DISCLAIMER: This post was inspired by a conversation I overheard while travelling on a bus and has nothing to do whatsoever with me.
He opens his eyes to loneliness. The room is dark except for the faint light which creeps in through the blinds, letting shadows of vehicles passing by adorn the ceiling. He shifts his posture to see the lady he has been sharing his bed with for the past 10 years. He was what society defined a perfect man and if perfection was requisite to be happy, then he would have been happy. It had been 11 years since he realized he wasn’t anywhere close to that happiness, to that peace of living life the way it should be.
He crawls out of the bed slowly without disturbing his wife and moves to the next room. A child snuggled under a blanket with a gentle smile on her lips, makes him melt in ways he had felt only for one woman. A woman he had let go off when he should have held on to.
Every day as he watches his wife read bed time stories to their child, he hates himself a bit more for wanting a different woman in her place. Every night as he slides and runs his hands on his wife, he thinks about the times he had shared with his love, 11 years ago in all those wonderful places they had been together and then makes love to his wife, thinking his wife to be the other woman. He can’t help but loath himself for he knows, the present could have been different, if only…
He has a past that he rewinds in his mind every single day, a past he wishes he could alter. A man in love he once was, in love with a woman who returned her sentiments, bountifully more. He was proud to be the one who loved less for he knew that she would never let go of him. The woman loved him and fulfilled his desires, irrespective of her constrictions and her complex, struggling life. Everything she ever wanted to be was more for him and less for herself, more for being able to keep him forever and less for living her dream. Infact she hardly had any dreams of her own. She was always chasing his dreams for him. But she trusted him too much to know that one day, he will let go of her for what he called, a practical life beyond compromises. He had warned her earlier.
He had always told her that life is not a fairy tale and that one cannot just live with love alone. He was a man of principles. A man who would do anything in the world to protect his image, even if it meant letting her go and moving on. He had few friends and none of them really knew him. She was his best friend too and she was the only one who had known so much about him and still loved him. But that was her. For him, she was a punch bag. Someone he could vent out all his frustration and take out all his ego on. He would harass her in every possible way but she would still hold on. And then when he had to stand up for her, for their love, he gave up on her.
And he let go of her for a woman from a wealthy family, a better woman which his parents had found for him. She was perfect in his eyes and all he had to do next was to fall in love with her. A good house, a devoting wife with a benevolent character and he believed that with time, he will fall in love with her. He left his love for a life on a plate readily served to him. She loved him too much to hold him back.
A faint touch on his now overgrown beard brings him back to where he was. He smiles at their son with his lips while his eyes mirror the pain his heart was going through. Why couldn’t he love the woman she was married to? His life was perfect, then why wasn’t he smiling? Why did he let go of her when all she asked was him to believe in her and in the love they shared?
Sometimes, he drives by her home on his way back from work. He has heard from people that she got married a few years ago to a man who came looking for her. To a man who believed in her abilities and a man who loved her more than she loved him. She became everything she said she will, but she now shared it all with a man who believed in her.If only he had believed in her. If only he had realized that she was the diamond which time could polish. If only he had stood by her side.
He thinks about the milions of times he had argued with her and making her apologise for no fault of hers. Life was now just a pretence and he knew, this time the blame was on him and him alone.