As he narrated the incident over the phone, his voice choked and not much audible between tears, I felt I should be with him. He turned me down and said he wanted to be alone for some days. On my insistence, he agreed to meet me yesterday. I did not lose my cool; comforted him called up ‘J’ and broke down. It hurt to know what he must have gone through.
They had gone for a picnic, 13 of them. On the way, they stopped for breakfast and started taking pictures. He had just crossed the road to give lime to a friend who was not feeling well. Suddenly from nowhere, an upturned lorry skidded towards them. He saw and reacted on time pulling the girl along with him but as he turned back, found one of his friend death on the spot and another girlfriend under it’s weight. One of her limbs got cut and separated just above the ankle and an eye-ball was smashed. He and another friend held her hand willing her to hold on to life for just a little longer as she lost consciousness. They sat helpless by her side as they rushed from one less-equipped hospital to another and were left helpless even when she died of brain damage.
Perhaps, he was right in shutting me off. As much as I would, he might need courage to meet me again amidst the trauma and the tragedy. There were times, I stared at his bike for minutes just to hide if I saw him come and hence, apprehension enveloped me as I went to meet my much remembered boyfriend with a prefix 'ex' yesterday.
Would I realize how much I have matured over the past year, having gone ahead and allowed myself to fall in and out of love, imagine getting married to someone else and even being happy or be surprised that I could still feel and care for him deeply?
Everything was the same and I was not surprised to feel both. He wore a blue checked shirt to which I had often commented, ”Guys know only one color-blue” and I was in a light green and off-white salwar suit which he had seen meaning it was atleast two years old. Time changes people or people change with time.
I sat next to him and listened with pain about the pictures they had taken minutes before the accident with the two deceased smiling. He looked very handsome, tired, fragile and almost lovable but I could not ease the ostensibly lacking comfort level between us. Even if I wanted to, the tenderness and the innocence that once existed hung in the air, out of place. I tapped his knee and brushed his hair slightly as I bade goodbye.
He smsed as I reached my bus, ”You are still the caring person I always knew. Take care.”
Glad I still care for him. Glad I moved on. Glad I know the importance of today to appreciate what I have and to hold on to it. Glad I realize I should smell my rose before it wilts. Damned if I win, Damned if I lose. People fail, love doesn’t!!!