I was alone that day, sitting on the footpath, puffing my last cigarette from the packet I had bought especially for her. I had already exhausted my stock.
I have known her for the past 5 years and in all these years, she never missed a single date. She was always punctual.
We fixed the meeting time by 9:30 pm. The wait continued beyond time. She did not show up even till 11:45 pm. By then, I realised she won’t be coming anymore. I should have left much earlier. But the thin string of hope that she would come now, that she would be here any moment, made me wait. The wait seemed never-ending...
The feeling that ‘she may just come in’ stopped me from making a move home-bound. And as the clock struck 12, I decided to return home. I left, turning back every fifth second to see if she had come.
The memories of the night are still vividly clear. How can I forget that night?
After reaching home, I took a cool shower, poured some of my favourite VODKA and took a cigarette from a fresh packet. I sat down on the floor, thinking, what might have gone wrong with her?
‘What went wrong today? Why did she not show up? She said nothing about her possibility of not coming when we spoke in the morning today!‘ I told myself, gulping the Vodka peg and dialling her number.
“The number you have called is either switched off or is out of the coverage area. Please try again,” the IVRS kept on repeating it over and over again. I called her a hundred times. But...
Leaning my head against the bed, I closed my eyes and… and there she was, right before my eyes, flashing her smile!
I loved everything about her. Her aromatic long hair, her beautiful hazel eyes, the soft skin, the pouty lips, the large busts, the slender waist, her tight thighs, the long nails... I was yearning for her touch. I wanted to hold her tight in my arms. I wanted to kiss her with all passion and listen to her wild moans.
The more I thought about her, the more I yearned for her.
“Wait...wait a minute...am I in love with her?” I remember I had questioned myself as I finished my vodka.
I don’t remember when I slept.
The next day I woke up late to a terrible hangover. I am still an early riser and I wake up at 6 am- irrespective of it being summer or winter.
That day, however, I woke up at around 11 am.
I checked my phone. There were 76 missed calls. 23 of them were from my business partner. The others were from some random numbers, and a few from my mother. I called my mom at around 7:30 in the morning every day.
I checked my missed call list again to see if she had called. No, there was no call.
I called again. The same boring IVRS repeated the same boring message once again. The message box, WhatsApp, everything was empty. She did not even drop a message.
“Am I in love with her?” I asked myself again as I lighted a cigarette.
I asked myself several times, “Why did not you come yesterday? What went wrong?”
The questions went all unanswered. I arranged everything as per her liking. Her favourite food, her favourite drink, her favourite Kishore Kumar’s playlist, and also her favourite aromatic candles and the scented soaps she loved using while taking baths. The soap lay unopened even today...
It has been 12 years today. Even today, the memories of the night are still fresh. I lost the chance to meet you for the last time 12 years ago.
And today, 12 years after when I saw her in this busy mall, I was enraptured! Though she was among a crowd, I recognised her with ease. The same eyes, the same beautiful hair, the same smile. The cigarette-burned pouty lips...everything is just the same.
She was with her daughter. Even her daughter looked like her. Her carbon copy.
She also saw me, I am sure, but she pretended as if she did not notice me. The moment I was about to call out her name, it took her a few seconds to rush out of my sight and vanish into the crowd. I looked around for her madly, but my eyes could not spot her again.
I just wanted to ask why she did not come on the most romantic of all nights 12 years ago? But… I lost her again!
“Yes, I love you. I was not wrong that night when I asked if I was in love with you. Yes, I am in love with you. I want to confess to my love,” I shouted, hoping she will hear it. But my voice got lost in the sound of the loudspeakers of the mall, announcing about various discounts and offers.
I wanted to hold her hands for the last time. I wanted to caress her daughter and tell her that her daughter is as beautiful as she is.
She is pretty like a doll. Her daughter is so very like her. Even though I saw her for some seconds, I could easily notice the similarities between the mother and the daughter. Everything in her was like her mother, except for the eyes. Her eyes resemble the eyes of someone I know... Someone I meet or see often... someone I am quite familiar with... someone….
“Hell, Lord… Hell Lord… this can’t be…”
Partha Prawal (Goswami) is a Guwahati-based journalist who loves to write about entertainment, sports, and social and civic issues among others. He is also a published author.