Resting on a bench after playing badminton for a while, I was looking at him playing with a child. Meanwhile, Archana pulled out the four cups game from her pocket and placed her fingers beneath the four cups before she asked, “Just play along like our school days and choose a colour darling.”
Observing red, blue, green and yellow to be the four options, I noticed his yellow shirt for a moment before answering, “Yellow.”
While I loved how cute they looked together, Archana spelt “Y-E-L-L-O-W” while moving the cups. A moment later, she ended up opening one of the levels before asking, “Pick a number from 3, 4, 7 and 8.”
Honestly, not intending to play any longer, I wanted to ask Archana, “Can we go shopping?”
However before I spoke a word, I felt someone was pulling my kurta. Turning my head, I found the cute girl holding a red rose in her little hands.
Looking at me, she stretched her hand and I took it before enquiring, “Who gave it to you sweetling?”
She just turned to look at the boy and when I looked at him, I realized it was Aadi. A smile appeared on my face and I wanted to go to him but before I started, Archana questioned again, “Oye! Choose a colour. Red, blue, green or yellow?” and I realized we were still on the bench and the boy and girl were playing in the same place as they were a few minutes ago.
With a sense of disappointment, I replied, “Yellow.”
Listening to the response, Archana spelt “Y-E-L-L-O-W” while moving the four cups.
Following that, she asked again, “Choose a number from 3, 4, 7 and 8.”
I replied, “Four” and she spelt “F-O-U-R” while moving the four cups again before mentioning, “The same numbers again.”
Without a moment of thought, I replied, “Four.”
She unfolded the paper and read, “Meeting your... loved one.”
My smile reappeared. I couldn’t help but wonder “Will I be meeting him?”
In reality, that is exactly what I hoped every day. He was sweet, responsible and most of all, he understood me. For me, that meant everything.
Looking at me, Archana stayed silent. She understood I was reliving my memories. When reality sank in, I leaned back on the bench to look at the blue sky; remembering my past.
I didn’t know why but after the first time we felt each other, I asked him, “What if I’m dead, Aadi?”
He was silent for a moment, to my surprise, he replied, “Then, at least, we would have been together until the end.”
I recall his words quite often but it wasn’t me who left but it was him. It all came crashing down just on a random day when I was told that he was hit by a truck while driving his car.
It was two years ago, but I still keep seeing him. Holding my hand, Archana whispered, “I’m sorry, darling.”
No matter the price I’m willing to pay, what happened cannot be undone. I’m always told to move on. They tell me that life must keep going. However, life has little meaning if you don’t have a loved one holding your hand.
I don’t believe in finding another man who could even come close to loving me the way Aadi did. Maybe, I’m paying the price for having found a soulmate way too early in my life.