She heard the door of the car slam shut. She closed her eyes and silently wept with her back towards it. She stood tall, with her luggage in front of her, waiting for her bus, the bus that would take her far away from this city, from him. She waited for the sound of the engine. She knew he would drive away.
Then she felt him behind her, felt his hand suddenly take her hand and more tears flowed down her cheeks. He hadn’t left. He hugged her with his arms around her waist and his head buried in her hair. She slowly turned around and hid her face in his chest and hugged him back. She clutched him with all her power and intensity never realizing that it is not the strength of her arms that can keep him.
To keep him she had to be born again. To keep him she had to be born again as someone else, someone who shared the same religion as his and till then nothing, absolutely nothing, could keep them together. The very God who got them together in the first place was helpless. Without his knowledge or consent people had named Him, people had given Him a face, a religion. In His name two people, who really loved each other and shared love because He willed it, were forced to separate and there was no one in this whole world who will help.
“Why did you walk out of the car?”
“I could not sit there anymore, listening to you talk like this. Accepting whatever is happening to us without ever questioning it.”
She knew he was silent because he had no reply to that. She was right. He was accepting everything without a question because he believed in the endogamous system, he believed in his religion, he thought he was doing right by his parents without ever considering right or wrong when it came to her.
Suddenly, she felt his grip tighten on her and she knew her bus had come. She turned her head around slightly. Yes, the bus was here. She took a deep breath and let go of her death grip on him, turned around, picked her bags and climbed the bus. Her seat was a window seat, towards the end of the bus. She kept her luggage overhead, sat down and pulled the curtain away.
There he was. He was looking at her with eyes brimming with love. She did not know whether to laugh or cry. What was the point of all this love when it was all going to go to waste? The engine suddenly came alive and her breathing quickened. He held his hand out to her. She took it.
“I love you”
“I love you!”
The bus moved and she looked out of the window till he became a tiny speck in the city traffic.
Then she broke down.