He woke up after a very brief afternoon nap. The time was 4.30 pm, the day, Saturday. He got out of bed, fixed himself some tea and switched on some TV.
Some time later, he checked the clock again…Yikes! It was almost 5 pm. Izzie would be mad at him, for the umpteenth time. She’d almost given up on him. He rushed about the house like a headless chicken – he had exactly 20 minutes to move out. There were flowers to be picked up, too. How did he always end up being late despite waking up on time and having the best intentions? This was surely one of the unexplained mysteries of the universe.
Rush, rush, rush…He rushed through his shower, wore the shirt she liked on him best, the deo she loved and the Puma shoes she’d bought him two years ago. Pretty pleased with what he saw in the mirror, he stepped out, maneuvering through traffic, halting with a screech straight at the florist’s doorstep.
Nothing had changed. He’d been buying her the same orchids for the past year and a half. Salimbhai would keep the bouquet ready every Saturday, he’d pay and whisk off with a ‘Thanks, Salimbhai!’.
Today was no different. Off he sped from Salimbhai’s. Hastily finding the first available parking space, he walked briskly, bouquet in tow. Soon he was outside the gates.
“Arey Sir, you’re 20 minutes late again,” chuckled Fernandes.
“Yeah man, traffic!” he panted.
Entering, he walked over to the spot she always waited for him, patiently. She’d stopped complaining these days; resigned to her fate, perhaps.
All was silent – there was just another man sitting on the grass, with his eyes close. He looked at peace with his solitude, oblivious to the world he was physically present in. Our man, too, sat down on the grass opposite her.
As usual, she didn’t say anything.
“Sorry Izzie, I’m late. Don’t hate me!” he said, very apologetic. He put down the flowers before her, knowing she’d be too mad right now to appreciate them. But she’d preserve the bouquet till he gave her a new one next week.
She didn’t say anything. He knew she couldn’t remain angry with him for long, something he was deeply grateful to all the powers of the universe for.
Soon, he was chatting up a storm. He told her about his week, the upcoming 3-week work trip to Sweden, and she listened without interrupting. “But don’t you worry. I’ll be back soon, okay, love?” he reassured her.
Suddenly, there was silence.
“I love you, Isabel,” he said, and he never meant it more.
A silent tear trickled down his cheek. He didn’t brush it off; he didn’t try swallowing his tears either. He stayed absolutely still, didn’t move one inch for the fear of losing the beautiful moment he was a part of. With her.
There was no one else, there never could be.
He was caught in the most beautiful moment of his life. He closed his eyes and let it engulf him.
He opened his eyes, got up and silently walked out of the graveyard, feeling complete, fulfilled and in love like never before.
There was no else, there never could be.