Hope (3)

Part One | Part Two

He saw her for the first time in her wedding. She was the wife of his childhood friend.

He could not believe his friend met her, fell in love and proposed her in short span of time. He never believed in love. It was all limited to sex. He was happy with the way he lived his life. For him, getting acquainted with women started with the thoughts of sex and ended in the act. Many women came in his life and went. He had fun, they had fun. None of the girls could give stability to his life. He did not want stability in life. He left his house, his country under the pretext of further studies because that made his parents happy. He studied and his favorite subject was Anatomy and Physiology of female human species. He loved exploring them. His parents worried if he ever decided to stay back in a foreign land forever. His visa was about to expire but his parents feared he would try to get a green card. He had no such intentions. He never knew what he wanted in life. What was it he missed, who he wanted to be with … until he saw her.

Raj was his childhood friend. They grew up together until Raj decided to get serious about life. Being serious was not what Aakash was made up of. Raj completed his education and against the will of his parents decided to join the army. He fell in love with Sudha when he returned home, proposed marriage to her before leaving and he planned getting married to her in his next leave.

Raj wanted his best friend to be present for the wedding. Aakash agreed. She was standing next to Raj, oblivious to Aakash’s presence. She became his life, the moment he saw her. The next moment he knew that his life was over. It seemed as if his love life started and ended in just a few moments. He never believed in love and when he did, it was too late. All these years, his body reacted only in one way. But what he felt for Sudha was totally different. He knew he was in love. Out of the many women he had sex with, one had fallen in love with him and on being rejected had said that a day would come when Aakash’s love would be rejected too. Her words had finally come true. He felt empty.

With much difficulty Aakash managed to have fun and keep his pain hidden though it followed him like a shadow. His love for Sudha deepened with every moment he spent in her presence. He knew that it was a sin to have such thoughts about his childhood friend’s wife but he could not help it. She completed him in a way he could not explain.

Aakash decided to return to his fun-filled life. The next day of the wedding, he left the country. But, his interest in anatomy and physiology was lost forever. All he thought was about her. How her presence would have made a difference to his life. He was a transformed man.

He came back to India within two months. His parents wanted to get him married but Aakash wanted to remain single. When his parents could not convince him, his mother called Raj and requested him to talk to Aakash. Raj, too, tried his best to convince Aakash but that did not help either. Finally, he had asked Sudha to try. Before she could even attempt, Aakash left his house for the second time. If not in a different country, Aakash thought he’d stay in a different town, away from Sudha. Not loving her was impossible but he did not want to be affected by her presence like he was affected now. He respected Raj’s friendship. No one understood him like Raj did. For their friendship’s sake he wanted to get a grip on himself. But, life had different plans. He kept in touch with his mother on the condition that she would never talk about marriage or he would stop calling. One day, as he returned from office, he found a message on the answering machine. His mother wanted him to come back home as soon as possible. The reason was very serious. Raj was declared dead in a war. However, his body was never found. No officer was ready to provide further details. Without wasting any time Aakash flew back home. Life was not fair. He met all the possible officers he could but as his mother had already told him, he got vague answers. In addition to the pain of losing his best friend he dreaded meeting Sudha. He was not sure how he was going to face her. The responsibility to tell her the confirmed news of Raj’s death was heavy on his shoulders. He was not ready to meet her, forget giving her the news. Then, there was the guilt killing from within, that it was because of his corrupt thoughts about Sudha, that she, the person who came in his life like a breath of fresh air had lost all the happiness from her life. He almost started to believe that he was responsible for the untimely death of her husband, his friend.

Part Four