“I love you.” He said, hesitated a bit and added,” do you love m…”
“No…” I cut him off.
“Why?…I can see it in your eyes that you feel something for me…”
“I can’t love you.” I again cut him short.
I turned around to leave, he asked – ” Why can you not?” I walked away, and never looked back.
We had met at the office for the first time. I liked his company not because he was handsome or attractive, but because he listened to me. I always missed that. Nobody ever listened to me, everybody was busy talking and giving their opinion about what was right and what was wrong. He talked less and cared more. He would stare at me while I was looking away and the moment I would shift my gaze to him, he would drop his eyes. He held my hand for the first time when we were crossing the road together; not that I needed his help, but it felt good; I felt as if someone was there by my side. He would brush a strand of hair from my face and tuck it behind my ear when we had lunch together; it made me feel wanted and desired. I was happy that someone was there who noticed every little thing about me. I was not lonely anymore.
I realized he considered me more than a friend; I knew his silence said a lot about his feelings. I knew what he wanted, yet hesitated to ask. Every time I looked in his eyes, they asked me a question; a question I was afraid to hear and dreaded answering. I would turn my face away every time he gazed at me. The moment his hand touched mine, I jerked my hand away. The voice inside my head told me –
“What you are doing is wrong…it’s a sin.” But the one in my heart said –
“It doesn’t feel wrong.”
That day I decided I would end the relationship before it was too late; It was wrong keep him hanging on with a false hope. I waited the whole morning and rehearsed every single line I would tell him. We met at lunch time. He smiled at me; I swallowed hard. He waved to me, I didn’t. I walked slowly to him and said –
“I want to tell you something.”
“Me too.” He replied.
I looked at him; I wanted to see him one last time before going away. He looked happy, yet nervous. He was playing with his fingers out of nervousness; why? I had no idea. I didn’t know what he wanted to say. I closed my eyes to prepare myself before telling him the truth, but before I could open them he said – “I love you…”
I cut him off before he could finish the question – Do you love me; it was the same question I was afraid to hear. My heart shouted yes, but my head said – you can’t. Eventually my head won; I said what it wanted me to say. I walked away without answering his last question. But the question still rings in my ear –
Why can you not?
Because I’m married.
Because I have a husband.
Because it’s a tenacious belief that I’m not supposed to love anybody except him.
Because I’m not allowed to fall in love anymore.
I wanted to answer, but before I could do that, my heart asked –
…then why did you?
I had no answer to that; I still don’t have one. Why did I fall for him?
– Chirasree, a dreamer.