Sneha stared at the envelope.Rahul had asked her to open it only after he left the country.
He did not know her reaction and had it been a 'no', he knew it would crumble him and he did not want the last few days of his stay to be uneasy, uncomfortable and most of all painful.
But now that he was leaving, he wanted an answer...an excuse to come back as soon as possible...an excuse to see her smiling face...listen to her chirpy voice and spend time with her.
'naah' he thought 'spend his entire life with her'--the thought made him smile...but he dint know her answer and that is what scared him at times.
What if she just disposed off this proposal saying that she wasn't sure of her feelings just as yet.
Afterall she'd done that before when he in his own way had dropped her a subtle hint.
The thought made his smile disappear and a sudden fear reflected in his eyes--fear of the unknown...fear of rejection...fear of having to wait...maybe for months, years...or perhaps maybe for a lifetime.
Sneha sat on her bed holding the closed envelope in hand.
The day was approaching.Soon she would have to give her answer.
She knew what the note in it would have to say.Rahul always did tht---'things wch cant be said should be written, but somehow they just have to get across..its not fair otherwise' he'd always say.
Sneha knew that was true.She appreciated his honesty though sometimes she couldn't help wishing he wasn't so honest about his feelings.
There was something about him she liked a lot...the way he smiled at her...the way he would put aside everything, however important it was if she was upset...the way he picked up that fight with the stranger on the road for staring hard at her, much to her and her friends embarrassment...the subtle compliments he gave her making her blush..the way she could be herself with him knowing he wouldn't mind at all and would only pamper her all the more.
and there was this consolation that he knew everything about her...it would be easy--spending a life with him.
Infact they already were doing tht to some extent.He helped her through everything.They had been there for each other all the time---inseparable buddies!
She liked the way he had changed her into a stronger person and yet retained the innocence in her..She liked the fact that he knew exactly how to make her laugh without making her dependant on him to smile at the world.
She liked the way she knew everything about him and yet he would always want to tell her more feeling she dint know enough...and somehow he was never afraid of confessing what he really felt.
She loved his honesty...his frankness..the way he would yell at her if she did something stupid...his passion for his work and yet his amazing time management...but was all that enough to call it love?? enough to mend and give away a brutally broken heart to someone else??
She hated herself for the times she had subtly declined him..would this be yet another of those times?.
It hurt her to think of it but then she just couldn't give an easy answer.The moment she tried to, there were tears flowing down her cheek which blurred everything.
She always believed in 'never marry someone you can live with.marry someone you cannot live without'
was it too early? how could she be sure she was over her past yet?
After all she hadn't completely forgotten the story that had brutally ended breaking her heart into a thousand pieces with a single blow.It kept popping in her mind time and time again--the story which had made her stop believe in love and relationships...the story she was not sure if she could ever forgive but was hell sure she would never forget--never forget the bitterness it had left in her...the hurt...the emotional baggage she carried from it!
Rahul was aware about all this.
but he hoped it would change...and she?? she no longer knew what to hope for.
but that one day at the airport changed everything!
Her flight had been postponed.
As she waited patiently, there were a thousand thoughts goin on in her head...'why did i take tht envelope? I know what the letter contains.then why couldn't i just leave it behind and then say that i forgot to take it with me while leaving? what am i going to say? would it be hurting him yet another time?? What is it that hurts me so bad to hurt him? is it just friendship or....?? but isn't it too early?? am i sure enough for a commitment?'-an entire whirlpool of questions rising up--voices in her head screaming at her asking her what she really wanted.
and yet she had just one reply 'i don't know'...
Enraptured in a trance she moved towards a nearby cafe to grab a bite.
There were still two hours for the flight.
She was tired..the afternoon heat was killing her ...and so were the voices in her head.
'watch where you going lady' said a rude voice as she absentmindedly bumped into someone standing,back towards her.
'im soo sorry' she said as she bent over to lift up her bag wch had flung itsself on the floor.
Carelessly tucking the loose strand of hair behind her ear she picked up her bag and rose with a half apologetic half angry look on her face to greet the grinning face of someone .... very familiar...
two long blasted years had passed and nothing much had changed and yet strangely everything had.
HE was standing there--amit---the same grinning face as she'd seen him last..the unkempt look which she once adored...the crumpled shirt, the messed up hair...all the same
but the softness in his eyes had disappeared on seeing her.somehow it was replaced by a cold surprised stare.
She stared back at him surprised at fate for crossing their path again.
She said nothing...
she could only keep staring as his grin disappeared on seeing her.He suddenly became pale as if he'd seen a ghost...conscious of his surroundings...his friends around.
She couldn't help but stare at the reaction as she walked by without uttering a word.
She dint want him to be uneasy.
She dint want to interfere...yes, that was the word---INTERFERENCE...
'you know her from somewhere??' the girl next to him asked in an almost posessive tone, noticing the beads of perspiration on his forehead.
'no i don't.have never seen her before in my life' she heard him say almost instantly as his friends continued on with their bantering.
Sneha headed back to the airport...suddenly she didn't feel hungry anymore.
She wiped the tears flowing down her cheek as the voices in her head disappeared one by one.
But somewhere within she was happy...perhaps this one last blow was needed and it had come right on time.
As she boarded the plane, she knew that this was the last time she was crying.
The flight took off and she felt a strange sorta heaviness leave her.
Today she was no longer thinking of those past two years without 'the one she was always crying over' but was thinking about those same 2yrs with the wonderful times she had spent with someone who loved her like crazy..who had won the heart of family and friends because he knew they mattered...who was ready to wait for her answer till the end of time...who she had been overlooking as a friend all this while for someone who dint even want to acknowledge her as one.
She searched her purse for the envelope and read the letter.
She smiled...that guy always swept her off her feet with his words...and today she was not going to hold herself back.
sometimes it takes years to realise something while sometimes it could happen in a matter of seconds...somehow you always seem not to realise something only until you refuse to realise it...
For the first time, she was looking forward to answer THE question...
...and right there amidst the clouds, she rose in love!!