Riya surveyed herself and approved gleefully. She looked stunning in a wine red gown. Her glowing face made her a shimmering beauty. How’d Varun react to see her? She thought smiled shyly.
Today time was crawling. She waited impatiently for Varun but there was no trace of him. The clock hands rolled by and she waited. And waited. Waited till it struck eleven. She called him but there was no answer. It was so usual of him.
Her zeal sank to the bedrock level. Excitement of celebrating this much awaited special night out together evaporated miserably. She yearned for those beautiful moments of togetherness they enjoyed just three years back. But these days they get no time for each other and Varun didn’t seem to even realize.
With heavy and angry heart she changed to her night gown and tried to muffle the screams of heart in the blaring television.
The doorbell chimed and Riya opened the door for Varun expecting an apologetic bear hug with a promise of love but he cast a briefest smile-less glance and threw his bag on the sofa. He took out a bottle from the fridge swigged the entire bottle.
After a while, Riya heard the sound of shower. Suppressing her anger, she went to the kitchen to make some pasta. When she returned with two colourful plates, Varun was already stuffed on the couch, watching highlights of a cricket match.
“He prefers recorded match than talking to me.” Riya thought irritably.
She silently kept the plate on the table. He looked at her finally. “Oh, I forgot to tell you. I’ve had my dinner. You carry on.” He said nonchalantly and got back to the match.
His nonchalance fumed Riya. “So, we can’t have dinner together even at home.” She said sarcastically.
“Oh, please Riya. I had an important meeting.”
“And you very conveniently forgot out personal night out. You didn’t even call me.”
“I was working. I forgot. Big deal!” Varun shouted.
“No need to shout.” Riya tried to keep her voice as controlled as possible. “Even I work. But I always try to make our relationship better. But why don’t you understand it needs some quality time together like before. Do you have any idea how I felt today, waiting for you. Trying to get in touch like a maniac and you were…”
“Oh, stop it! I don’t want to get into an argument.”
“Even I don’t want to argue. I want to talk.”
“Don’t act like a nagging wife. I’m tired.” Varun got up. His face clearly reflected annoyance. “I'm going to Pune tomorrow for an important meeting. So, please understand and don't irritate me.” He headed towards the room and then banged the door behind him.
Of course, she was not his wife. Then what was she? Riya remembered how Varun tried to impress her when they were in London. They met in a common friend’s party and then they started talking over phone and meeting occasionally. After then, nothing could stop them. They didn't realize when love blossomed.
Riya had a nice job there but Varun wanted to return India. He wanted to start his own business and Riya didn’t want to lose the bliss of togetherness, so, they moved to Mumbai. Varun was not ready for marriage yet and Riya was so much in love that she decided to wait and started to live as live-in partners.
Riya didn’t feel like going to the bedroom. She flopped herself on the sofa as the memories reeled in her mind.
She opened her eyes to the brightly lit living room. She didn’t realized when she cried as she felt the dried tears on her face. Varun was gone! Without saying a bye or an apology. No affectionate kisses and words of assurance.....
Varun pressed the doorbell and waited. There was no answer. Generally, Riya answered in one bell. He pushed the button again. No answer. He looked at the watch. It was 11 o’clock. Riya was never this late. He took his keys to open the door. The entire house was plunged in the darkness.
Varun called Riya nervously. No answer. He immediately switched on the light and ran to the bedroom. Then bathroom. There was no trace of her. He tried to connect over the mobile phone but couldn’t. His heart was racing fast and suddenly he started to feel alone. He didn’t like the lifeless aura of the house.
He snuggled on the sofa. He didn’t want the television. He didn’t want the beer. Right now he just wanted Riya. Where was she? Suddenly, he spotted his name written on a folded paper kept on the table. He unfolded it and started to read:
“Going back to London. I think, our relationship needs a break to breathe. Maybe, a little distance can help us to get closer and if it couldn’t then maybe we are not meant to be close. Take Care. Riya.”
Varun got a solid jolt. How could she? It’s true that he stopped caring for Riya of late, thinking she would understand and be with him always as his strength. He spilled all his frustration on her without a post apology. But he is working hard to establish his business so that they could have a better future. Who would understand him if she won’t?
The letter slipped from his hand and he stood stunned.
Riya took the British Airways and waited it to take off, with a slight guilt in her heart. But guilt for what? Varun had been rude to her. he always did that and never apologized or even realized. Why he always think she should understand? She also had some feelings. Why didn’t he understand? But she should have at least talked to him. She should have at least said a goodbye. But it was too late. She was hurt. A voleey of thoughts whirled in her mind.
On the London airport, Annie was waving cheerfully and Steve was just smiling to see her newlywed wife. They reached home in a smooth ride of 30 minutes. The cloudy weather was soothing and serene but Riya's heart was raging with clamour.
Annie kept talking nonstop, sharing many affectionate glances with Steve. Riya felt really happy to know that Annie was pregnant. They got married last year, after four years of togetherness. Riya couldn’t attend their marriage as Varun was busy as usual.
Riya kept herself busy in seeing Annie’s wedding picture with a smile and avoided talking about Varun.
Next day, Steve planned an outing but Riya politely refused. Riya didn’t want to interrupt their joy and her loneliness. Surprisingly, Annie didn’t force.
After they left, Riya sat on the rest chair, muddling about Varun and their relationship. The doorbell tinkled, breaking her chain of thoughts. She exhaled an exasperated sigh, thinking why Annie returned so early.
She opened the door, trying to look cheerful. The person standing in front of her took her breath away. She skipped several beats and felt her eyes prick with emotion.
“Varun…” She managed to say anyhow.
He smiled. “How did you know I’m here?” She asked.
“How could you do this to me Riya? How can you go so far without saying a single word?” Varun held her shoulder, clearly looking relieved.
“I’m not your wife…remember?”
“Then be my wife Riya.”
Riya stood speechless, trying to fight back her tears. Varun held her face in his warm hands. “Will you be my life partner…forever? Marry me Riya. This distance made me realize how special and important you are for me.”
Riya’s heart filled with emotions. Varun continued. “I was following my destination, but I forgot you’re walking with me like my strength. I was confident that my hard work and dedication would banish the mist of hurdles but I forgot you’re my sunshine. In the glitter of success I forgot that the beauty of success shines with love and togetherness. I’m sorry.”
Tears refused to stay and Riya started crying. Words failed her and she snuggled in Varun’s warm embrace. It seemed that she finally found her lost treasure.
“Ahem…ahem…” Annie and Steve were standing at the door, smiling broadly. “So, if you guys are done, go out and have fun. We’ve booked a table for two.”
“You knew Varun was coming?” Riya asked Annie with protruded eyes, dashing off her happy tears.
“Of course!” Steve said and extended two tickets by BritishAirways. “Your tickets for tomorrow. Back to India uh?” Steve swished his hand in the air.
“And…” Varun took out an envelop from the pocket of his jacket. “This is our holiday package of Kerala, you so wanted to visit.” He was looking at Riya lovingly.
“Oho, so much planning. What if I refuse to go?” Riya said throwing a naughty smile.
“You can’t.” Annie said holding her hands. “You guys love each other so much that you can go anywhere to get close.”
A cheerful laughter resonated in the air.
This post is part of Indiblogger "Go Further to Get Closer Contest" in association with British Airways.