Last is a word of past, last is word replaceable with lost.
In context of life, last time is always a time which is spent but never got passed from present to past. I often wonder that my heart cherish or miss that last time, it feels good or bad about it. My heart never show me its true colors albeit it is drenched with color of love from outside, scientifically proven, and inside as well, romantically proven. The last time, I am talking about is not the last time which will come again but the last time the final one.
Last time I met her and last time I met her, both have different connotations altogether. One is full with hope, joy and no place of negative thoughts that there could a reason exist which will bar us meeting further and other one with dead end like the game is over now.
That last time is still my present. That last time never passed to past from present to get buried in the graveyard of my memories, even I have spent that time a long time ago. I don’t really know that I haven’t moved at all or that time has kept moving along with me, what I know is I still see her face in front of me. I still feel her presence in the air. Her voice still echoes my thoughts. Her name still lives on my each breath and I can still smell her hairs in the wind.
That day too all my senses were busy serving my love for her when I got a call from her to meet in evening.
I reached our usual meeting point well before the time decided. My ears were ready to get lost in melody of her voice as soon as she will ask, “How are you”? Hands ready to hold her hands and feel like the hands of the richest person of this universe. And my soul waiting to flavor her love in few moments. The only sense of mine that was in full consciousness was my sixth sense and that was signaling me that terribly wrong was going to be worst today and perhaps I will never ever be able to be with her in this life as it’s been four long years of struggle and fight now. We had been begging for our lives from her parents since the time we had told them about us.
I was in Lajpat Nagar sitting outside 3C’s on the stairs when I saw her approaching towards me. Clouds had turned to grey at 4 o’clock in evening though there was no hope for rain to come, but signaling for the dawn of summers. Breeze was cool and steady enough to make her hairs flying on her face. She was unsuccessfully trying to set them behind her ears and every time in doing so bangles in her hands were making a sound enough to raise heartbeats, which perhaps was audible to me only. In white suit, grey cloudy background and trees dancing in the waves of air she was proving my words true that girl is a synonym of beauty and nature. The only thing missing was the charisma of cheerfulness, joy and that smile which had always made her forget the whole world whenever she was with me in last five years. That happiness has been long taken away from her face by the cruel fate, karma, situations whatever we may call them.
“Love you” I said when she came right in front of me, with the smile grown on my face seeing her trying to make her smile as well.
“Love you too” she mumbled, with the smile my magical words has been succeeded in bringing up on her face as usual and giving a vain try in holding tears in her eyes.
“Hey sweetheart what happened” I said trying to make things easier for her.
“Nothing, I don’t know anything. We are just meeting for the last time and please don’t ask me why” she said somehow and busted into tears.
“Don’t worry nothing will happen and I won’t ask anything. You just stop crying. Common give me a hug. And don’t cry” I took her in my right arm and caressed her as much as I can keeping my sixth sense in backyard of my mind who emerged as a winner, as the only thing impossible for me at the moment was to see her crying.
“No Arav, nothing will happen now. Everything has been finished.” She groaned wiping off her tears or making way for more to come.
This time I couldn’t stop myself embracing her tight without looking around where every eye was now staring us as she busted into tears instantly like some glacier has melt down and sea has crossed all its boundaries.
“Calm down just calm down. Stop crying dear. It’s ok. I am here for you only” I said faking as a coolest guy of this world and kissed at her forehead. I don’t know from where I took the courage to ignore the public especially at Lajpat in delhi. This made her a bit relaxed. “Look everyone has started staring us” I said holding her face in my hands. She nodded and I wiped off her tears.
I hold her hand and took her along with me towards the parking where I had parked my bike. Some eyes followed us and some started looking for other gossip material.
In a ten minutes ride we were at Café Coffee Day at South Ex., where a lot can happen our coffee, and what was about to happen with me, their marketing managers would have never thought so deciding for the punch line of Café Coffee Day. Not to mention she kept quiet for whole time and I didn’t dare to ask her anything.
At CCD fortunately we found a table empty and that too a corner one where it would be easier for us to depart.
She was not looking at me, but wanted to say something. I knew what it was all about. I wanted her to not to lose hope n keep fighting but kept quiet for few minutes to let her say what she wanted to. Seeing her unsuccessful attempt I tried to make it easy for her to say those words knowing very well that those are the words which will make my nightmare come true.
“What Happened” I asked politely. She kept quiet. “Hey dear! Say whatever you want to say. I am here for you, just for you. Don’t be afraid of anything.” I said trying to make her easy to say those words which she was feeling heavier than the sky above her head at the moment. She surely would have wished that sky must have fallen before her saying those words to me.
“Whatever I am up to say, please don’t ask me the reasons, as I don’t even know what are those reasons which made me to say these words.” She pleaded.
“I won’t ask anything. Just say it. Don’t worry, I love you and will love you always irrespective of anything else.” I replied knowing what it will be going to do with my life.
“I can’t even ask you to understand me as I don’t even understand myself.” She kept imploring.
“Have you ever needed to ask for my understanding? The only person in the whole world who will understand you would be me.” I said holding her hand in between both of my hands trying to make her further calm.
“Arav. I lost my battle. I couldn’t fight more. Nothing can happen now. Nothing is going to change their decision and know I have agreed to them too.” She said. And I was about to lose my conscious with those last six words.
“I have always said, I will be always with you, whatever situations we may come across in life. If this is your decision, I won’t ask a single time why so. I loved you and I will love you always. Don’t worry about me. I will be fine. Just take care of yourself and your family.” I said in a firm voice knowing I have met with a dead end of my survival.
“This is last time I am meeting you” She said this time more firm than me.
“Last time?” I giggled thinking how it is possible, how can impossible happen, our survival will be endangered and in a small corner of my mind, a voice was intentionally left unheard saying this is it and this is the way it will be now forever.
“Yes last time” she replied firmly and I really don’t know when she got to learn to be that stronger as I always found her since I met her five years ago, a kind of person who can never say no to others, who is always so nice from heart and emotional that she get herself hurt at small things and start crying at sudden and every time I need to make her smile in a minute or two because that was the only thing I could never see, tears in her eyes.
“Can’t I even talk to you on phone?” I smiled mischievously.
“No.” she replied with voice rock solid firm.
“Message, Chat, email?” I kept smiling, I don’t know how but perhaps that was the best last thing I could give to her.
She kept silent for few seconds this time before saying, “Please, never ever try to contact me or my family in any way.”
“All right madam, at your service as usual.” I said.
“I am serious Arav.” She raised her voice a bit this time taking a note of my smile and seeing me behaving unexpectedly. But somewhere in a corner of her heart she had expected me to understand her and behave this way only and that is why she was able to gather the courage to come in person and say me those words, else she wouldn’t have even talked to me for last time to say goodbye as it would have needed a strength that she could never have after being in love for five years or five lives.
“I am serious too. Is it necessary to cry or look sad? I know you have your reasons and I respect that. If I wouldn’t understand those reasons, who else would you believe to understand you?” I said in an affirmed voice this time.
She nodded silently as she was ready to go now in her silent exile which she had decided for her for rest of her life.
A silent swallowed up both of us for few minutes. We both wanted to talk but there was nothing left to talk about now. At that time she needed my full support so that she could say those words easily and I had given my level best using all my theatrical skills. But now my need of a shoulder to cry my heart out had started to show, but it would have ended my successful fleet till now of making her easier.
“So would you like to have coffee with me for one last time, please?” I urged with mischievous or crazy smile to keep my need at bay again. And it will make her stay longer too.
I ordered one café latte for her to make her feel light and one café mocha for me to make my sense go out of the thought that what will happen to me without seeking a yes from her.
She kept looking here and there till the order arrived and I kept looking at her face as perhaps this was the last time I could see her and I wished to capture the glimpse of the face of love as much as possible.
I watched a cream colored heart designed beautifully and then shattered slowly to be resolved in the darkness of coffee, in her coffee mug and then flee off my eyes from the sight without trying to know what was going on inside her mind while drinking that coffee and she kept sipping it without knowing what was going on inside my mind.
She spoke after few moments,” what shall I do with your gifts? I can’t keep them along with me in my home.”
“That’s it? Don’t worry, give them back to me. I will keep them along with me till my end.” I replied bravely knowing I am pushing myself further deep into the hell of darkness. How will even I hold those gifts in my hands which I gave her over a period of more than five years, every time with the last bucks left in my pocket or with making all those small saving cutting out my daily expenses and bought over a number of shops after spending moments of lifetime then decorating them with my inhibit artistic capabilities which I could show to her only, along with her sketches I drew thinking about her and many many more others with much more emotions attached to it, much deeper love associated to it and much larger a dream seen for us, along with those letters of confessions I made, after committing some mistakes and written with every word soaked in my tears.
Anyhow it will give me another chance of seeing her again. That was enough to make me smile like I have caught some strands of grass while getting drowned in the sea.
“Okkay I have to leave now.” She said hurriedly finishing off the last sip of coffee and left the place at once.
I put all the money my wallet had on the table and ran after her. “Stop, where are you going? At least let me drop you there for last time” I insisted like a baby.
“I love you so much and will love you always.” She said and tears came out of her eyes. “Your gifts are with Isha. I will ask her to hand over that bag to you.” She said wiping off tears from her eyes smashing my hope to see her once again to smithereens. ”Bye” she said, first time using that word bye instead of c ya and walked away, from there, from my life and took everything of mine along with her, leaving me with my last encounter which I knew will never ever pass to past from present and I kept looking at her walking away as long as I could see her.