The flight was announced and I proceeded to board. I was on my way to my ancestral home in Delhi. It was going to be a long flight from Frankfurt to Delhi. I settled down at the allotted seat and was preparing to sleep throughout the journey. The seat next to mine remained empty. I hoped for a no disturbance flight because I did not like to strike a conversation with anybody, lest they prove to be the chatter bugs that leave you baffled. Moreover, off late, I have become more of an introvert. I disliked any social contact except when it was work related and hence hoped that nobody turns up to claim the seat by my side.
He walked into the aircraft with that very old smile. His eyes were searching for the seat while I tried to hide myself from him. Unfortunately, it was him with whom I had to travel for around ten hours. I tried to keep my eyes away from his. I knew the obvious sentiment his eyes might have or rather will have in them. It was anger, nothing but anger. There was an air of discomfort. Our minds were at battle and I was in mess. Guilt took over my person. I could not meet his eyes. All that took place six years back was now refreshed and filled my heart with remorse.
Both of us worked for rival firms. Both our companies shared nothing but the mutual idea of competition. Our marriage took place after a courtship of a year and a half. Holding similar positions in contending firms was never a problem between us. We were professionals and very well knew the drawing line between both our professional and personal lives. Everything was perfect between us and our life was beautiful together till one fine day, I ruined it all. I did something malicious. I did something that I should never have done. A dishonorable act of mine shattered our lives into pieces beyond repair. I broke our nest; I lowered myself in his eyes. I lost the love that made life charming.
I do not know what urged me to do something like that. Was it money; superiority complex; an unknown desire to do better than him? I really do not know and neither did I know when exactly such a thought creep into my psyche. I can never forget the day realization dawned upon him. I had leaked some very important information of the company which he served for some advantage. The emotions that flowed through the heart of somebody who was betrayed can never be comprehended by someone who is not party to the betrayal. I was party to it and I could feel it. Neither did he interrogate me nor did he create a scene. His silence killed every inch of me and there was nothing that I could do to stop this. I very well knew that I deserved it and knew that I was to be punished. Moreover the silence that now existed between us left me aghast. I left our home because I knew that I will not be able to bear the hatred that was in him. This was an act of cowardice and I was indeed a coward at that point. I could handle an infuriated him but could not handle an embittered him. Every time our eyes met, I could sense that one question that lingered in them, “why?” I had no answer to it then neither do I have an answer today.
Even today, I have nothing but regret for all of this. I received the prize for the deceit. All that I got in exchange of this pure cheating was never able to compensate all that I lost in this bargain. I lost my life, my love, the respect and the purity that it all had. I never found anybody like him in all these years. I realized that no riches could bring its worth at par with the love and respect that he showered me with. I live my life all alone, in my shell, in quiet. Every single day I recall it all and I still feel that I have to remain punished in this loneliness.
We did not speak with each other throughout the journey. It wasn’t exactly a journey; it was an ordeal, a journey which refreshed the wound. I wanted to know how he was doing, what he was doing, did he have a family; post our divorce I never tried inquiring of him. I distanced myself from everything that was even remotely related to him. Even then, I had this unexplainable, indescribable inclination to know of him but then I forced myself from doing anything that may ruin this further. Never did he once turn towards me or at least express his displeasure. May be, I did not exist for him. He must have moved on and must have left that unwanted baggage of his past for good. I could not stop myself from looking at him while waiting for our luggage at the airport. He looked the very same except for a few grey’s that were now a part of his look. I waited till he left the airport before I proceeded towards my car. I kept apologizing to him in my mind but I very well knew that we were disconnected now. He was cold and I deserved no warmth. Even then, I am sorry. I am sorry.
Copyrights 2014 Elsa Thomas