It was a lazy Sunday morning for Mannat. She got up from the bed and pulled the curtains apart; the outside view forced her to stop at the window for a while. It was dreamy; the hills were playing hide and seek with the swift stunning clouds; the sight delighted her heart. She smiled and opened the window. A gush of cool breeze touched her lazy face giving her a blow of freshness. She took many deep breaths. While enjoying the blissful moment with Nature, suddenly, her smile faded; her eyes became teary and all the joy that she felt a moment ago, blurred. She brought her right hand near her heart and closed the eyes. In the very moment a loud thunder startled her…as she opened her eyes; the happy dance of cottony clouds was replaced by a dark dreary thunderstorm. Thick rain drops stroke hard on the metal rooftop of the front house! Mannat sat near the window. ‘Have you sensed my pain?’ she mumbled looking up at the sky.
Soon the memories of her first love were playing in front of her eyes. It was a big nostalgia. She replayed the scenes in whatever order she remembered. The moment she saw him for the first time, she knew everything changed. The boy either was unaware of the instant connection or pretended so for long. Mannat smiled, “he was so stupid or was it me!“
She stared at the empty road. It all looked so familiar. She thought about their last meeting! It had been a painful year. After confessing her love to him, she hoped for a happy period of courtship. Other than a few occasional pleasing conversations, to her dismay, he never uttered those three magic words. Eyes never lie, they say! She trusted what his mouth failed but the eyes never tried to hide. Was that enough?
Their last meeting (like most of the previous ones) happened accidentally on the street. Mannat had questions…a hell lot of them! She was angry…very angry. She wanted to confront him that day. However, on facing him, she longed for the time to just stop right there. She wanted him to hold her hand…look in her eyes…and tell her everything that she needed to hear. But that day was different! Instead of talking, he rather asked for her leave. She tried to stop him…called his name aloud…many times…without caring for anyone else to notice but he never turned back! She saw him going…far. It has happened earlier too. She has seen him going away many times but that day it felt like she would never see him again! As if he was going forever. Tears flooded her eyes and before she could wipe them…he was gone out of sight!
Mannat looked around the barren street and the buildings. In the colony of hundreds, she felt very lonely. Mannat cried like crazy. Alas! She couldn’t escape a heart break!. All of a sudden, the Weather took a strange turn; it started raining as if heaven wanted to give her company. Mannat didn’t move for long time; she stood there like a statue staring in the direction of his exit. For once she felt like running after him. Tell him how much she loved him! ‘But haven’t you done that already?’ An inner voice snubbed her. ‘Let him go Mannat,’ the voice softened a bit.
Drenched head to toe, she turned away from his direction and started walking away aimlessly…lost in dilemma!
“Why he doesn’t love me back? Why? Why I have to beg for his love? What is wrong with me? Am I this worthless? Do I not have a tiny amount of self-respect left in me? This one-sided love has literally destroyed me! No. I can’t let him crush my emotions every time he feels like! I am not going to let him treat me like an option! I don’t deserve to be treated like this! No. This is not happening again!”
Mannat returned home soaking wet. Without a word, she pulled out a bag and packed some clothes. On being asked for an explanation by her mom, she managed to say, “This place suffocates me mom. I need to go away right now!” Signs of worry were apparent on mother’s face. Mannat assured her, “Don’t worry mother. I would not do anything foolish. You know where I can go. I’ll call as soon as I feel fine,” and she left.
The destiny again tested her resolve one last time. As she came out in the street, again she saw him coming from the front. Her heart skipped a beat. “He may have come back to say sorry!” she thought. “Don’t be foolish Mannat! Not again. Move away. It’s now or never”, she reminded herself.
‘History repeats’, they say. Both of them came face to face once again like always, but for the first time in her miserable love history, the charming face failed to enchant Mannat. She looked straight through him, and with determination, crossed the mark of the make-believe legend called true love!
This blog is a part of the #BirthdayBlogTrain hosted by Gunjan and Neha. I would like to thank Arushi for introducing me to this blog train and would like to introduce Upasana to share her take on the Monsoon prompts.