Her Memories - V (Last Part)

The memories invaded his dreams, just like he had expected. He woke up with a headache. He stepped out of bed and started his day. As usual, the first thing he did was check his mobile for Samruddhi’s message. None. Bad beginning, he thought to himself. He followed through the rest of the procedure like a machine. He made their breakfast. Showered and got ready for office.
He knew it was going to be a long day at work. He missed his bus, was almost ran over by a speeding car. He took a cab to office, was shouted at for being late. Got a heap of work to take care of! And, the headache … it made everything seem twice worse than it was. He shook his head and lifted the first file of the day. He was not sure how he was going to handle the calculations with severe headache. He wanted to go home. He wanted Samruddhi to be home. He wanted to rest his head in her lap and enjoy the head massage she gave him whenever he had headaches. She did not want him to think of her, but that was just not possible. He had tried convincing her. She was very firm about her decision.

Hours dragged by, he went to a medical store during lunch break and grabbed a sandwich on his way back. He ate the sandwich and took the tablet. There was no Samruddhi waiting for him at home to give him a head massage, he had to take care of the headache in his own way before it exploded right on his desk. He was barely able to concentrate in his work even after the headache subsided. He looked at his watch. There were still fifteen minutes for the horrible office day to end. On one hand he did not want to work and on the other hand he did not want to go back home. Go back to an empty house. He cleared his desk and finally got up to leave. His boss had left already. Office hour rules were binding for workers and not the boss, he thought bitterly. He walked straight to the elevator ignoring the looks from his colleagues.

He waited for the bus, let one bus go past him as he stood there, smoking his cigarette. “You are free to kill yourself but please don’t kill me with your smoke” he remembered her words. She was not here, so he was free to smoke. He inhaled on the cigarette and exhaled perfect rings. “How artistic” she used to taunt him often. He continued smoking as he walked away from the bus stop. He walked for half an hour on the main street before taking a right turn towards the smaller road obscured by thick bushes, the road that lead to his hangout. He walked for another fifteen minutes to reach the park. As expected there were a few couples getting cozy, some sitting on the benches and some behind the trees. It was a small park, where couples met to avoid prying eyes. Samruddhi loved this place but she did not like how couples misused it and violated the benefits of privacy. He imagined her face. What her reaction would have been had she been here with him and had seen the couple he was looking at and was trying to not-so-look at them? But, it was late. The girl saw him and she moved away from the guy. He could never figure out (during his lone visits to this place after Samruddhi had left him) why the couples were comfortable doing what they were doing, in the presence of another couple but were uncomfortable in presence of a man. Initially, he thought it was perhaps because they mistook him to be police officer without uniform. He saw yet another couple entering the park. He and the newly arrived couple noticed wild movement in the bushes behind them and before he could understand what was happening, the newly arrived couple almost dived inside the bushes. There was movement around him. A couple or two rushed out of the park and a few sat in decent positions.
After a while, four people came out of the bushes. The newly arrived couple, who, he realized were police officers without uniforms and with them was the couple responsible for the movement. The guy was half dressed and the girl was clearly embarrassed on being caught in an awkward situation.
Come on, all of you … get out!” shouted the male officer. The remaining couples walked out of the park wanting to stay out of trouble.
“Where is your item?” the female officer asked rudely.
Sorry?” Rohan asked, pretending to be confused.
Is there anyone else in here? Anybody needs help?” she shouted.
It took some time for Rohan to realize what she meant.
Excuse me ma’am, I am alone.” He told her, immediately repenting the explanation.
Wait here” she said and scanned the place to see if she could find anyone who needed help. When both the officers were convinced that there was no one in the park, Rohan was asked to leave. The moment he was out of their sight, he heard the officers slapping the couple they had caught in action. He walked out of the park. It was a bad day; he knew it was going to be a bad day right at the moment when it had started. He walked towards the main street. All he wanted to do was spend some time alone in the park but it seemed his luck was having a bad day too. He reached the main street and hailed a cab. He did not want to go back home but he had no option. As the cab started, he rested his head on the backrest and closed his eyes.
He opened his eyes, it was morning. He was alone, sleeping in his bed. The room, the house was silent. No smell of coffee either. He remembered something and looked around. It was not there. The luggage was missing. She had left. He checked his mobile, no message. He looked around the room for a note. She must have left a note for him. He found the note under the pillow.

I am leaving. It is already late. I cannot wait until you wake up neither can I wake you up just to say that I am leaving. I know you are adamant and would not agree with my decision.

The honking of cars brought him out of his dream. He looked around; another five minutes and he would be home. He thought about the dream. It had happened four months ago. She had left him to go to her parent’s house. She had not even given him the chance to say goodbye, to hold her in his arms and try to convince her to change her decision.

The cab halted in front of the gate. He got out after paying the cab driver and instinctively looked up towards his balcony. The balcony door was closed, obviously it was closed. He avoided eye contact with the few people he came across. They too knew it was better to leave him alone. He climbed the stairs despite being tired. When he reached his flat he noticed something was different. The plants kept outside the door had been watered. He had forgotten to water them. As he was about to insert the key in the keyhole, he heard crying. He smiled. He inserted the key and the crying grew louder. Before he could turn the key, the door was opened from the inside.
He looked down at the angel staring at him. The crying had abruptly stopped. His two month old daughter was looking up at him from the arms of her mother.
Oh my God! Just look at you” Samruddhi exclaimed.
What have you done to yourself? You look as if I have been gone for years.
She continued. But he was not listening. He moved to hold the baby and was slapped on the wrist by Samruddhi.
Wash your hands first, we are not going anywhere.
Rohan removed his shoes and walked to the washroom. He returned wiping his hands with the napkin. He smiled looking at them, they smiled back. He held the baby in his hand. He was not holding her for the first time but it felt that way.

Rohan, I was gone only for four months! And we talked almost every day! I did not, could not call you today because as usual I was late to leave.” Samruddhi explained.
Rohan smiled. She shook her head and walked closer to take the baby from his arms. She had fallen asleep in the arms of her father.
She walked towards their room and Rohan followed. Samruddhi kept the baby on the bed and when she was sure the baby was still sleeping she walked towards Rohan who was still smiling.
I love you” she said and they kissed.


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