Sanika was looking at him intently as if she is concentrating on something very seriously. Her heartbeats were rapid. She was feeling extremely vulnerable. ‘Oh, how much she needs someone to hold her tight and give her strength.‘ She thought closing her eyes as her mind took her back to those years when both of them were romancing. The first time when he proposed her and wanted to kiss her lips… she was excited and was literally shivering yet she allowed Pranay to kiss her lips, and he made her stable and calm. That feeling was so beautiful…
‘Arrrggghhhh… what is she thinking…?‘ She opened her eyes wide and looked at the man who dumped her years back and now came with a bouquet of flowers, hoping her to go back to his arms again. ‘I need strength, oh God… I need strength to counter my own emotions…help me… help me please…‘ She mumbled a quick prayer.
“What are you looking at? Are you lost in thoughts and remembering the glorious days that we had long back?” Pranay asked enthusiastically. Sanika could not respond to him immediately. She lied when she shook her head. She did think about their past – ‘oh yeah, so called glorious past‘. And then her phone beeped. It was a text from Atul.
Pranay was restless as she looked into her phone and started to read the message:
“Sani, I am sorry, I was a bit upset with you a day ago. I screamed at you. But I think it’s okay to have memories and we must live with them but we must ensure that these memories don’t spoil our present and future. I trust you fully and I KNOW you haven’t cheated on me. I just want you to do one thing when you meet him and talk to him today. Yeah, I want you to face him eye to eye. Have a heart to heart talk. That is the only way to overcome your guilt and fear that I could very well feel even when I am here so far away from you. I trust the love between us and I am confident that there is nothing in this world that can keep you away from me. Just go and face him Sani. I wish you the best and trust you can do it without being vulnerable. I will be waiting to hear from you.”
“Bingo!!!” Sanika said in her heart as she immediately felt a calmness encompassing her whole being and she didn’t feel vulnerable anymore in this foolish man’s presence. But when she looked at his over ambitious face she started laughing hysterically. Even the flower bouquet fell down on the floor from her lap as she was in a fits of laughter. Tears came into her eyes laughing. She looked at his surprised and bewildered face which made her laugh all the more…. She felt pity on him and felt she is ready now to face him.
“Ar..are you alright Sani?” Pranay asked feeling little weird.
“Absolutely I am… I was so desperate to meet you for the moment like this Pranay and it’s so fun meeting you finally…” Her surprising statement made Pranay startled though her laugh irked him a bit.
“Now stop that laugh for some time and tell me why you wanted to meet me and who’s text were you reading? Was it a joke that someone sent to you? Are you seriously desperate to meet me… Your Pranoy?” Pranay again weaved flowery dreams in his mind as he asked excitedly.
Sanika calmed herself down and replied firmly “It was a text from Mr. Trihan… Mr. Atul Trihan, the husband of Mrs. Sanika Trihan… not SANI for your kind information… Actually he wished me the best to meet with you Mr. Pranay whatever.“
Pranay was choked hearing those words. He was fancying Sanika was the same old girl, soft as clay on whom he can engrave whatever he wants to… He felt a fear for the first time facing this woman – Mrs. Sanika Trihan. He feebly asked, “What did he wished you so?“
“He wanted me to face the dreamer for good and close the chapter with him forever…” She said taunting him and continued speaking without allowing him to utter even a single word.
“I wanted to to meet you, face to face to overcome my guilt, my fear! Ever since you dumped me, I feared of any relationship. I feared that I will never be loved. This fear was so deep that in spite of meeting a person who loves me and respects me to the core, I feared that someday he will dump me. We got married later on. Fear started taking a back seat and guilt started taking over. I was guilty that in spite of having a husband who is just so perfect, I would still secretly think about you often, in ways like, its Pranay’s birthday, oh, this is Pranay’s favourite colour, Pranay’s favourite dish and what not. After few years, we were blessed with a baby boy. Life was beautiful again. But I would often think about how the things would have been if you had not dumped me. You had made such a deep impact on me. I feared all my life until now that someday, this impact will show up and will spoil my marriage. I was groped by fear and guilt at the same time. To add to the turmoil, I happened to meet you here. Although I ran away from facing you, I was very very disturbed by this meeting. It brought back all the memories I tried forgetting all these years. I couldn’t take this burden for long. And I gathered some courage and planned to face you today! If I am able to walk away from you today, there will be no looking back. I shall be free of guilt of having you on my mind and also from the fear of you spoiling my present relationship. Atul, let me say – My Atul taught me how to stand on my own feet being standing by me all the time and now standing for me even when he is so far away from me… I think you should learn from him the quality of respecting a woman and standing beside her… I pity Tanu who’s husband is a coward and isn’t standing beside her.”
Sanika saw Pranay’s pale face and lowered head. She got up from her chair and walked upto him. She placed her hand on his shoulder and said politely, “Pranay, grow up. You probably never learned anything about Tanu till now. Try to learn about her in a newer way. Though that’s upto you. I have nothing to say about it but I am done with you forever. You won’t be even in my wildest thoughts also now on and I am so happy about it that I could bring a closure to this chapter. Now get up, take this flowers and go away from here.”
Sanika never even allowed Pranay to respond a bit even as she went to the door and opened it for him to leave right then. He didn’t have anything to say. He was looking lost and pale. He got up, gathered the flower and left without uttering a word or looking at Sanika even once.
Sanika closed the door taking a deep breath of relief and jumped on her bed giggling away as she saw Atul’s name flashing on the screen.
“Hey baby, my love… What a timing! Were you watching us?” Sanika joked.
“Yeah, I was actually… couldn’t know about him but could feel your heart stable and connected with me. Could you do it my love? Is he gone?” Atul asked desperately as his heart was racing.
Sanika expressed her joy replying excitedly, “Yeesssssss… I did it and he is gone forever, from here and from everywhere.“
(Co-authored with Aditi)