The timing couldn’t have been more perfect than this, I said to myself. If take-offs made Priya jittery then turbulence made her go pale. Pushing her seat back, she closed her eyes.
‘Timing’ had always played the role of an antagonist in our story. Be it today or that evening…
After bottling up my emotions for over a year and half, I decided to take the plunge; even if it was at the cost of our friendship. I called Priya to our favorite cafe. She too seemed excited and wanted to talk to me. I had decided to go with all my heart and say it (thoroughly rehearsed and practiced) this time without thinking too much. Seeing her getting restless, I told her to speak first. “I am in love Avi and would be getting married soon!”, exclaimed Priya.
The world collapsed in front of my eyes. I went numb. “What about us Priya..?” I asked her in a chocked voice. “Sorry, I didn’t get you… what you mean Avi?” “I called you today coz I had to confess that I really love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you”, I said to her.
Displaying no emotions, Priya replied, “But I really love someone else Avi… please try to understand.” In a fit of irritation I asked her, “All these years, you never wanted to get tied down to a relationship; you hated any sort of restrictions; you loved your independence and freedom… I stood with you in your every decision and respected it. I was with you in all the highs and lows of your life. I waited all these years for you to realize my love for you; then why not me…?”
“I didn’t understand love, until I met Vikram. I was firm with my decision of not getting tied down to a relationship even when Vikram proposed me. But his persuasion, convinced me that he is the one and I finally gave in to his proposal”, explained Priya.
“So… I guess you have made your decision… So let’s get going”, I got up to leave. There was awkward silence between us. She followed me out of the cafe. Standing out of the cafe realizing, that this would be the last time I would be getting to see Priya… my Priya; I couldn’t hold back my tears.
I was desolated. She was my strength and my biggest weakness. I wanted to go back in the past and change the present. The inability to do so and to accept the reality killed me from within. Never did I feel the pain and anguish, I felt that day, of accepting the fact that this would be the end of our story.
“Avi, now it’s too late…”, Priya said, not looking into my eyes. Whenever unsure with her decisions, Priya always avoided looking into my eyes while replying. I wished her the best for her future and started walking with teary eyes. The usual path to home appeared alien to me and the distance never ending.
Reaching home I got a notification on my cell. It read ‘One message’ from Priya Negi. Opening it, it read, “Sorry for not understanding your love and for hurting you… We cannot change the past. You are the most important part of my life and you will always be. A best friend I would ever find… Take care.”
Reading that message I saw Priya empathizing for the very first time… when it had all ended.
“Ladies and Gentlemen we would be handing over the customs declaration form shortly. You may fill in the form and keep it ready with you for the immigration”, announced the air hostess.
While filling in the form I saw Priya entering her name as Priya Shashikant Negi instead of Priya Vikram Agarwal…
©Copyright 2016-2017. ameya pejawar. All rights reserved.