There was pin drop silence in the house. I swallowed nervously, then started scampering when I heard a footfall behind me.
‘Are you running away?’
The voice startled me. I turned around. He was looking at the suitcase in my hand.
I sat down on the couch with a thud. Silence fell between us. He stayed put.
‘Yes.’ I said a minute later.
He heaved a deep sigh, then came and sat down on the floor before me. I looked at him, puzzled. He shrugged off his backpack. I took a look at it and shot him an inquiring glance. ‘Were you running away as well?’
He nodded. We looked at each other for a while, then lowered our eyes. We hesitated to ask what we both wanted to know. I stood up grabbing my bag and said, ‘I’d better leave before anybody woke up.’
He got to his feet and picked up his backpack. ‘Why are you leaving, if I may ask?’
I sighed. ‘You know what happens when a small town girl is married off into an affluent family, right? She’s treated like a property they have just acquired and is never asked what she wanted to do in life.’
‘So what is it that you want to do?’ He asked earnestly.
‘I want to breathe without having to seek other’s permission.’
He stared at my face silently.
‘What’s your reason?’ I asked.
He smiled faintly. ‘Would you like to live a life without any struggle, barriers or hiccups? Something which is too smooth…too comfortable. I led such a life and loathed it to the core. I want to know what reality looks like…what life outside this giant house feels like. The only way I can do it is to run far, far away.’
I turned around to open the door. Something stung my heart. I swallowed it.
‘What if we eloped together?’
I stopped and turned to face him.
‘You know what real life is and I know what life without reality is. Don’t we all need to strike a balance between the two?’ The man who I had gotten married to that day stretched his hand out to me.
Written by Chirasree Bose
Picture courtesy: Google images