By Malathy Madathilezham
She stared at his worried eyes. No, she stared through them…into oblivion. What was she doing here? Why was she with him? Tears streamed down her eyes, an ocean of emotions over which she had no control. ‘I am sorry dear, really… I don’t know what to say? Why are you crying?’
His voice just washed over the surface of her skin, in the background. It wasn’t that she regretted having sex with this gentle giant of a man who had become her greatest support during the past few months. She was just surprised and overwhelmed at what could have driven her to do it. She knew he loved her intensely, but she also knew that she did not. He was part of her life right now to help her through this difficult time. Right now, she couldn’t bear the thought of sharing her life with another man! She was repulsed by the very thought.
‘Mridula!!’ Arun’s voice shook her out of her reverie. ‘Look at me dear, you know how wretched I feel when you cry. It’s worse when I don’t know why.’ Should she share her thoughts? No, she decided, it would cause so much pain to him and that she would not be able to see. ‘It happens you know when I get overwhelmed by emotions, tears just flow. Doesn’t mean that I am sad!’ She smiled at him.
It was in college that she first met him. It wasn’t first love but it was in first sight. She was drawn to him in a way she had not known till then. The magic of their first date made her want to meet him again…and again and again. The first time they made love, she had decided that this was the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. She could only see the love in his eyes… Love was everything….
Mridula was in stress. Uncertainty in her career, financial burden and the constant bickering and fighting with Anand was taking a toll on her health. She did not know what to do. Her only solace now was Arun. She felt guilty. She felt as if she was using him. But she could not stop. Their conversations and coffee together after work was the only thing she looked forward to nowadays.
Arun loved her. From the first day at work he liked her. He had sensed that she was troubled and wanted to help her. He tried to maintain a distance after he came to know she was married. That did not work! He could not believe what happened today. He felt guilty. ‘She is married!!’ His friends had warned him not get emotionally involved as they did not want to see him get hurt. But he had started hoping for more…looking forward to more… may be….
Mridula was walking home. She had cheated on her husband today. But why wasn’t she feeling guilty? She was, in fact, feeling calm and relieved. The uncertainty in her mind was there no more. She knew now what she wanted. More importantly she knew what she had to do to achieve that. She felt a sense of freedom which had till then eluded her. She was free.