Ram stood silently in Meera’s funeral; he didn’t expect this to be happening in front of his eyes. 59 is not an age to die, or maybe it was but his Meera, his best friend Meera was dead. All the random memories flashed on his mind, the times when he and Meera were 5 year old kids playing in their garden, those lovely times when they attended same school, those memorable days when they graduated, the time when he informed her about his then-girl friend, now-wife Pooja; those were brilliant and unforgettable times. Suddenly, he remembered that there was not even a single moment in his life without Meera except his honeymoon and the intimate times with his wife.
Meera was always there – through thick and thin. She had been his support system. They weren’t the ones who thought alike but they definitely were the ones who were highly compatible to each other. He knew every freckle of her skin and she knew every crack of his heart. They understood and explored every blemish in each other’s souls. Suddenly his life looked so void; he thought what Meera said to him when her father expired “When someone we love dies they don’t die alone, a part of us dies along with them”. He didn’t realize this when his parents died but Meera’s death was too much of a loss for him. Pooja gently tapped on his shoulders he turned to see his wife alone with Netra, Meera’s adopted daughter.
One thing Ram neither understood nor questioned Meera about was why she chose to live as a single mother? Meera was the prettiest and the most intelligent girl he ever met, anyone would drool over her, she could have had any guy she wanted by did she chose a single life. This always bothered him. Only once he asked her, “Why didn’t you marry Meera? – You are a princess, go find your Prince Charming!” She jokingly said, “There is no other Prince Charming like you and you are already married.” Netra shoved a handmade card into Ram’s hand and said, “Mom asked to give this to you, she said this just a minute before she died.”
He opened it in privacy of his bedroom that night and it read;
It has been quite a long time I wanted to tell you this. Maybe since we were 5, or since we were 8, or since when I hit my puberty. Or maybe from the time my first date hurt me and you ended up saving me. I really don’t know since when but since a long time I wanted to tell you that whenever my mind imagines of the Prince Charming, it is you and only you.
I have known you for almost all my life but still I wish to know you more, explore you more. I want to live in the spaces between your blood cells. I want to freeze in your brain and fall in love with you every day. My mom said, there will be only one guy in whose eyes we will see the eyes of our unborn children and those are your eyes.
I just wish you see your unborn children in my eyes.
Ram wept, it was strange and quizzical. Men rarely weep but when they do it means a lot. He wondered how he had been so blind to see that Meera loved him. He gazed back at the date it was dated 14 February 1978, the day he proposed to Pooja. The day Meera saw him and Pooja walking hand in hand. She has hidden her love for his happiness. He casually turned the card to see a scribbled handwriting on its back, which read;
“It’s still the same Ram, that’s why I could never marry anyone else” – With Love, Meera, 14 February 2013.
He saw the date it was 15 February 2013. Meera died on the Valentines night and he wondered how she could have hidden this for all these years. How did he never realized Meera loved him too? He loved her a lot similar to the way she stated since KG, since teenage, since god-knows-when, but he was afraid to lose her friendship and he couldn’t take it anymore at one point and he had proposed Pooja – with this thoughts he slept off. Ram woke up next morning with a fresh mood, he had hidden the card from Pooja, and he didn’t want to hurt Pooja because although Pooja wasn’t a best friend she was a great wife. Above all, the truth is Pooja can never understand him like Meera did. His normal life with Pooja continued but somewhere inside the space between his blood cells, somewhere in his bones, in his mind, and in his heart there was Meera’s sillage which engulfed him more than ever for Meera was the “Valentine he had, but never had”.
S(t)ri read somewhere “In life you have 2 options, either cross that line and face the consequences or keep seeing the line for rest of your life”. It is completely up to you to decide which option to pick.
This post was written for weekly writing challenge for valentine’s day prompt.
Love & Cheers,