As I lay in bed pondering over my deeds, trying to think what I did wrong and what should really have been done, my cell phones ‘beeps’. Another text message? What on earth is wrong with her? Why is she doing this to herself? Does she really have to ruin her perfect life? Somewhere inside me a voice says that it’s my entire fault, I’m to be blamed for whatever happened. I wish my life wasn’t as complicated as I’ve made it. Life would’ve been much easier if I could’ve stopped myself from answering her question.
She loved asking questions. Every time we talked she would ask me tons of questions. She should’ve taken up crime investigation as her career, I recommended. The criminals would’ve been interrogated to death. We often think that the people we’ve left for good would never bump into us ever again, but I guess the world is smaller and more round than it seems. We do meet those people again; we do see them again, one more time at least.
I thought the same as I boarded the plane. I’ll never see her again now. All the memories end here. It was twelve years ago when I saw her for the first time. Quite a tame creature she was, didn’t talk much, wasn’t one of those ‘glitz and glamour’ girls, soft spoken with eyes so deep you could see the Titanic sinking in her oceanic gaze. She had those ‘girl next door looks’, prettiest thing ever. I had a crush on her since the day I got to know that a crush is not only a verb, but can also be an adjective. I never really had the courage to talk to her. Obviously at that time she never really noticed me much, or maybe not at all even. ‘Naïve lil boy’ must be what she always said whenever looking at me. Wasn’t my fault that I fell in love with a girl four years older than me right? Oh well.
Time flies fast when you’re having fun. This crush that I was in was more of a fun ride in a carnival for me. The fun just didn’t seem to end. But life, being the dog it is, barked once again. My dad quit his job, and we had to move to Karachi. I was shattered, couldn’t believe that I’d be going away from her. Just the thought of it frightened me. But it was bound to happen, and it did. I was going away from her and would never be able to see her again. My first heart ache.
However, God had different plans for me. Karachi, the city of lights. Quite a busy city, busier are the people here. As I came here I got so busy in adjusting to a whole new place, new friends, and new life that I completely forgot her. That’s what people usually do, they move on. They just don’t tend to hold onto stuff. That’s what life is all about, isn’t it? Just letting go? I blended in well with everyone, so well that I was recalled as ‘Casanova, play boy, or better yet, a FLIRT.’
I was quite happy with my life. One night stands, no serious relationships, random hook ups. No such thing as commitment in my dictionary. Everything was just perfect. Life couldn’t have been better than this. Then one night, I signed in to Facebook, and saw there’s a new message in my inbox. Probably, a random message from a friend, I thought. But my eyes couldn’t believe what they saw. Could it really be? After all these years, it was HER. For a moment I relived those days again. Seeing her message in my inbox was somewhat delightful but it wasn’t to be all hysterical about. I replied her back with a casual ‘hey, long time’. We talked through messages for a few days. Turns out she got married a year ago to some rich guy, and was quite happy with her luxurious life, but didn’t have any kids. We talked a lot. It seemed weird at first because we never talked before, but as time passed we got along really well. We could talk about almost anything. As I got to know her more, I realized she wasn’t shy nor quiet. She was in fact very ‘open’. I remember asking her about her physical relations with her husband and I liked how she would explain all those ‘wild night’ theories. I enjoyed every bit while she in her ‘innocence’ told me everything and I pretended like I knew NOTHING at all.
Time passed on, our friendship just kept on growing. We became really good friends. We used to wait for each other to come online, got pissed off when one of us didn’t show up. We started caring for each other and in a strange way were possessive too. I couldn’t see her with anyone else and she had problems with my girlfriends and used to get really jealous when I told her about them.
One night, while we talked, I told her about my new girl friend and how hot she is, kept bragging about her all night while she stayed quiet and listened to everything and replied with a very friendly ‘screw you’ and hung up. ’Huh?’ was it something I said? Maybe she had a rough day or something, I thought. But I couldn’t sleep, kept wondering why she did that. At that point, I felt that all these hook ups shouldn’t be happening. And I don’t know why, but I stopped engaging myself in random relationships. Unlikely for a flirt like me, to take such a step.
I didn’t see her for the next few days; she wouldn’t answer my calls either. I was going nuts, I just had to talk to her, tell her that I’m a changed person now, not the flirt she knew but the same ‘kid’ who loved her dearly. Saturday night, 2:30 am, I was busy watching a movie when she suddenly appeared online and asked ‘…do you want to confess something?’, and like Ted Mosby would say, ‘nothing good happens after 2.30 am’.
Confession? Really? Did she know how to read minds or something? I freaked out. I definitely had a confession to make. I don’t know why but I just had to answer her question, no matter what. Hesitantly, I did, which was the biggest, gravest mistake of my life. Why did I answer? I could’ve just signed out and made up an excuse, like I always do to run away from such situations, but I didn’t. I just didn’t want to run away. I wanted this to happen. I wanted to get this burden off my chest. And I did.
‘I love you. I want to be with you, I’ve always loved you. My love for you has never changed and I know you’re married but I don’t give a damn, I want this to happen. I want ‘US’ to happen.’ Without thinking I blurted out all my feelings to a married woman. I was stupid enough, but turns out she was stupider. She wanted ‘us’ to happen too. She felt the way I did too. She was even willing to leave her husband for me. In a weird way, things seemed right, we thought whatever we were doing was meant to happen. We were happy, the both of us. We could’ve done anything to be together. Not realizing how selfish we were. Not caring about the people we live with, how we would hurt them with our actions.
Things didn’t turn out the way we expected, and they weren’t meant to either. Her husband found out eventually. Whoa! Did I forget that she had a husband?! I was so lost in her that I actually didn’t pay attention to that part. A nice guy, her husband. He loved his wife very much, always kept her happy. He was shattered, he loved her with all his heart, and she took his love for granted. Never realized how crazy he was for her. He couldn’t take it and wanted to give her a divorce but just didn’t have the courage to. I felt like stoning myself to death. I just wanted to make things right again for him. So I decided to call him up, truly I was the last person on earth he’d want to reason with. And I admit, it was all firecrackers for the first 25 minutes. I apologized from the deepest most bottom of my heart and to my surprise he actually did forgive me, saying that it was more of her mistake. She should’ve kept a distance knowing she was married.
After all this drama, he still was ready to give her one more chance. He wanted to prove to her how strong his love was for her. That just made me more miserable. I understood what love was about.
My love was nothing more than a crush magnified. It wasn’t love at all.
How could I come between them? How could I do something so sinful? How could I ruin a perfect marriage? Why did I do that? Was I truly in love? Or was that my ego taking over? If I loved her truly then why wasn’t I ready to support her? I reek of filth. I guess that’s how people are, like dogs. They chase after cars like dogs, not knowing why. I was a mad dog. Sigh. I just pulled myself back. I shouldn’t have interfered. I stopped talking to her, for good.
Like you know, there is always an end to a story, either happy or sad. Our story didn’t have an ending. It required a proper conclusion. There were things left unsaid. Things left undone.
A year later, the burden still lies on my chest; I want to get rid of it. And I lay in bed pondering over my deeds like always. My cell phone beeps again, who could it be at this hour? I check my cell phone.
It’s HER again.
My guilty conscience starts messing with me. Should I reply? Or should I just ignore it? I pick up my cell phone; a voice inside me says ‘don’t do it’ but then again, who listens to a flirt, right?
I look at the person with the devilish smile in the mirror; he isn’t up to any good.