Waves crashed against the rock, and he had to close his eyes, at the assault of few enthusiastic droplets of water that kissed his face now.
Perched on the top of the rock at the north of the beach, he looked at the horizon where the Sea met sky.
When he was a child he remembered believing in the illusion he saw. Watching the meeting point of sky and sea and the distant ships, and wondering why those ships went out of sight then, and answering himself that they traveled to an adventure land. How ironic it was that, he still didn’t grow from that child and yet believed in illusions. Illusions that would always be just that; illusions.
A nasty wave crashed with the mossy rock, making the salty water touch his skin again. This time when he closed his eyes, he didn’t listen to the whispering wind. Rather, he heard a voice. Her voice.
The voice. Surly sometimes, sweet sometimes, childish sometimes, it was a voice he came to recognize, with every fiber of his body.
“Look at him, ignoring a 5 feet 6 inches lady. I tell you he’s a dolt” he heard her speak to the pup she adored, while cooking in Kitchen this morning.
Hiding himself so that he wouldn’t be in the line of her vision, he saw her talk to her pet, and complain about him, and watched her back that faced him with softened eyes.
The whisper on his lips died before it could be heard.
He saw her still the spatula in her hand and moved back just in time before he could be caught staring.
He was not seen, and he was grateful that she was distracted soon after by a sound in kitchen, which he guessed was her Pup’s doing.
He had a chance to get away out of the house, before he could be noticed, like he was doing every morning. Leaving the place before she woke up, returning after she went to sleep, waiting for him in living room.
The guilt he thought he got over with, came back to him manifold when he watched her profile from the window as he stepped out of the house.
The searching eyes, her eyes were an answer to all the questions he couldn’t dare ask.
“For a moment there,” he heard her mumble and close her eyes for a deep breath.
“I thought he was watching. Gautam.” her words were a mere whisper now as she touched her pup and stroked it behind the ear.
“Did I fall too hard Max?”
For some reason, it sounded more of a confession than a question. And that was his undoing.
He walked to his car then, unmindful of his hand that was curled around his briefcase.
As he watched the evening sky turn ink blue, he heard her voice in his head again.
“Did I fall too hard Max?”
He could still see her profile. Those always shining eyes, that were now downcast, her shoulders stooping, the Cream colored Jari bordered Sari adorning her silky skin glowing around her like golden mist. Her curly hair, wet with earlier wash, leaving trails of water droplets on her blouse.
How he wished he could have walked into the kitchen then instead of walking out.
How many times had he wished to go to her, than away from her.
Just how many times had his hands extended to wake up her sleeping form at the dining table, every time he reached home late at night.
How many times had his fingers itched to remove her curly mane that often teased her face when she was mixing flour to make an evening snack.
How he wished, he would stop punishing her, a woman who had entered his life with millions of dreams and hoping for love and happiness. A woman who was now a part of his life, if not by his choice but for the rest of the world.
How he wished he were a different person, a person who would love her, cherish her the way she deserved to be. How he wished he could fulfill all her dreams, and be a part of her laughter.
How he wished, he could love her the way she loved him.
How he wished he could accept the relationship they were tied in.
She was his wife. In the eyes of the society. If not for him. Was it so difficult to accept it? Accept her?
The starting of tiny droplets of rain disturbed him out of his musings as he blinked and looked heavenwards. When his gaze flitted back to the sea, he couldn’t see the horizon anymore, dark as it had become. He got up from the rock, took his blazer, and shoes and made way to his car, parked at a distance, as the rain picked up.
As he had got behind the wheels, he closed his eyes for a moment as he tried to concentrate on that voice once. The voice of the girl he had loved. The voice of that woman who had marked his life, that woman whom he could never be replaced by any other woman, not even his wife.
As the pelting droplets of the rain touched the windows of the car, he realized, the voice in his head was being faded down slowly.
It wasn’t real anymore, and he wasn’t sure what has been suppressing the voice in his head? The wheezing wind, or the voice of another woman, his wife?