"...There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries..."
He yawned at her words and leaned back against the trunk of the tree, under which he had decided to sit and she had decided to lie on his lap, reading Julius Ceasar. His wife had recently caught the whiff of classics and she loved to read them out to him.
But who reads on Sunday mornings and in a park?
He mentally questioned himself and rested his head against the trunk of the giant tree that shaded them. His eyes wandered around and fixated at the white clouds floating with no care in the world.
White fluffy clouds took shape of his imagination; one was a dog and the other was a dragon and another pair looked like two kids holding hands. There was hardly anyone around and the sound of the water from the creek somewhere nearby filled the silence. It was calmness akin to a lullaby. He yawned once more and raised his hand to reach out to a cloud. The sunbeams fell on his hand and something sparkled.
He blinked a couple of times and focused on the gleam.
A platinum band sat on his ring finger shining proudly in the sunny morning. A smile crept on his lips. Geet had become the sun of his life now because his entire life revolved around her. She was the one who dragged him out on a breakfast date and they ended up in the park. He was totally against it for he wanted to catch up with his sleep but...
"Maan, are you listening?"
Her voice interrupted his thoughts and he snapped back to reality.
"Hmmm? Did you say something?" he looked totally clueless.
Exasperated, she sat up, closed the book with a thump and glared at him, "you were spacing out?"
He cocked his head to a side, a little sleepy, a little amused and shrugged.
"Arrgh, you didn't even listen to what I said just now!!!" she gritted her teeth and for some reasons he found it absolutely adorable. He smiled and patted her head lightly, "tell me love, what do you wish?"
She twisted her lips, "I wish for us to go on a vacation."
One dark brow went up, "A vacation?"
She nodded like a child, "it's been a while since we have been out somewhere."
He thought for a while, "Hmm, we will see."
They stood up to leave and she dusted her dress, "we will see? I hate that coming from you. Maan, let's go na... please."
He walked ahead shaking his head, "I cannot promise. I got work."
She stopped and made a face, "So, your work is important and I am not?
He turned back and found her in protest. Clad in a white summer dress and a white ribbon, she looked like a white fluffy cloud and his heart melted right there.
"Come on now. Don't be a kid." He shook his head, half smiling and half in amusement.
"I am not going until you agree."
He didn't wait for her or give her a warning. He walked straight to her, lifted her up in his arms and walked off.
"Aaah, put me down...put me down. I am mad at you, you freak. Put me down.. I don't want to go with you."
He walked towards their car and put her down, "you don't have any choice sweetheart..."
She snapped from her thoughts and looked beside to find Meera with two cups of coffee.
Meera sat down beside her and took a sip from her mug, "What are you thinking?"
Geet shook her head, "nothing much. Just thinking about home. It's been almost 3 years since I have been there.."
"..and 2 years of your marriage." Meera added.
Geet took a sip from her coffee and felt an emptiness swirling inside her stomach, "It doesn't exist anymore."
Meera sensed her mood and quickly backtracked, "Okay. So when is your flight?"
"Great. You can attend Rajiv's birthday then."
"Wasn't his birthday yesterday?"
"Yeah. But we are throwing a party on Saturday. He will be so happy to see you Geet."
"No Meer... I really am not in a mood to.."
"You will be leaving Geet. And we don't know when we will see you again. Whatever happened with Maan, that's a different issue. Please don't cut off ties with us just because you are no longer with Maan!"
Meera's words echoed in her head over and over again as she watched him hug Rajiv and wish him on his 30th birthday.
Something twisted in her stomach... some feeling brewing up new. Something she hadn't felt in all those months she had lived away from him.
What was new?
He wore a pair of denims with a grey tee, nothing very fancy and something very casual that he always liked and she couldn't stop staring at him. He had grown stubble this time and she hated it. She had always hated it. It pricked whenever they...
She halted her thoughts and quickly grabbed aa drink and chugged it down her throat. The burning sensation behind her throat soothed her mind and heart.
Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop... You. Have. To. Stop.
She mentally screamed and picked up another drink when their eyes met across the hall. She had been standing alone by the bar, desperately trying to make herself invisible. He stood by the birthday boy, laughing with friends. Rajiv had been his friend from grad college and they had finished masters together too.
He had not expected to see her here out of all place. It's been over a week since they had last seen each other in the courthouse. He had, in the remotest corner of his heart, wanted to know of her welbeing. but reasons and reality had stopped him. He was surprised in a bittersweet way. The sight of a drink in her hand pushed open the floodgates of his memory but he didn't want to dwell on it now.
They were over.
And just when he thought of it, someone pulled her out of the dark to take pictures and he gasped at the view.
Clad in a white frilly dress, she looked every bit the white cloud that she was. A satin ribbon around her waist, the lace over her torso, the light frills down her waist and that cute little ribbon that held her dark hair together stunned him to stillness.
She felt his gaze on her and quickly looked down to check herself. An inaudible gasp left her lips too when she realized what she had done unknowingly. She gulped hard and tried hard to not look at him. She even tried to smile when everyone took photographs but her mind went back to those memories again and again.
He held back the urge to sink deep into the abyss of memories and kept reminding himself that he must not think it over.
They struggled all through the party, trying to avoid and not avoid each other at the same time. It was exhausting. This hide and seek was taking a toll on them up until the moment someone asked her about her future plans. Their divorce had been the hottest topic and they knew everyone did a poor job in hiding their curiosity.
"I am going back to my parents." She answered weakly.
He stilled for a moment and then gulped down the drink that he held.
So, she was going away the next day... forever!
Something he felt was slipping out of his hands and he couldn't pinpoint what. He thought he had nothing more left to lose the day she had moved out. But this sudden feeling confused him, more than anything else, it twisted his heart very uncomfortably.
She waited for a cab to go back home. She had the keys to Meera's apartment. Her friend was going to stay back with Rajiv, her fianc, for the night. Her legs hurt with the heels and all she wanted to do was go crash on her bed. She was glad the party was over. The scrutinising eyes were finally gone.
"Ahem... Shall I drop you?"
A familiar voice made her jump out of her skin. She quickly turned back to find him awkwardly standing in front of her.
"Umm No." she didn't realize she spoke it as a reflex, "I will just take a cab."
He didn't say anything else. He had been restless for some unknown reasons post dinner and decided to call it a day when he had found her all alone.
Silence prevailed between them and she looked away, waiting for a cab.
He didn't bother her either. He stood right beside her and waited too.
Something was amiss. They felt it...both of them. This feeling didn't exist when they were living separately. What changed after divorce?
"when is your flight?" he asked for a long awkward pause.
Nothing remained between them now. Not even words. They had to be forced out.
"Tomorrow at noon."
"hmmm." He simply nodded and went back to looking at the road like some time back.
Few cabs passed and she waved at one.
"Have you kept everything carefully?" he asked the moment a cab stopped right in front of her.
She sighed and turned back and nodded, "Please Maan...let's not be formal anymore."
She quickly got into the cab and moved ahead.
She was right. He stood there for a few minutes and walked towards his car. He didn't turn on the ac. He let the cold wind soothe his burning heart. He hadn't felt this deep emptiness when they lived separately. As he drove through the wind and deserted lanes, her image flashed in his mind, getting into a cab and riding away and he realized what gnawed at his heart.
It had been the last straw.
They knew their relationship had long been dead but somewhere, deep down they had been connected, if not by hearts then by law. The last of the strings that had held them together...the law. With the divorce, that thin string was severed too. No more tied in any manner whatsoever. The feeling had started to sink in now which had made him restless all this while. Without anything holding them connected anymore, nothing but a chasm of nothingness remained between them.
She watched the white fluffy clouds through the window of her flight and recalled the confrontation the previous night. She was finally going away...forever!!! He had always been this concerned about her traveling alone. Last night, he was doing the same. But everything felt like a pretense...a formality of sorts. She didn't want to fall for it again. They were separate entities from now on.
The clouds gleamed in the rays of the sun. she glanced at them one more time and recalled the previous night and then closed her eyes, as the flight raced towards her destination.
She was no more his Nuvole Bianche... his white cloud!
Nice part. After divorce also, there is something between them which is again and again connecting them somewhere.they memories are haunting them now. They are recalling the beautiful memories but along that they don't want to recall thinking they are separated now. Maan asked Geet to drop her out of concern but she demied. Relationships can not be made or killed one papers. Waiting for next dear