The moon had risen.
I was standing there looking into her eyes, we were less than a few inches apart yet the distance felt more than a million light years.
We were at the very place where I had proposed to her, yet today it seemed oddly unfamiliar.
She had just told me that we were done and that she wanted a divorce.
I congratulated myself on the success of my plan.
It was our fifteenth anniversary. Things had been going wrong between us for over two years now and I wanted to relieve her of the pain she went through daily, every day she spent with me was a compromise she made with life and with happiness. I couldn’t let her do this any more so I decided to set her free.
She had been trying to tell me this for quite some time now, that she couldn’t take this false marriage any more, but she hadn’t been able to because she cared too much.
She had always been like this; she would crush her own feelings but never someone else’s. She always needed that little push, that little force to make her say what she really felt and which is why I chose this spot on this day.
I cracked the same joke I had cracked on that day, I read the same poem to her, the one that I had read that day, I tried to recreate the same atmosphere of that lovely evening, fifteen years ago, and tried to complete it with love, love that no longer existed. I was certain that the memory of that love which no longer existed would give her the push she needed and she would finally be able to speak her heart out and this is what exactly happened.
As we slowly came closer and closer physically, all the memories of the last two years started flashing in her mind, all the times I beat her or abused her, all the times I came home late, all the times I had failed as a husband, all the times I had forgotten her, ignored her.
She started going through them in her mind and I could see it on her face, the pain she was going through, and as the distance between us decreased, the pain on her face increased until the moment when our lips were almost touching. It was at this moment that she crossed a barrier in her mind yet managing to keep her composure she calmly said, “Honey, I feel it is too late for this now. We both have to accept that there is nothing left.”
I respected her feelings and I promised her that we would do as she wished. I told her I would try my best to make it as less painful as possible for her but as I said these words, I saw a dry smile run across her face. It was at this moment I realised what I had done to her, I had made her immune to pain.
I looked at her under the moonlight; fifteen years ago she could have outshone the moon itself but today her face lacked that redness and shine, it now looked dead as the shadows of the old tree we sat under. She had managed to keep her composure but I couldn’t control it any further and a tear rolled down my eye.
It was getting late and I knew our destinations would be different after the evening, which is why I had asked her to get her car as well.
I saw her get into the car and drive away. It looked beautiful because it looked as if she drove away towards the moon, but there was a huge sadness attached to that moment.
Its moments like these that can change your perception towards everything in life, this is when you start seeing both sides of the coin, the different layers in every picture and everything becomes clear.
I regretted everything I did to her in the last two years; I cannot defend myself or reason it out. I mistreated her and I got what I deserved. I realised very late what I had done, very late indeed.
When I did realise, I wanted it to be over, for her, but I couldn’t do it myself. I wanted her to do it so that I could feel the same pain I subjected her to, the pain of that moment will last me a lifetime and I will live rest of my life bearing that pain, this is the only way I can redeem myself.
One thing became very clear to me in the last few days, love never fades, it just hides, like the moon hides under the clouds, all we have to do is to know that it’s there and wait for it.
If we keep believing that it is there we will eventually see it when the clouds fade but if we lose that faith, we will not make it till that moment.
It happened with me, the realisation that it is there came but it was too late and nothing I did could mend it.
The story ended after the moon had risen.
An engineer with an artist’s soul, Kartik abhors being referred to as Kart’h’ik. A Simpsons’ fan, he calls himself a devotee of Ghalib, Kishore Kumar and Jagjit Singh. You can tweet to him here and find out more about his writings.