I had loved and been loved back only once in my life time. And I was stupid enough to let her go. We parted ways on very sour notes, it was very bitter. The world stopped for me, I lost personal, professional,emotional control. It was totally my fault. I stopped all kind of contacts. I severed all ties.
Five years later, I married another girl. She is a beautiful person, pretty decent and easy going person. We hit it off, and our marriage is a happy marriage. We have a two year old daughter.
Last year we went for a movie, I was getting something to eat when I saw her in the mall walking briskly behind a person. I could not believe for a second that it was actually her. She had become so thin, she looked weak, but she was still very pretty (or at least to me). She was wearing a black and white suit and brownish colored dupatta (scarf). I saw her from across the lobby and thought she had also seen me too. But she did not notice me. I became so restless, holding my wife’s hand standing at the counter not knowing what to do next. I quickly bought the sandwich and rushed with my wife in another direction, so that we deliberately encounter my ex. To this day I don’t know why I did that. Half way through, she saw me, our eyes met. I noticed she was wearing ‘sindoor’ (a symbol of a married lady) and then she quietly grabbed the hand of the person walking just in front of her. She noticed my wife holding my hands. For the slightest of moment I felt her lips moved to smile but she could not. I tried to smile but could not move a muscle. My wife also noticed me looking at her and she asked me if I knew her. Involuntarily I said, “Yes, she is a friend”. And immediately waved a “Hi” towards her and her husband. She also feebly replied “Hi” with a put-on half smile. She introduced me as friend. I asked if she lived here, she said no. I could not ask anything more. It was awkward silence for 30-40 seconds, nobody said anything to anyone, all standing there. Then her husband nudged- See you guys. And they walked past. I turned and looked at them leave. I was very cold from inside, nervous. Just kept walking, holding my wife’s hand.
Everything flashed before my eyes, all those memories from 8 years ago came crashing. I remember how silly and cheerful she used to be. Always a smile and glow on her face, so child-like, so kiddish and jolly. She was awfully silent and composed today, she had little bit dark circles also and she looked very weak.
All of a sudden I got reminded of the perfume she used to wear, I took a deep breath and noticed how different my wife’s perfume is. How we used to fight over silly hypothetical situations. I remembered how fragile she used to be, I had to take care of her at every step, she used to be so vulnerable . Today she seemed very strong, independent and indifferent. I remembered on our second love-anniversary we were sitting on her apartment’s roof in night cuddling each other and listening to some song with one earphone. Every little detail was so vividly clear to me. The distant balcony light that glowed yellow all night while we sat there and talked in hush-hush tone.
I could not control my tears, just asked my wife that I need to go to restroom (hiding my tears). I went to restroom and cried like a little kid sitting there on the commode. I did not know why I was crying but it felt so natural I cried a lot. Then wiped my tears, washed my face and looked into mirror .
That day I noticed a strange thing, as i turned to face away from mirror. I instantly looked back to identify who was that person in the mirror. I had definitely seen this man somewhere, where exactly…
Oh yes, I got it, I know who he was … that guy had a weary face, tired look in his eyes. a glance that beamed of apathy, the battle-hardened armor cranking with exhaustion. It was me, from years ago, when I was totally defeated and down.
Once again I was the same old messed up guy, same old stupid person. It all felt very surreal. The feeling can not be described in words. Language is not sufficient enough to express all the feelings in this world.
I quietly came out and we went for the movie. I watched the movie and kept thinking about her throughout. We came back and wife never asked me anything. It has been one year since this incident and I never saw her again.
I just wanted to meet her one last time, at least talk to her, reminisce the old days. Go over our memories once again. I tried to search her on social media, called up one of my old mutual friend. No one knows anything. I do not have courage to pursue this.
But I know for sure, that people, you get love only once in a lifetime. Rest all is acquired taste. Don’t let her/him ever go. You will have a regret of a lifetime. Life is too short.