If you have not read the previous parts to this tale, then I highly recommend that you read them in the following order.
Have you not heard? Love is the greatest tyrant of all times and the most benevolent of all rulers.
Today I shall tell you about the third and final story. Endings are always difficult and all the more so when it’s love that has to end. But come to think of it, Love never really ends in the conventional sense does it? For if it did then was it really, truly ‘Love’ in the first place? Yes, it’s tough and the pain is great but what’s tougher is being able to make calm, sensible and thought out decisions under the circumstance- when heart and mind ache the same; for one blind man cannot lead another.
The Great Blow
It was January 1 and John was at his apartment. It was a holiday and there was no place else that he could be, even if he wanted to plus he just wanted to be left alone at his place. It was New year’s and the world heralded the brand new year, but he felt lost. The new year much as it signified the start of something new, also conveyed the end of something else. John did not want that something else to end. Something he had worked so hard on over the last year.
Shereen had not spoken to him for over a month now. She hadn’t answered his calls during Christmas nor did she wish him. The last time they spoke she said she wanted some time off to sort herself out. John always being the understanding guy never said a word, he said he’d pray about it too.
His phone rang. It was Shereen. He felt a lump in his throat, it came all to sudden and he was at a loss how to answer. Distance of the mind does wreck havoc on relationships; does it not?
“Shereen..” answered John as he picked up the phone. “it’s been soo..”
“Yohaan” exclaimed Shereen excitedly over the phone on the other end; interrupting his words. “Guess whaaaatt“.
John felt the excitement in her voice and almost forgot that they had not spoken for over a month! “What is it Shereen.. how can I know unless you tell me” replied John his voice Cheering up a bit. Yohaan was how Shereen addressed John lovingly. And John loved his nick name, no one else called him that nor did he allow it. Only she could call him Yohaan.
“I’m getting engaged Yohaan… next month!”
| Wait.. WHAT?? but.. that’s not how we.. the last time we spoke.. in one month?… I didn’t even.. you didn’t even… No, there was something… it’s not fair.. I’m not… I’m not ready. |
New York’s peak hour traffic would have been a saner bet than John’s thoughts in that instant, all racing towards the inevitable doom that he didn’t want to reach.
But all he could manage to say over the phone was “so that’s why you sound so happy“.
She giggled over the phone “Yes Yohaan, he’s a really nice guy.” What does she mean though when she said this? He’s a really nice guy!! Was she trying to say that he was better than him? or that he just wasn’t good enough? Nothing at that moment seemed to be positive for John.
“Yohaan, I’m going home now, I have to hang up. But I’ll call you later okay?” said Shereen. John’s core by now had begun to give up, he felt himself losing control over his voice. For someone who did not have the courtesy to even tell him about the other man, what would she need to call him for? What on earth could she have to say now that she didn’t want to tell him a month before.
“aahhmm.. no, that’s okay Shereen.. you don’t have to call me” said John, his voice now shaking like he’d been hit by a magnitude 5 earthquake. “Why.. you don’t want to talk Yohaan?” asked Shereen.
“No I want to Shereen.. so badly.. but I wanted to a month back.. you just.. I don’t understand…. what to ss..” The trembling was now clear enough for Shereen to comprehend. She paused for a minute and said “I’m sorry Yohaan“. John let the phone drop onto the bed and stared up at the ceiling motionless, but there was nothing that he could have done to prevent the tears from escaping his eyes. So he closed his eye lids in an effort to contain them; but when your emotions have taken the effort to make the treacherous journey from heart to eyes, a flimsy lid isn’t going to do the job of containing them. Shereen probably hung up for lack of a response from his side. His phone beeped soon after, she had sent him a text message.
A Tasteless Afternoon
Men are often accused of being unable to understand emotions. I guess it is true to an extent, perhaps. Men are capable of staring at nothing and finding comfort in nothingness, they are capable of finding an escape from the world in materialistic things like beer, bikes, or cars. No real conversation with a support circle is necessary.
By the same breath, it is surprising how in times like these, even those material things can fail to provide comfort. He took his phone and opened the text message.
[“Yohaan, just because I met this guy, doesn’t mean that I don’t want to talk to you anymore.” ]
This was worse than what she said before. Every word was such a torture today, spoken or unspoken for that matter. Have you not heard love is the greatest tyrant of all times and the most benevolent of all rulers. How could he let her know how much her words were hurting him right then?
Everywhere John went there was always something that reminded him of her. He knew that the only way to get over this was to accept the fact that she was happy with her decision. And accepting that meant being able to forgive her for the hurt she caused; being able to forgive meant that he’d have to open up himself first and touch the wound where it was fresh.
Defeated by the hurt and from having to run away from it and from himself; he knew it had to end. John had had enough of it. He figured the best way to go about doing it was to write a letter. About everything he felt and get it over with once and for all. He wanted his thoughts and life back to himself and for that, this had to be done.
I don’t know what to say…
Shereen, last year this same time, we began something sweet, together. I don’t know why I am writing this email, but this stupid heart of mine still tells me to write. one last time, to try.
But I’m glad that you told me at least now. Because the last time you stopped talking to me, I fought really hard with God and with myself to get you back, to get my Shereen back. But now she is no longer mine! This time I just don’t have the strength or the courage to fight, especially when it’s the man you’ve chosen as your life partner.
When I first saw you, I was really glad and thankful that God showed you to me and even you told me the same. And I remember that the day I first spoke to you was on Christmas eve and I thought I had found my Christmas love- I felt that this was something special , a gift. It’s something that I was praying about as well. I was so happy every time I heard your voice. I looked forward to talking with you.
It’s just that I’m still finding it hard to believe that it’s all over. That someone you came to love and care about so much and who you believed was your’s forever is now someone else’s. That that person is no longer your’s. I’m not angry that you’re getting engaged, I’m mad about something else.
Those 40 days and even after that when you stopped talking to me, I still kept praying and kept you in my heart believing that things would still work out. I could feel you growing more and more distant from me day after day. But I had no idea that it was because someone else came in your life. And then one day, when I finally spoke to you again, I am told that everything I dreamed about or hoped for is lost 😞
But you know what, any anger I had or however mad I was at hearing this, it just melted away like butter when I saw that you were Happy. Although I am sad that I’m not the reason you are happy and that it is someone else, still I’m happy for you. Because when ever you used to talk to me, it was always about the tough times in life and how you hated everything and everybody and how you just wanted to go back home, away from everything. And I would listen to you calmly , hear everything you had to say and then try my best to comfort you and console you.
But when I heard your voice yesterday it was so happy, there was no intimacy towards me like there used to be before. All of a sudden it felt as if there was nothing for me to do. Because I used to try and make you feel better and happy when you were going through those tough times, but this time there was nothing for me to do, you were already so happy. I felt completely distant and alienated. But really, the only thing I wanted to see, was to see you being happy, and finally you were Happy. I’m sorry Shereen that I did not have the strength to watch that.
And then you said something, you said “you’r still my best friend. Don’t think that I don’t want to talk to you anymore just because I met him”.
Shereen you really have no idea what this did to me when I heard you say this. And I hope that you never have to know either, because really, it’s not something pleasant at all. Maybe you were able to forget all the sweet and special things you told me or maybe you’re just modern that way, but I’m not and it was too much to bear at that time.
As difficult it is for me to say this, I will still say it- Shereen I hope that you find everything that you had hoped for and much more in your life partner and I hope and continue to pray that the hard time are behind you and that this is the start of all the good things to come in your life. I want to say i miss you, but I won’t since I no longer have that right.
P.S I know you share everything with the people you love, so if this mail does reach you, then please don’t show it to your fiancé and make me look like a fool in front of him.
John called me over that night. We talked a lot, he talked a lot rather. I listened, sometimes all that an afflicted soul desires is that someone listen to it.
for tonight, all I ask is that you lend me your ears
and keep me from stupid thoughts and wasted tears!
Cause come tomorrow, I’ll be up with the dawn
for once the rose is gone, what use is the thorn?
I have to go now. I’ll leave you with this. A poem.
PS. did you know there was a man who cycled from India to Sweden, all for LOVE?