, furniture, clothes everything was safely packed. He was good to go with his family to a new place, to start a new life. Leaving nothing but some rags and her behind.
After all, she was just her fiancé staying just above his house. Why would he take her along or why would he even think of saying a final goodbye? For him, his family consisted of his dad, mom, brother, sister-in-law, niece, maid, but not her. Even though they were together from past 5 years, engaged for past few months and were about to get married in coming December, that doesn’t give him enough reasons to take her along.
5 years! Since college, till they both found good jobs. Both were in love or so she thought. She planned her entire life around him. Work, marriage, kids, house, car, travel, old age and what not. Within these years she became like him. Her thinking, her behavior, her wishes from life everything in her changed into him. People around her kept on saying it’s in her but she knew she owed her achievements to him.
Her simple wishes – calling her once a while with no reason, saying sorry sometimes, trying to win her back even if it was her mistake, a love letter, be little possessive for her when she went out with friends, could not be fulfilled. All other things which she never wanted were well taken care of. She told her heart “Its fine, little compromises in a relation are required, let me make this one.” She knew she deserves better but she believed this is the best she could get. For her, her normal expectations were too much.
After college, they got jobs in the same city .They decided to shift nearby. Life was good. They both had their desired jobs. She was hard working and dependent on him and he was an independent hard working guy. Things were usual. The city was the home town for him and she felt safe with him. She gave her entire time to him and lost all her friends. He made sure he kept his friends along with her.
As normal couples they had fights. But their fights were little special. No matter what happened it was always her fault. If somehow sometimes she felt it was not her fault he used to make sure she realizes it was. After the fight the game was simple. If it’s his mistake he would say sorry once, she has to accept it like a lady and everything would get back to normal. If it’s her mistake then he would accept her sorry after giving a long lecture where she would feel like killing herself and life go normally with her feeling guilty for weeks. If she decides to go out of this decorum then she has to be left alone for how much ever time it takes for her to go back to him to beg for forgiveness. It was plain and transparent.
His parents shifted with him after a while. He wanted to get married to her. With his parents around things changed a little. They could not be themselves. Things had to be disciplined and clean. She realized they were orthodox and rigid but then somebody had to make compromises. Marriage pressure increased because of this paradigm shift. She was suffocating but she could not identify herself without him. After marriage this would be her life.
They got engaged with a small ceremony. Everybody seemed happy except her family and her. “Something is wrong” she thought. After the ceremony she was sad for no reason. She should be happy but she was not. She was hunting for the reason desperately but she couldn’t find one.
It was raining that night when she came back from a trip with her friends. She got a call from her mom. Finally, she found the reason. He insulted her parents. He fought with her mom. For her, her mom was everything. She could not believe what she was hearing. Somebody for whom she compromised to every tiny bit made her mom cry. Ever since they were engaged there was a debate among the families as to who is going to bear the expense of marriage and other ceremonies involved in it. He decided to put an end to this debate. He chose to shout out loud and insult her parents since they were her parents, what worse could happen. That was it. She decided to move on with a hope that he will come back to her to apologize.
But he never did. Since she broke the decorum he was not supposed to come back. She knew it but deep down she was pleading to him. They were staying in the same building one floor apart but he never came. She felt sick, there was no one to feed her but he never came. She lost her job but he never came. Her mom came to take care of her but he never came. She kept a temporary roommate but he never came. She cried her eyes out but he simply decided not to come. And on 27th September 2015, she remembered the date clearly because 26th September was their anniversary, he left her forever.
She wept, howled, screamed and then slept off. She dreamt of him coming back to her. She saw him hugging her and saying sorry. He was there with her. Poof!! He was gone.
It was the first thought that came to her as she woke up the other morning. He was gone. And, soon, this bedroom, the house in whose eastern corner sat the tiny garden outside with its gnarled old red hibiscus and the half-grown mango tree they had planted together. All this would be gone as well. It was the strangest feeling ever. He was gone. It had lost all its emotions. The hibiscus and mango which made her smile once are dead for her. They were all gone.
She lost him. She saw him leaving with his belongings. She went in the apartment where he with his family used to stay. The gates were wide open. The smell of old memories were fresh. That was the place where she had spent some beautiful days. In that dim light bright memories kept gushing. There was that kitchen where she used to make tea for him when his parents were not there. It was the place for all her experimental cuisines. Near to it was a small Pooja room where she used to pray sometimes for their happily ever after love story. Attached to it was his bedroom. She used to come down and wake him up there. There was a hall where she used to hold on to his hand while watching emotional movies. Little ahead was the master bedroom which was later taken by his parents. She wanted that to be their room since it had a small balcony. Sun’s first light used to fall there. Best part of the day was spent there, drinking tea with him and talking infinitely, forgetting about the time. It was all there in the past.
Shutting the door behind her she walked towards her house. She was shattered. What next? The question and memories of the past kept filling her. Tears were flowing uncontrollably. She could still feel his presence. She was still clinging on to the hopes of him coming back to her. She was scared and clueless about things going on with her. It was too much for her to handle.
She made herself a tea as per her daily routine. Her head was aching and eyes were straining. With her tea she sat near the window. She was staring at the hibiscus tree. It was filled
with its red, bright lively flowers. She thought she lost everything but she could feel a new emotion within. A new emotion called courage. A new wave within. She will do it alone with this new emotion. She had dreams to live a happy life and she will do it. It’s ok if some plans didn’t turn out as they were supposed to, she will come up with a “Plan B”. She no more wanted to cry. She wanted to live for herself. She lost him but she finally found herself. What’s lost is lost now she will gain new surprises in life. She will move on. She will strive for the best. A tear rolled down from her left eye. Wiping it she promised herself to celebrate this loss since she just found her brave self.
She smiled gently wondering about the irony of lost and found.