Why Me! (5)

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I kept sipping my coffee, glancing once in a while at Erin. Unbearable Erin, today was in a different mood. And this was as bothersome as it could be!

“So, Erin! What’s the story?” I asked him before his mind changed.
“Hmmmm!” He heaved a cold sigh. “So, where do we begin?!” He said.
“Start from the beginning!” I exclaimed.
“Seriously??” he asked.
“Of course!” I replied.
“So here I begin,” he grinned.

And so he did begin. I was listening to every word of his as though my life depended on it. His lips as they formed words, the sound emerging from his throat, his eyes and their expressions, each of his feature captivated me, while I heard his words.

Erin had this to say,” When we were in school, while we moved to college and even after that, I had one special friend, Janie! Janie and I were close friends, the best that friends can be! She was the one with whom I could share anything. She was always with me. I never felt that she was a female, or that girlfriend kind of person. We were aware of each other’s dates and flings.

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Contrary to the rumour around, we both weren’t involved with each other. At least that is what I always thought. Until, that day. Her father had got her engaged to marry the son of his partner in business. He was rich, belonged to a good family and Janie was surprised when she was told that Alan, her fiancé was the one to ask for her hand.

Things started changing slowly after the engagement. They were to be married in a month after the engagement. There was a strange coldness in Janie. I was surprised, I wanted us to have a great time as friends but Janie started talking in mono syllables. I could feel her drifting away. I kept asking her what was bothering her, but she wouldn’t talk properly to me. I was losing out my friend even before she was swept away by another man. I too was getting moody and annoyed at her.

Things took a toll, one week before her marriage, when one of our mutual friends arranged a party for her. While I was walking back home with her, she suddenly stopped. I held her hand, my bestie’s hand. She was so cold to touch, yet she was least bothered about it. I kept asking her, I didn’t want my friend to be in some pain which I couldn’t even decipher.

Suddenly she burst into tears and fell into my arms. It wasn’t the first time she had come into my arms, but this time I felt her so weak and fragile. I never knew a woman’s thoughts can change her physically. She was such a beautiful person both inward and outwards. She stayed like that, minutes passed. When she finally became composed, I asked her, what was wrong. I wondered if her father was pressurizing her for the marriage.

You still don’t get it Erin? She asked.
I was totally dazed by her words. What was I missing?
If that is the case then I am in my own, self inflicted pain. I am glad you are saved from it Erin. She said wiping her tears. I didn’t even know what she meant.

Janie! What are you telling? I asked her.
Erin, let me just tell you this. Though I now have realized that it wasn’t from your side, you still haven’t felt those things. So in a way it is good, rather better. I am feeling quite better now. she mumbled.

Janie, what are you talking about? I persisted. And then she told me, what I never thought even in my dreams.

She said, Erin, I always had you in my life. You were the one around whom my world revolved. I never was able to imagine that some day we would get separated. And I thought that you too had those feelings for me. Ever since I knew love, ever since I felt love, ever since I dreamt of life ahead, I have loved you! Always! But today, it means nothing. And as days pass, it will die before it could bloom. Yet, I would wish you to have love in the best forms. I wish that you give and receive love as you have wanted.

It hit me hard. Agreed, that she and I were the best of friends. Yet, we had grown so accustomed to each other. We knew each other like we knew our own self. She knew what I liked and what I didn’t. I knew what she meant when she said something. But I had never thought that henceforth, once she got married, once she walked down the aisle, our relationship would become history. I hadn’t ever thought about the love we had, we shared, we lived. The love, we – rather which I had taken for granted.

That day, when she walked towards the house, away from me, I realized the distance that was increasing each day between us. I felt, she was being sensitive, too emotional in her pre-marriage days. I did love her, but just as a friend. I told her that, and she smiled and said, she was glad to hear it! I waved and smiled as she entered the house and I thought little about it as I returned home myself.

The unseen, invisible thunder struck me, on that fateful day.”

**Did Erin feel anything for Janie? Did he really lose Janie forever? What is Erin’s story?
I really wish I get to write the next part sooner! Hope you liked it till here!
Lots of love!

S.F.R.

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