“Why don’t you talk to me?” I remained silent when she asked.
“Why are you doing this to me?” I didn’t want to answer for this one either.
“Are you mad at me?” She was relentless with her questions.
“Nope” I answered just to make her shut up.
“Your one word replies make me think my presence here annoys you”.
“Take the cue” I wanted to show my displeasure talking to her.
“I’m trying to talk to you”.
“Do you think I’m a horrible person?”
“Don’t you already know?” I said and thought “Damn she is good in getting words out of me.”
“I don’t think I’m.”
“I want to remember you always as this funny. “ I said and chuckled.
She deeply looked into my eyes. No sound traveled in the space between us for next couple of minutes. It seemed like there was a vacuum and all her questions were absorbed by it. I didn’t want to talk to her either. I just stared at the lights hanging above me.
“Say something” she tried to dissipate the awkwardness.
“I don’t have anything to say. I am still here because I respect people for their feelings.”
“Yeah, that’s because you are still angry with me.”
“It doesn’t have anything to do with my anger. I try to not think of any of the cruel things you did to me. So leave me alone, will you please.”
“Nothing I did was cruel and I just want to remain friends with you”, her rebuttal was quick.
“If you think you have the right to break my heart and spoil all the plans we had for our life, I don’t know what kind of twisted things you presume as cruel.” I finally said what I dreaded not to tell her. It gave me a kind of satisfaction which I couldn’t exactly comprehend. I remembered I had felt same thing couple of years ago; I had ridden around 300 miles for a wedding. I left immediately after the reception. When I finally sat on the couch back at my home, the cold air from AC and the quilt embrace gave a soothing pleasure. That day my body felt relaxed and now my heart after saying what I really felt.
She started to sob and mumbled “You are still selfish and think just about you. Dont cha think whether I was happy in the relationship”.
If it had been couple of weeks back, I would have jumped near her the instant she cries – I don’t like anyone crying and particularly didn’t like when she cried – but today wasn’t the same. I looked indifferent to her crying voice. I guess someone whom I loved and cared deeply blaming me for the breakup made me furious. “What kind of fucked up shit are you making up. We were the happiest couple I knew.”
I continued after a long pause “Don’t try to talk to me again. I don’t want to be reminded of you. It might ruin my future by thinking of ways how my life would have been perfect with you”. I felt this might be the final words I would talk to her in a long time. It settled heavily on me. At the same moment, I started to ponder on the things she said, was I the real reason for the breakup? Was I really selfish? Was I the only one happy? Did I treat her bad? Could I have done anything different? All the things I have spoken to her, all the things we have done together, all the things we had planned together, all the little things unique to her, everything, I remembered everything suddenly.
All the questions were still racing on my mind even after 3 months. I realized I should stop having imaginary conversations in my mind. All these banter made sure I stayed sad. I looked up and saw me in the mirror. This was the first time I physically looked at me in months. I had stopped to care about my appearance. I had stopped to care about my health. I had stopped to care what people around might think about me. I had stopped to care to make someone happy. I had stopped to care whether I was happy. I had stopped to care for any of the thing that needs to be cared. With a long beard and untamed hair, with a weak body and unstable mind, I saw me in the mirror. I decided it was the time for change.
Something deep in me pushed me to think that I was the reason, though I didn’t accept. I knew I cannot know answer for any of these without having a meaningful conversation with her. I decided to call and ask her out for a coffee. This would also give me a chance to tell what I really felt about what she did. She picked the call as if she was waiting for the phone to ring. There was a sudden rush of blood to my heart when I heard her voice after months. I was silent for couple of minutes to allow my heart to beat normal again. I think she too was flabbergasted as she was quite. I tried to bring the right words out of my mouth. It surprised me that she accepted to see the same evening without much hesitation.
Five hours later, I was in the coffee shop where she had asked me to come. She was late as usual; she hasn’t changed a bit. I got a double shot of espresso and sat on the table that faced the road. The aroma of coffee was strong and I carefully placed the small coffee cup on my lips. I don’t know whether the palpitation was due to the hot coffee going though my food pipe tongue or the sight of her entering the shop. I didn’t feel waving my hands to show my presence. It was like a déjà vu and I knew exactly what I had to tell her.
She briefly stopped to look for me. She spotted me with the coffee in my hand and walked straight towards me without getting a drink for her. She looked like someone who knew what was going to happen. I looked at her sharp cheek bones which highlighted her pleasant smile. She reminded me why I had fallen in love. She didn’t sit, stood facing me and spoke immediately.
“That’s a nice beard” she paused for a moment before continuing “The past is past. I don’t want that to be a part of anything in my future. You really meant something to me and I didn’t want to lose you, but I wasn’t happy with you and would have made us miserable in the long run. I did what I should have done long back. I came here to apologize as I didn’t intend to hurt you anytime. I am sorry. Hope you can forgive me sometime in future at least”.
It looked like she had a prepared a speech. She isn’t a good orator, but damn that was an excellent speech. She summed up all the things I wanted answers in just couple of sentences. The time I had to process her speech was not much. She spoke fast, but also clear. Having known her for two years, I didn’t know that she would apologize. All the days where I have imagined I would have the upper hand in some discussion like this was proved wrong by her. I was awestruck. I didn’t reply not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t even expect in a slightest possible way that she might apologize.
I just said “WAT! What did you just say?” with clearly showing my surprise.
She said “I am sorry” again and left. The trailing smell of her new perfume gave a strange feeling in my stomach.