The Sentenced: Chap 17 (Epilogue)

Dearly Awaited

“I believe that all of time already exists, so may be some can sometimes get a glimpse of things but probably have trouble interpreting what they see….”

These were the words of Mr Sekhawat, the Dean.

I know it’s time to go. It’s time we wrap this up… the story of a broken heart, a repentant heart, hearts grieving and so on. What had to happen did ultimately happen and we have to take it in our stride. We have to move on…. from one phase to another, one season to another, just like dry leaves that are blown around by the winds of time. Nothing last forever, neither do we. But as long as we are here, we strive for permanence, we strive for moments that immortalize us… in the memories of a beloved, in the laughter of friends, in the sighs of those who would give anything in the world to snatch back a handful of time that they had spent with us. Sometimes. it’s just too late!

Mr. Sekhawat wears that steely expression when he is at work. The measured smile, that confident approach. People look up to him, respect him, and emulate him. He is very aware of the seriousness of his position at the University and many of the staff members are in awe of him. Although, deep down, he alone knows how he suffers… every waking moment those thoughts come to bite at his peace and he lets himself be tortured. It’s his penance. The face looms in the background like the black and white poster of a tragic saga. Sleep brings some respite but nights are often spent in mournful repentance of what could have been! If only he had the boldness to speak his heart out when the object of his affection was still alive, things could have taken a very different turn! Instead he let go… although grudgingly. Now, he has resigned himself to those years that stare him blankly in the face. With nothing to comfort himself except the memories.

The flight is on time. It’s time for tearful farewells, watery smiles and promises. Sometimes unspoken. The two women hug each other and tears turn their visions blurry.

“I wish I knew….” Rebecca hesitates. She is at a loss for words but Nafisa understands. She smiles and squeezes Rebecca’s hand gently. Words are not necessary. Somehow, Nafisa could not ignore their request of accompanying them to Delhi and spending a couple of days exploring the many mysteries of old Delhi before they took a flight back to Italy. Somehow and quite unexpectedly, Nafisa and Rebecca formed a bond of trust and of mutual respect. Nafisa grew to love the woman who would someday become Anton’s wife. Then, it was Anton’s turn. He stepped up and hesitated but Nafisa did not. As they hugged, Nafisa let out a sob and Anton’s arms held her securely. When they let go, they looked into one another’s eyes for a brief moment and they knew that both of them was thinking about the ‘dearly departed’. Nafisa thought back to the day when she had first met Anton at the Diwali dinner. For the first time, she was able to fully appreciate Anton’s return, even though for a week.

Anton sighed and closed his eyes as he leaned back on his seat. It was going to be a long flight and he needed sleep. Rebecca was concerned about his drawn face but he reassured her he would be fine. His long, artistic fingers ran through his hair, making it messier. Those witty eyes behind the thick glasses are now mournful, grave and he is thinking…

He is thinking of me.

The wheels have whirred to life and started rolling down the runway. It’s time to go. I do feel a strange sense of calm mingled with something else that I really don’t have words to describe. It’s something akin to sorrow or longing, perhaps. But this I do know… someday, in some world, in some way or another, you and I will meet again!

Until then Anton, you remain my ‘dearly awaited’

Love, Maya.

2 thoughts on “The Sentenced: Chap 17 (Epilogue)”

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