- Part 2 -
Gautamjit Thokchom *
From that day until the next Saturday was one hell of a wait. I thought I could have reached the moon by walking.
I shaved, put on lotion. I looked alright. I waited for her at the bridge at the end of the village. She came with an umbrella. Small drops of sweat covered her forehead and chin. She looked fine. Better than that day in the shop. Hundred times, better. She told me to hold the umbrella and we walked to the main road, caught a bus and reached town. The movie was alright. Her comments on the plot and acting were surprisingly insightful.
Nothing happened that day. She didn't look at me once. I mean directly. I'm not a fool. So, let's say, I also didn't look at her.
That was how it all started. It took two years for us to look at each other without anxiety. Courtesy of me, she had learned to carry herself better by then. Another year to realise what people in the village had been talking about us. I tried to make her say it once. I told her I would jump off the bridge if she didn't say the 'word'. She came, heard my countdown, but said nothing. I jumped. She pulled me out of the water, visibly angry and saying something like, "Fool". From her bag, she produced some clothes and said, "Come fast. It's cold" and left.
One year later, while we were walking in that oak orchard near the forest office, she suddenly stopped and said, "Shall we get married?"
I said, "What makes you think I want to marry you?"
"I didn't let you get drown, remember?" she said.
I laughed. "I knew how to swim. I always did."
Looking up at one of the trees and fixing her gaze on it, she said, "I can't see the sky. Let's go back then."
"Yes." I said. "Do you realise that tree, the one you are looking at right now will probably outlive us? They will still be growing whatever happens to us."
We are married now. Once in a while, she would tell our friends how I pursued her like crazy and asked her to marry me. I never disagree. I want her to be happy. As long as the truth is safe between us.
* Gautamjit Thokchom wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is a student at JIPMER, Puducherry
This article was posted on February 21, 2016.
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