Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
She’d known love for a long time now. Every passing moment, it was expanding and growing; the heart sometimes missing a beat when she thought of him; her eyes lighting up, as if under starlight and her lips curling up into a smile. They’d professed their love, yes; but it only hurt her more, for it was only a day too late. They both were shocked to hear what they were waiting to hear since the past couple of months. They were both embarrassed about not letting the other know earlier, when it was possible for them to figure out what to do with it. But now, after all this wait, it just felt pointless. Probably something else could have been the matter, had they had the guts. If only.
When she heard the news that he was going to leave the small town, she was shattered. She wished she could do something to make him stop. To just hold him and never let him go. Would he miss her? Would he keep in touch? She was in love with him, of course. But was he? She wished she could know.
She met him, that night, just outside his gate. She couldn’t help it, help holding that piercing thought to herself. She could feel the butterflies in her stomach as she breathed in the cool sea air. She closed her eyes and took a deeper breath. She imagined the worst possible thing, as she resolved to tell him.
‘You may hate me for this, or you may laugh’, she said, ‘but I’ve had a massive crush on you for the longest time.’
‘I’m sorry?’ he laughed. ‘You what?’
“I’m serious. You may want to believe me when I say something of this magnitude,’ she complained.
He stopped laughing and held her hand, giving her goosebumps.
‘I’ve been meaning to tell you this for a long time too.’
‘Say what?’ she asked, deepening her breaths, trying to concentrate, to think right.
‘That I’ve loved you,’ he confessed.
She laughed bitterly, thinking of the irony of it all.
‘Now what?’ she asked him, praying that he’d not leave the next morning.
They held hands and talked all night, yet the dead weight of farewell holding them down, unknowingly.
‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’ he asked her.
‘Your mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun,’ she laughed.
‘Thou art more lovely and more temperate,’ he insisted.
She couldn’t help but giggle and give in.
‘It’s been a year since I’ve met you, you know that, don’t you?’ she complained. ‘How are we to keep going if this is continues.’
‘I know. You think I don’t keep count? Furthermore, you think I’d act this pansy if we met everyday?’ he teased, ‘And you do know I’ll fly in the moment I’m free for a longer time than an hour at a stretch.’
‘Oh,’ she laughed, ‘I was afraid you were keeping a dirty mistress,’ she teased.
‘Ah! How well you know me!’ he teased.
It had been a month since they’d been in contact and she wondered every minute what was wrong. He’d told her she was busier now, more than ever, but she had a bad feeling about it. She tried to ignore the urge to call him and ask what’s wrong, for the fer of disturbing him. But she decided to be patient, and give him all the time he needed.
‘I have nothing left to tell you,’ he said in a voice so cold, it scared her.
“I don’t want to talk to you ever in my life,’ he said, just as he hung up.
If she was shattered, she hadn’t started feeling it yet. For now, she was only shocked. She hurriedly called him up again. And again. After sometime, she decided to give him time, which she believed was all he needed; till she got a text message from him:
“If you try to disturb me ever again, you see what I’ll do to you.’
And then she panicked.
To be continued.