Life Beyond Love, a novella, Chapter – 15, Love and Mephistopheles
“What are you doing dear.”
“My head is hammering. So, I take my food and try to sleep.”
I just got frenzied. From morning to evening no callback, no message and now when I was in utter distress he was bidding me a formal ‘goodbye’ as if there is nothing to do on his part.
“Akash, have you not the time to know how am I now.”
“Oh, how are you feeling?”
I wanted to bang my head on the bedpost and cry bitterly. But I did nothing like that. At last, Akash was with me after the day’s struggle. Every tickle of time was precious to me. He could vanish at any moment like a bubble in the warm air and I could not be able to catch hold of him anymore. I sought his comfort, his solace, perhaps even his pity. Though I knew pity could not be love, I was desperate to be with him at any cost even being a beggar of love. I knew in my heart when he would go the illusion of this ephemeral world would vanish making me more miserable with nothing to ruminate about but the naked reality hanging blatantly in front of me. The eternal query would haunt me to death, “Is it love?” mocking my sanity. But my blind desire for the momentary fake perfection pawned my own life to the Mephistopheles.
“Quite fine now. Akash why have you not responded to me?”
“Oh, baby I was so busy.”
I kept silent, finding nothing to say or perhaps storming with so many allegations.
“Hi! What are you thinking?”
“Don’t get angry. Please, come on.”
There was something in his voice that melted, every time, my anger, bitterness, and frustration with very little effort. Later I felt confused within me if he really meant what he said or if these were the false presumption to be again repeated. But for that time, I packed my reason outside my head and tried to feel contented.
“Akash, I wish to go to you. It seems like old days of yore I’ve last seen you.”
“Do you want to see me?”
“Don’t fret with me. You cannot feel how I miss you.”
“Ok, I’m going to you.”
“Akash, why are you toying?”
“Just make a video call and you can see me”.
“You know Akash I never used a smartphone before, and this one was gifted by Sikha aunty just before I went to Chitora. I knew very little of its use.”
“Ok, now just go to the top of the screen. There is an option for video calls. Touch on it and you can see me.”
“I never use the option.”
I touched the sign as if I was going to open the door of a mountain cave, chanting ‘khula simsim’. My heart was beeping with the beeping of the phone and I could hear it.
“I cannot see you.”
“I’ve put off my lights. But I can see you.”
“So put on the light so that I can.”
It was a new experience for me. I could not believe my eyes. Here he was before me. I could see him as I wished for so long.
I felt the same blush, the same hesitation, the same baffled attraction when I saw his face on the screen.
“Your eyes are beautiful Aatri.”
“Yours too Akash, so deep and pensive.”
We kept silent searching for words, there was so much to say but how which one to give priority, I could not decide.
Akash broke the silence.
“You are blushing Aatri”.
“Not at all, actually I am feeling uneasy, there are so many things to tell you but when you are just opposite to me, I’m fumbling, feeling confused.”
The voice so loving and endearing just warmed me. I felt happy. Sometimes we talked, talked a lot. Sometimes we only kept looking at each other. We felt dizzy and sleepy.
“Akash, I want to go to you.”
“No, it’s not a joke. Akash, if I can get a job in Chitora then I can be with you. But mamoni is here and she will not go. I cannot leave her alone.”
“But Aatri someday you will be married and you have to leave her alone.”
“No Akash I’m her only child and you know everything, how mentally shocked she is. Though she is recovering she is not yet totally fit. “
“Yeah, it’s a problem.”
“Akash, will you be with me?”
“I’m with you.”
“Then I can fight any problem. Just don’t leave me away. I feel scared.”
“Ok Aatri, don’t feel so sad. Everything will be all right.”
“Akash, I wish to be with you in every moment of my life but now I’m feeling sleepy.”
“Let’s sleep together.”
“Oh yeah, online get-together.”
Hey, I am Munmun, the phoenix fabulist who wants to tell you stories. I love to read stories and I love to weave stories. I feel life is an amalgamation of multiple stories, colourful threads, and threads of pain, pleasure, hope, and hopelessness. We just need to pick those hues and arrange them, knitting them with our own emotions and perception. So let’s celebrate the stories of life.