Bonds that still bind.. and pull: Antonspeak
Her tears would not stop flowing. They kept coming….. trickling down like droplets from a faucet that has just been turned off. Her eyes were puffy and red, making her look rather cute. But then I heard her questions. I sort of knew they would be coming as I had finally told her every detail of my life with Maya . Honestly, I did not have to, neither did she ask. Just that, Becca’s expressive eyes questioned me and I could not run from that. Somehow, I thought I owed her an explanation.
Or, may be I owed Maya one.
“Are you okay?” I asked at length and as an answer, she threw her arms around my neck and sniffled.
I have always failed to comprehend why women get so upset over things. Yet, after questioning myself a few rimes over, I do not feel guilty in anyway about leaving Maya behind. It is true that Maya gave herself completely but she knew I would not be a permanent factor in her life. She knew that from day one. There were no promises made, from my end, at least!
The fact that Maya was still invading my thoughts was clear in the way I had called Becca by her name. That shook me, somewhat. Becks is intelligent, mature….I knew she would hear me out patiently, as she always did. Unlike Maya, who was always so eager to fill the time we spent together with her unceasing words about how great I was and how much she adored me. I don’t think she understood that love was not the only thing on my mind 24*7. I valued my work and my research most of all. Becca does.
However, its strange how the mere mention of Maya still brings a little smile to my lips. More than anything else, I remember her exaggerated pouts. She was like a child in so many ways. And a beautiful woman in so many other! But she was suffocating, to say the least! In her overtly affectionate, attention- craving, smothering way.. ..it got very suffocating around her!
“I don’t blame you,” Rebacca’s low voice nudged me back to the present.
“I don’t blame her either. Love is like that…”she added, her fingers playing through my hair like tiny rivulets chasing one another. I loved when she did that. It relaxed and calmed me down.
“I have never met Maya. But I feel connected, in some way. I guess because we love the same man!” Becca said, trying to smile.
I smiled too. Rebecca seldom spoke of her love for me so openly. Thankfully, she was more guarded when it came to that….. quite a contrast to Maya whose love washed over me like a tsunami…. unrestfained, uninhibited and destructive. It destroyed her and perhaps would take a huge toll on me had I continued staying with her.
“Didn’t she ever try to get in touch?” Becca asked. I sighed and nodded.
“I guess you were determined to stay away?” I nodded again, mentally thanking her for finding the answers herself.
“I thought it would only add to her pain,” I said quietly and she nodded this time, indicating that she understood. Fresh tears had started leaking out of her eyes.
Finally, I decided to voice the question that had been burning within me since that email arrived…… a question that had haunted me all this time. I cleared my voice.
“Would you say I am responsible for her death?” I asked, trying not to let the turmoil the question caused overpower me.
She looked into my eyes and pulled me into a close embrace.
“Anton, I don’t think so. You can’t be held responsible for a person’s death by cardiac arrest. However, there might be some people who could hold you accountable…”
I know what she meant. I was thinking of Maya’s parents.
“Her world revolved around you. True, you can’t really control how others feel about you but….” Becca paused, then continued.
“She had found her world in you. Call it crazy, childish or whatever. When you left, her world shattered beyond belief and I… I think she gave up her will to live,”
I sighed. Becca smiled and there was a touch of motherly affection in her voice when she spoke again.
“You said that Maya was very child-like in her understanding of the world. Sle loved you like a child, Anton….. fearlessly and without boundaries. I guess her craziness for you is the stuff that poets write about…”
As I was listening to her words, another question had started bothering me. I decided to ask her right away.
“See, you told me a while ago that you loved me… but what if…I mean this falls apart and we drift away?”
“Am not Maya, Anton. You’re not my world, just part of it. And I know how to hold my world together.”
I was relieved to hear that. I felt lighter after days….. probably since I had got the news of Maya’s death. However, I was surprised by her next statement.
” I think Maya’s story needs a closure
She picked up her phone and started to browse. Looking over her shoulder, I saw that she was checking flight schedules from Rome to Delhi.
“Do you think we can fly in two weeks time? How long does it take from Delhi to reach the University you worked at?”
She looked at my puzzled expression and smiled.
” And yes, am coming too!”
“But Maya isn’t there….anymore. So, what’s the point?” I protested gently.
The evening had unexpectedly turned rainy and dark. She turned on the kitchen lights.
“Do you want some cocoa?” She asked.
Minutes later, Becca had joined me with two steaming cups.
“I read somewhere that every story has a destination,” Becca was saying, “Maya’s destination was you, Anton. And if her story could not reach its destination, may be the destination itself will have to get to the story to provide closure.
She inched closer and touchedoò my lips with hers. I tasted the cocoa.on her lips.
“I know what you’re thinking. But you know what, the place is still there, the university and the cottage where she stayed with you and the people who knew you both…. you’ll find Maya there… ”
I closed my eyes and let out a deep sigh.
“I have a feeling you need to play your part now, to end the story which started there…” Rebecca said in a quiet voice, “There are strings attached, sweetheart. There are always strings attached.”