Note: This is the ugliest thing I've ever written, not literarily but emotionally. I have hated myself for writing it. But still, I'm posting it for some reason. Please don't hate me after reading it. It's unethical, it's wrong, and I know it. And lastly, nothing about it is true.
Please forget it if you hate it.
‘Papa, hurry up! I don't want to miss the bus again!’ my son cried from the doorway, as I rushed to grab a muffler for myself.
My wife hurriedly handed over his tiffin box to me, and leaned forward from the kitchen door for a peck. The love of my life she was.
I backed off, unusually startled, and scurried off to the door without looking back. I heard her chuckle, and was relieved she didn’t take it too seriously.
Rohan made a grumpy face, as I clutched his hand and we began to walk toward his bus stop. I ruffled his hair with affection, as he skipped along, gripping with excitement. His school was taking him for a picnic to Lodhi Garden.
I could die for that smile on his tiny face. Priceless.
As his bus stop came closer, my pace quickened. I wanted to reach there fast. I kept touching my muffler again and again; making sure it wasn’t looking shabby.
I was glad Rohan wasn’t asking me his usual silly questions. Like why do dogs look down, and why do ditches stink and why does winter feel cold.
Of late they had begun to irritate me, instead of amusing me.
I shrugged as I wondered why.
We reached the bus stop fifteen minutes earlier than the scheduled time, because apparently, I had made Rohan miss his bus yesterday, dilly dallying at home. Rohan had used these words.
I felt like an idiot standing there with my dreamy son, when nobody was to be seen on the roads. We had no companions, but even the other school kids weren’t to be seen.
Not even her.
No sooner had the thought crossed my mind, than I saw her tiny figure appear from the bend down the road.
It would take her about five minutes to reach here.
Five minutes, twenty three seconds, to be precise.
As I looked on, numb; Rohan caught hold of my hand, all of a sudden. I shook, as if I’d been snapped out of a dream. A stray dog, probably on its morning walk, had scared my son.
I held him closer to myself, to reassure myself, more than him.
I had a kid.
Nevertheless, I looked up.
I could see her face very clearly now. From the last few days I’d spent thinking of her, I’d concluded that she was probably in her last year of schooling,
That sway in her walk, that emptiness of her bag, that blue kajal that was so intoxicatingly magnetic, those lanky footsteps, and those dirty shoes – they explained a lot of things.
She came nearer with every passing second.
And she looked straight into my eyes.
I missed a beat, as she walked past me.
I still had my eyes closed, and was still overcoming the effect of her presence, when I heard her say, ‘Good morning!’
I turned around. So did Rohan.
Her smile froze me. I searched for words, but they wouldn’t come out. And I meekly wished her back. I then drew my son closer.
She smiled again, and then made her way to her bus stop, five meters away from mine.
I mean, from Rohan’s.
He looked at me puzzled. He then glanced at her, and then back at me. Then he promptly asked, ‘Do you know her?’
I ruffled his hair once again and said, ‘No. But when someone says good morning, always wish back. It is good manners. Only bad boys don't wish back.’
He contemplated on what I said, as I did too, and then enquired, ‘But why did she say good morning?’
I went speechless for a minute.
I next heard a screeching of brakes, and my son hurried away to board his school bus, that stood in front of me. I waved a mechanical bye to him.
My five year old asked difficult questions.
I sighed as I turned to go back home. Time for office.
Then I stopped, and turned to look at her.
She was looking at me intently.
She blushed pink and turned away, and pretended to take out some notebook from her bag.
I turned away too.
I jogged my way back to the house, perspiring in the bitter cold.
My wife was ready to leave for work. She gave me an alluring smile from the sofa, where she sat and sipped that wonderful coffee that she makes.
I smiled back wryly.
The love of my life she was.
Five days couldn’t wreck these blissful five years.
I went up to her, and planted a kiss on her lips.
I love you, I said to her, more for me to listen.
She hugged me, and a serene smile swept across my face.
Yes, they wouldn’t.
P.S. : Told you. Please don't hate me like I did when I wrote it.