“God! How spastic!”

I wince at Sachin’s words.

My hands tremble as I hand over my Id to the hotel receptionist.

The manager comes to check what the matter is. “Any problem?” he enquires.

My eyes instantly shoot up. I can never forget that voice, a voice I haven’t heard in ages. My eyes meet his, the same eyes that had once captivated me. Age has been too kind to him. The stubble on his chiselled chin and his salt-and-pepper look make him look great.

“My useless wife couldn’t find her Id,” Sachin hisses.

I can see Akash’s fist clenching, his eyes narrowing. He looks from me to Sachin but simply nods and leaves.

Sachin freshens up and leaves without uttering a word. I sit huddled on the bed, my mind blank. There’s a knock on my door.

“Come in,” I say.

“You ok?” Akash asks.

There’s a moment of silence when both of us simply stare at each other, not knowing what to say, where to begin.

“I waited for you that night, my bags were packed!” I blurt out.

“I was a nobody… I needed time,” I could see the pain in his eyes.

“Time is something I didn’t have. Being with you was all I really wanted, nothing else mattered. You had no right to decide for the two of us!” I am bursting with anger, unable to stop.

“Dad forcibly got me married. I tried my best to be a good wife but it was never enough. The abuse increased and whatever little self-respect was left after you ghosted me, was gone.”

“Where have you been all these years???” It is like a dam has broken, I start shaking and tears begin flowing uncontrollably.

Akash can’t see it any longer. “I am sorry..,” he hugs me. All the memories of the past come crashing down on me, I snuggle into him, crying my heart out. All I want is for him to fix me, it feels like everything will be fine now, like they were before. He gently strokes my hair while I inhale his smell, a smell I was once addicted to. He keeps apologising. He holds my hand, his thumb tracing small circles on it, something I used to love. Our eyes meet, the desire burning. In an instant, his eyes transform to that of remorse. He lets go of me as if breaking out of a reverie.

He turns around, trying to fix himself. I know he is cursing himself for losing control.

“Have any kids?” I finally ask.

“Two,” the helplessness evident on his face.

I plaster a smile on my face. “Show me pictures, idiot! Also, please share your number. Can we be friends at least?”

He nods. We speak at length after that and yet a lot is left unsaid. There’s so much more we want to say but it feels like a boundary has been drawn and neither of us know how to cross it. 

Picture credit:

Yuris Alhumaydy

Unsplash.com

 

 

 

 

 

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