She was so fragile. I took her in my arms to carry her towards the bed. It was the time for her to sleep. Her cute little eyes were closed. Something is very adorable about her when she closes her eyes and pretends that she is asleep. The crooked naughty smile on her lips carves when she feels my eyes on her. Every single day I fall in love with her all over again. She is so beautiful.
Today, she wanted to dance with me. I told her umpteen times that I would love to dance with her, only I don’t dance. But, she was adamant. Gosh! It’s almost impossible for me to understand and to figure out the day when she’d grow up. All these years with her, I have understood one thing that, tell her a “NO” and she’d deliberately do the same thing. For sure, her descendants were a bunch of monkeys. Yeah, such traits are found in monkeys, my mother told me when I was a kid. Anyway, switching to some other topic I succeeded in distracting her. As usual, she droned on that topic and forgot about this dancing thing. Phew! Man, I tell you her voice is music to my ears. Whenever she speaks it’s like my soul finds peace. Her eyelashes hug each other twice when she speaks something which she shouldn’t, her lips purse a little bit before she stops to catch her breath and her cheeks redden when she gives a naughty smile.
I remember, during college days we were sworn enemies. There was not a single day when we both didn’t fight. It was our convocation day when realization dawned upon us that we share something special and c’mon I needed someone whom I can fight with. I’m sure she needed someone too. We settled on that we make a very good fighting couple and henceforth, it should continue lifelong.
It has been 6 years when she lost her legs during an accident. I regret that day when I chased her down the road just to have that 10 rupee note which she took from my hand. She ran laughing without seeing ahead. Oh! It’s terrible! She saw me coming really fast and her legs, which were alive that time, ran faster than me. I still remember that day; the memory is etched in my mind. Her shrill laughter still echoes in my ears. A blue sedan made her fly up in the air before she fell senseless on the road followed by a motor cycle in velocity that crushed her legs. Blood spilled, people ran and I shrieked in shock, my trembling legs ran towards her. Hastily, with the help of people nearby I loaded her in the same blue sedan and it made its way to the nearby hospital.
The red mocking light above the cold steel doors of ICU were lit up since an hour. I tried to catch a glimpse of my best enemy but these damn steel doors and the doctors gathered around her blocked my vision. Sitting on the bench, I silently prayed for her life. That time, I never knew our destinies are tied together.
She survived the accident but her legs died. There were no movements in her legs and there were none ever.
It’s a queer pain inside me which I am unable to describe. It was just a usual stupid fight during our college days. The 10 rupee which got snatched from my hand wasn’t important to me more than teasing and winning over her. Mindlessly, we ran and…
I went to her house, but her parents shut me out considering me as a culprit behind her daughter’s condition, which I really was. Tears flowed in the darkest hour of the nights. Helplessly, I took her phone number from a friend and tried calling her. As it started ringing, my heart danced on a similar beat, carefully synchronized.
“Hello”, she said.
“Hello”, I said.
“I m sorry but I don’t recognize your voice”.
“Yeah, why will you recognize my voice? You have many guys in line waiting for you. Just call out “next” and you’ll get to know the number” I squeaked.
“Ayush, is that you? Yes you are. I know. Idiot, from where did you get my phone number? And where were you? You vanished from the hospital and never bothered to come and see me? You Dog, I am gonna kill you. Meet me in college”.
“Are you there?”
“Shruti, I called you to apologize. You don’t know how much ashamed I am for your condition. I know sorry isn’t worth it and my sorry is not required. I mean what good will my sorry do? I am sorry.”
“Plethora of sorry had me nauseated. And yes your sorry was not required.”
The call got disconnected and I didn’t have the courage to call her back.
Next morning, I saw her in college sitting in a wheel chair chirping with her girlies. I understand she must be having a long list of things to talk about as she came to college after a month. A great chatter box she was. I saw her, she saw me but we both didn’t speak. We stole glances and pretended that we didn’t care.
During the recess, when I was tired playing this game. I got up and went near her. I tried but couldn’t speak anything. She was in a wheel chair and I stood in front of her. My guilty conscious rose and shamelessly, I ran away from that place. And we didn’t talk after that till the last day of our college.
It was our convocation day, people gathered around and hummed like bees. There were promises being made, some cried, some rejoiced and some were numb like me. There was something inside my heart which was stinging. I found familiar faces everywhere, but not the face for which I was searching for. People were waving at me, calling me to join them but I was lost in her. My eyes were flickering everywhere to find her. Damn it! I needed to talk to her; I needed to at least see her. Rushing from one place to another, at last I saw her. She was sitting in the same wheel chair and the sight stung me again. Thank God, she was isolated from the crowd. I went to her, took her hand and said, “I need my enemy back”.
She reverted back by pulling her hand away from my hold. Perplexed, I asked her the reason. The reason why did she disconnected the call that day and why did she started ignoring me? I wanted to know the answer for the last time. All I wanted was to have her back by hook or crook.
After a minute she said,” You held yourself responsible for my state which I didn’t like and then all your sorry talk. It reminded me of my condition. I know I cannot stand on my feet ever. But should I make my life worse by keep blaming anyone for it or should I commemorate for the good stuffs I have in my life? Ayush, I never blamed you and will never. It’s my destiny and I will accept it until a miracle happens and some freaking scientist or a doctor makes me walk on my feet.
“You are brave Shruti but I was a coward that I couldn’t face you. College is getting over and I m getting jitters to not be able to fight with you. Will you give me right to fight with you ever after?”
She chuckled and asked that am I proposing her and I was like “Yes! Dumbo! Yes!”
We still fight as it was in our agreement though not in written but we abide by the rules. Love is a gift and for me she, herself is a gift. Even if the odds are insurmountable, I will defend her with my life. There can never be a higher calling to me than protecting and caring for her. I wish that she buries me because I cannot live without her. My life will be a burden for me without her presence.