Sudden rains greeted her that evening. The sky seemed to reflect her thoughts. The disarrayed clouds seemed to speak a language she was all too familiar with – turmoil. As she sat on the balcony gazing out into the distance, sipping on her tea, scenes from her life seemed to flash before her eyes with every stroke of lightning. She realised how far away she was from the life she had dreamt of. There was a time when promises were more than just words, and forever usually meant eternity. But all that was a thing of the past. Too late to reconsider and too late to undo. If only she’d taken her promises as lightly as the other person, she would now be in a place she wanted. As these thoughts choke her with tears, she recalled one fond memory. Of a guy. Not of him who broke her into a million pieces. But of another. A wisp of fresh air. The one who made her feel special. And that very memory made her blush and she began to wonder – what if…..
He was just another acquaintance at work. A person she had met on several occasions with no second glance. Those days, she was madly in love and believed in fairy tales and white horses and she had eyes only for her Prince Charming. When she was wrapped up in her own castle, not sparing a thought to the world outside her, he walked in. He was charming and fun to be with. With time, she grew comfortable with him. They connected on so many levels. They used to go on for hours discussing the most trivial of things. And never get bored. It was not all talk, though. Their first project together was a success. Working with him was challenging, she realised. After the completion of the project, they went back to their usual schedule of things. And everything resumed their usual pace.
Then one fine day, out of the blue, she got a text message from him- “Ever since I set my eyes on you two years back, I was attracted to you. To me, you were a walking dream. One that I wanted to wake up to every day. These few days of working with you were one of my happiest. I realised as we parted ways that I need you for the rest of my life. I love you. Awaiting your reply.”
She was shocked. It was a complete surprise. Granted that they made a good team working together, but this was unexpected. She replied saying she was taken aback and didn’t know what to say. The next day they met at work and she told him how she was already in a relationship. She told him how despite liking him a lot, she never thought of him as anything more than a good friend. She told him how this will never work out as she was in love with someone else and had promised her heart to that person.
The look in his eyes was enough to show how crestfallen he was. And she felt lost. Because he was a charming fellow, and without intending to do so, she’d broken him.
A few agonising days later, during which he so much as refused to look up at her when she spoke to him, he came up to her and said- “Come on one date with me..just one. I will show you how life with me can be. You talk about promising your heart to someone else and promises are meant to be broken. But l will not force you to break yours. Just honour me with one cup of coffee. Please?” And now, it was her turn to be torn. She loved someone else, yet here was this person who made her feel alive and appreciated, and loved. She also realised she had a connection with him which she sadly couldn’t find with her Prince Charming. But, her heart was his already and they had promised each other a forever. What can she do now? On the one hand was a secure future with her Prince and on the other a lifetime of adventure with this Knight.
After a lot of contemplation, she agreed.
And it was one of the best days of her life. He completely swept her off her feet. He did nothing to woo her or win her. He was just being himself. Conversation happened so naturally. Slowly realisation dawned that she was falling for him. She went home that eve, filled with apprehensions. How can she love him when she was already in love with someone else? Through thick and thin- that’s what they’d promised each other. She can’t break that promise. This roller-coaster ride with him had to end. She had to control her emotions.
She called him up the next day and told him that they could not see each other, that as much as she liked him, she could not see a future with him. She could hear the emotions in his voice on the other end as he reluctantly acceded. Though in the same workplace, they saw less of each other. She went back to her Prince, and life yet again went back to how it was.
Until one fine day, after a year, he came to her cubicle and told her that he was moving to a different country. He could’ve stopped with that. But he went a step further and said-“I still feel the same about you. I love you. You can not lie to yourself that you felt nothing for me. We connected that day. Come off with me. You will never regret it.”
But what did she do? She smiled and said- “Bon Voyage. Take care of yourself.”
She said so even when her insides were screaming to him not to leave her and go. She said so even when her so-called Prince Charming had cheated on her and broken the many promises he’d made her. She said so even when she was very much in love with him, her knight.
Now, as she sat and watched the rain, memories of that one date with him danced before her eyes- how alive she was on that day, what an epic whirlwind of a romance it would have been, and she began to wonder.. was it too late to call him now? Maybe.. Maybe not..
But all she could do now was regret. Regret the chances she didn’t take. Just regret.