Written: c. December 2015.
Thursday. February 5, 2015.
It was still dawn when I stepped out of the cab and walked towards the entry gate of the Delhi airport. The early morning February air was pleasantly cold.
I was travelling to Bengaluru to attend a college friend’s wedding. It had been four years since we graduated from the same college. This wedding was also going to be a reunion of our batchmates. But what I didn’t know was that the reunion would begin much ahead of time; right in the queue in front of the airline counter.
I was almost sure it was she. Same height! Same long hair! Same complexion! Curiosity had my eyes glued to her. And then about 60-odd seconds later, when she turned, she proved me right. My ex-girlfriend stood two places ahead of me in that queue. We had never met after the college farewell.
After a rather harsh break up, we could never even look each other in the eye. She, Sara, dumped me after saying that I did not give her enough independence, but was it wrong to ask her to spend some time with me? I was frustrated by all the accusations which ranged from independence to using her. It seemed as if she was tired of me.
“You will not understand, Varun. You were never able to understand me.” Her voice still rang in my ears as if it was only yesterday. It was then that I realised that I had been staring at her for a good three minutes and as the seconds went by I saw the pain in her eyes resurface while she looked at me.
She huffed and walked off to board the plane. Some habits really didn’t change. I was sure she was coming to Bengaluru too, but I prayed to God that we didn’t end up sitting next to one another. This wasn’t a movie, so luckily we sat far away from each other.
I was sitting three rows right behind her, and could see her put her bag up in the loft and yet again we made an eye contact. These awkward moments were killing me, I really wanted to go and talk to her. I wanted to ask her, if needed plead to her to get back; but my ego always comes in the way. As we take off I fall asleep oblivious to the stories of passengers, rather a single passenger, on board with me.
We reached Bengaluru and I lost track of my ex lady love. Going out of the Kempegowda International airport, all my thoughts about Sara were gone. I was enthralled by the beauty of the city in front of me. It was heart-warming to look at all the scenes as I sat in the famous Bengaluru air condition buses.
I was trying to look the screen in front of me to see where we had reached, when the lady conductor came up my seat and said, “Seat taken ide?”
“Nahi,” I answered back. It was hilarious to talk in such a weird way but I probably had to do these for a couple more days.
She then, motioned for a lady to come ahead. I was shocked and cursed my luck when I saw that the lady was Sara. We looked at each other and had yet another awkward moment. Did I mention about how I hated these awkward looks? Before I could say anything to the lady conductor, she had moved on. Sara put on a forced smile and took the seat next to me with an overly comfortable distance between us.
I smiled back and continued staring off. I was trying to avoid Sara as much as possible. I knew it would get awkward if we had to speak after what had happened. I wouldn’t know what to say, in the first place. I mean, come on, who knows what the protocol is to talk to your ex-girlfriend who you want to reconcile with? I did want to reconcile, because I still loved her, but it would be very random and disrespectful of me if I just asked her out without maintaining any contact with her after college. Plus what are the chance that she still would want to get back? I could ask her if she dated anyone after me—
“I am sorry for taking this seat, the only other available one was uncomfortable,” she said. I respected her for starting the conversation. Here I was contemplating my feelings, where as she had no such issues.
“It is alight,” I said with a curt nod. “How have you been? Long time since we last spoke, huh?” I said and let out a small laugh. To say it was weird talking to her again, would be an understatement.
“Good,” she said answering me in a single word indicating that the conversation was over.
I thought she wanted to talk to me, know me and my life; clearly I was proved wrong. She took out her headphones and dozed off listening to music. Taylor Swift to be specific, I realised as I poked my head and saw the display screen.
It was eight in the morning and being office hours, the traffic was extremely heavy. Slowly sleep crept on me too. I was dreaming of a beautiful lady coming towards me. She had a beautiful white long dress, and her hair was extremely long in waves. She had something behind her back. I was curious to see what it was. She had a contagious smile on her face and I could feel it come up on my lips too. She took out the object from behind her back, and her face suddenly showed different emotions. She had an evil smile, cruel even; and the next thing I know, she stabbed me with a knife. I woke up with a start and felt something heavy on my shoulder. I saw Sara leaning on my shoulder and sleeping. The image was overwhelming and a wave of nostalgia hit me.
Soon we reached our stop and she woke up. She gave me glare and huffed away. Wait, she gave me a glare? I should give her one. She was leaning on me and sleeping. Not the other way round. God! Why are girls so difficult?
We got off the bus and were right in front of the hotel we were supposed to live in for the wedding. It seemed to be a five star hotel, by the looks of it. Being the independent woman that she was, Sara walked ahead of me, and already checked in to her room. I did the same, and walked up to my room.
“Varun man! How have you been? How is Delhi treating you?” I heard Jay, the groom say as I reached the lobby. I soon met up with all my batchmates, and the day further went off in a haze.
Friday. February 8, 2015.
Sangeet. My most favourite part of the weddings. The bride’s side was apparently ready with all their dances and sons; and so we had to be ready too. Being the natural singer I am, note the sarcasm, I was declined to sing. So I took it upon myself now to at least dance on this day. If not anything, it would make sure that Sara had seen me. No one can possibly ignore a dancer on the stage now, could they?
Morning passed, and so did the afternoon, and we all did vigorous practice throughout the day. Presently at seven o’clock in the evening we finally had the stage to ourselves and were ready to start the performance. Before the song began, I was looking for that one face that would soothe me and calm my nerves.
Dressed in a blue and gold saree was Sara, looking absolutely stunning. She looked like one of those women on posters advertising brands. I could not take my eyes off her. The animate manner in which she spoke, the way her lips moved, the way her eyes became bright, all captured my heart. I was falling in love with her all over again and I could not deny it. I must have stared for very long, because her friend nudged her, and me and Sara locked eyes.
I felt her checking me out, and my chest swelled up when she was trying to control her blush. In a blue sherwani myself, I wasn’t looking that bad. After all I had impressed the person I was dressed for. When I looked up to look at Sara again, her bitch face was back. She gave me a cold hard glare and I looked away due to its intensity.
The dance got over and I wanted to find the lady in blue who had my heart, but I found her nowhere. Gradually all dances and songs got over and we were asked to go to the stilt area for dinner. I walked around for as long as possible, but found no signs of Sara. I found her friend instead and asked her about Sara’s whereabouts.
“You think she would have stayed looking at you dance and then stare at her so shamelessly? Man, you literally checked her out in public. She left after that little staring competition of yours,” said her friend. I was now annoyed with this Sara lady in my life. I had to do something with her.
Saturday. February 7, 2015.
Two days with my ex and I realised one thing. I was tired of all the awkward glances and cold looks being exchanged between me and Sara now. I had to pluck up my courage and go speak to her. I had to ask her numerous questions. Today was the day I would finally get answers to all those past events. This, I realised, was the make or break the deal moment for me. I barged into Sara’s room and saw her pulling her clothes out of the bag.
“We need to talk, Sara,” I said using the cliché line.
“I have nothing to say to you Varun.”
Oh please. Of course she did have things to tell me. Why was she so secretive? Why the hell couldn’t she open up? I was frustrated now. I tried doing it in a polite manner, but do manners really work on this creation of God’s?
“You may leave now,” she said without even as much as glance at me.
“What happened to us, Sara? Why did you cut ties with me? What happened after that vacation?” I asked her stubbornly. I could not contain the anger built up within me anymore. I had to confront her.
“You want to know why I cut ties with you? Really? Now?” she yelled, sounding annoyed.
“Better now than never! Tell me. I can’t live with guilt all my life now, can I?” I yelled straight back.
“You aren’t the one who should be guilty Varun. You honestly shouldn’t,” she said with tears threatening to fall.
“What is the deal here, Sara? You keep mumbling these things, and then don’t explain anything to me! I can’t put up with this bullshit!”
“This is not bullshit Varun. You really want to know? Fine. Hear it. I was raped,” she said, leaving me frozen to the spot. She never told me anything about any assault, hell she didn’t even show if something was wrong with her.
“During the vacation before last year of college, I went to my native place and I was raped, Varun. I don’t know who he was, but I am sure I was related to him. I couldn’t tell this to anyone because I was ashamed of what had happened. I was scared what people might think of me. I was forced to carry on with my life as if nothing ever happened. I had no one to confide in. I was stuck with that horrific incident, I couldn’t move on. Hell, I still get nightmares about it. I wasn’t sure about what you would say. I wasn’t sure if I could tell you this. I did not want to spoil your life Varun. I did not want a relationship built on lies. I wanted you to fight with me and decide to call it off, but you didn’t. I had to accuse you of things you never did, Varun. And I am sorry for that, you are the best thing that has happened to me.”
The tears shielded her eyes from my view, but they weren’t only her tears. I too had the salty liquid falling from my eyes. She left me speechless. I couldn’t help her at her weakest point. She had to suffer in silence and was guilty of the fact that she was raped, but why was she guilty?
“You have nothing to be guilty Sara. It wasn’t your fault. Saying that rape is the victim’s fault is life accusing the public in Taj for the terrorist attacks!” A sad smile made its way to her lips and encouraged me to continue. “I can’t believe that you never told me all of this before. How did you ever think that my life would be better without you? I could not function for four months after the break up. Only I know now how much it took me to build myself up, Sara. You taught me to build myself up, love. In fact you made me believe that I could be my own strenght, but that does not mean I can live without you Sara.”
“It’s easy for you to say, Varun, but would you still marry me after this revelation? Would you still be able to love me the same? Would you be able to live with the fact that your girlfriend was raped?” She challenged me.
“Yes, Sara. I can live with the fact that my wife was raped.” I said with a smile and was rewarded with a smile back.
With our eyes locked, she moved ahead and hugged me, tight. I knew I had earned her back and also proposed to her. After all she was my Sara. Whether raped or not. Whether a virgin or not. She was my strong, independent Sara and I loved her no matter what.
I wrote this ages ago and it kinda makes me cringe, but I felt the need to put this up to see how far I’ve come. There must be multiple errors, but I hope you over look them. Hope you like it nevertheless.
For my longer works, please visit Wattpad. My user is “s_huddar”.
Thank you! Hope you have a good day! 🙂