I just decided to provide a continuation to my three-part story…
What if Teju and Lewis grew up into matured young adults, knowing to discern what is right and wrong???
It was raining heavily and I was standing in the bus stop. A few others too sought the shelter of the bus stop. I hadn’t brought my Pink umbrella with the tiny red hearts on it. In fact, no one had anticipated the down pour. The clock ticked 8.15 p.m. and I wondered if I’d be able to reach home by 10 o’clock.
Just then a car halted in front of me and the co-driver’s window rolled down. From the Driver’s seat, I could make out the silhouette of a young man in his mid twenties.He switched on the light inside the car and I immediately recognized Lewis, from the bright glow. How can one forget their first love?
“Hey!” I exclaimed surprised.
“Hi, care to join me? The car is vacant other than my seat,” he asked.
“Sure,” I said, climbing inside the co-driver’s seat. My heart was thumping hard, ecstatically.
‘Ah, finally your Prince Charming has arrived,’ my heart said.
“Where should I drop you?” he asked, bringing the engine to life.
I told him the place and he nodded his head. “A long drive I guess,” he said.
“Yea, my job needs my presence far away from my home,” i said, sighing.
A few minutes of silence lingered and it was deafening for me, so I decided to break the speechless mode.
“It’s been a long time since we met,” I began on a hopeful note, “You remember the last day of our school?”
And memories flooded into me, when the adolescent Lewis halfheartedly waved a goodbye at me, and proclaiming his forever love for me by yelling, “I still love you.”
But now, I saw the grown Lewis blushing and not responding by speaking. I could tell he remembered the last day pretty well.
“So, what is your designation?” I said, changing the subject. I decided not to press him or embarrass him.
He said, “Chief Surgeon.”
“Great,” I said. Another few minutes of silence.
I was confused. I had been waiting for this one day, when Lewis would come back as a well-settled unmarried youth and ask my hand in marriage to my dad. But now, he showed no signs as to it. I’ve been living in the dark as to his whereabouts until now. I lost contact with him after school but not lost his thoughts or my love for him.
“So, you got married?” he asked suddenly.
I shook my head. I expected a relieved emotion from his face. But no, he became agitated.
I became aware that my presence was disturbing his state of mind, but I didn’t know the reason why.
“Looking for alliance?” he asked.
“No, though my parents are forcing me to agree to that everyday.”
“Then why are you saying no?”
‘What the hell are you speaking?’ I thought. I decided to get straight.
“No, I’m waiting for someone who promised to marry me.”
He gave a sudden brake and the car jolted, throwing me to the front.
“Oops, sorry!” he apologized.
I had hit my head hard. “Ouch,” I said in pain.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you,” he said, concerned.
“Then, what was that for?” I asked, puzzled.
He banged the steering wheel and the horn blared loudly. He was completely mad.
“Lewis stop that,” I yelled to be heard above that noise.
He withdrew his hands away and then I sighted a few drops of tears at the corner of his eyes.
“Are you OK?” I asked. He didn’t reply.
“No, I don’t think this is going well, I’ll leave if you want,’ I said.
But, he grabbed my hand and said, “No, I need to talk to you.”
“I’m sorry Teju. I know this is gonna hurt you. But, no I don’t wish to beat around the bush, but this is it,” he said, searching a compartment in the dashboard for something and then he thrust into my hand a large envelope.
The next second, I freed my hands from his clutch, and stepped out of the car.
The rain soaked me, but I didn’t give a damn about it.
Before I shut the car door, I stooped down a bit and said, “Congratulations, I’ll come for sure and thank you for informing me at least now.”
With that parting note, I started to walk in the rain. I didn’t know where I was, the place was completely deserted. I expected to hear splashes in the rain caused by Lewis’ shoes, running towards me to force me to get back inside the car. But, nothing of that sort happened. That made my heart to beat even more faster.
The rain mixed with my salty tears and I didn’t know if I was still standing on the earth, pulled by its gravity. I felt like floating. I wished I could.
I can’t best describe my emotions except to say I cried even harder.
I owned no one in my life. Not my parents, not Anu, not Sid, and finally…………………….. even Lewis.
No, I’ll leave the crying part, I don’t need any empathy.
I decided to die right there, holding the large envelope that Lewis had thrust into my hands, his marriage invitation that read,
‘The journey to find true love ends,
The journey to cherish true love begins…
We, Lewis Simon and Angela cordially invite you
To bless us on 23rd August, 2014
As we joyfully exchange rings saying, ‘I DO’.
I became aware I was climbing a bridge and I edged towards the wall and climbed it. I heard the roaring of vehicles below.
‘Yea,’ I thought, ‘the journey to find true love ends…’ as I jumped to enter the eternal space of time…