“Happy anniversary Disha.” Arnav thought as he scrolled through the old backed up images on his mobile. His eyes grew moist as he looked at her face.” You had everything planned out for this day…candle light dinner, long drive…and a promise; a promise that I could not fulfill.” Arnav blinked a few times to clear his eyes of any tears.
The doorbell rang.” It must be Drishti.” He quickly closed the gallery on his mobile. Glancing at the mirror, he forced out a smile on his face and darted to the main door.
“Hey! It took pretty long to reach home today. I was just going to call you.” Arnav said after opening the door. Drishti, his wife, smiled and stepped inside.
“As usual it’s the traffic. Pathetic, you know!” She replied, throwing her purse onto the Sofa in their drawing room.
“Yeah…You must be tired. Take rest…we’ll go out on some other day.” Arnav said.
“No way! Do you know I had so many plans for today? At first we’ll go to this big expensive restaurant, then you’ll take me for a long drive along the sea. Don’t you remember your promise?” Drishti said in a whining tone.
Hearing her words, Arnav remembered Disha, his ex girlfriend and their conversation from last year. It was their 4th anniversary. She laid her head on his shoulder and told him that she had big plans for their 5th anniversary. He recollected the promise he was supposed to fulfill today.” Will you remember it?” She had asked.
“I remember it Di…” He was about to say Disha, but checked himself and said,” …Drishti.”
Drishti came forward and looking into his eyes, asked,” Were you going to take her name?”
“Huh?” Arnav was shocked by the way she had asked it. He took a step back.
“Disha. You still remember her, don’t you?”
“No, I…I…don’t.” Arnav considered telling her the truth for a moment, but changed his mind at the last moment.
Drishti came closer to him, took his hands, placed them on her waist and said,” Imagine I’m Disha and tell me whatever’s there in your head. Anything that you wanted yet couldn’t tell her.”
“I have nothing to say.”
“I know you have. Close your eyes…” Drishti covered his eyes with her hand,” …imagine Disha is standing in front of you, and speak your mind.” Drishti whispered.
Arnav took a deep breath; he could not fathom why all of a sudden Drishti wanted to talk about Disha while after their marriage she never showed interest in his past. He wanted to say no, but her touch made him feel dizzy. As he closed his eyes, he saw Disha. The emptiness that he had buried deep inside his heart, suddenly seemed more powerful than his other senses. He hesitated to take her name before his wife for some uncomprehended reason, but he started to feel numb.” Disha…” he uttered. A fresh wind touched his face.” I remember the promise. I couldn’t sleep last night…I can’t tell you how much it hurts to not be able to talk to anyone about you. I want to fulfill the promise. May I?” He knew it was Drishti who he was talking to, yet he couldn’t refrain himself from asking.
“Hm hm…go ahead.” A soft voice reached his ears.
Arnav bent forward and kissed her forehead. Then he said,” Happy 5th anniversary Disha. I know I was supposed to do this in the morning. You said I would have to wake you up with a kiss on your forehead. You thought I would forget our anniversary like every year I did…but see, I do remember. I love you…” Arnav jerked away from Drishti and opened his eyes.” Sorry…I didn’t mean to say that” he said, dropping his eyes.
Drishti smiled as tears welled up in her eyes. The doorbell rang again; Arnav excused himself and walked to the door. He opened the door; there was no one in sight. He frowned. he was about to close the door, when his eyes fell on a small folded paper lying on the doormat. He picked it up and closed the door. He started to unfold the paper, when his mobile buzzed. He answered without looking at the caller ID – “Hello!”
“Hey, I’m still stuck in the traffic…I think we should cancel our plans for tonight.” A voice was heard from the end.
“Drishti!” Arnav exclaimed and turned back instantly. No one was there in the room; he checked all the rooms in their apartment; Drishti was nowhere to be found. Arnav sat down on the Sofa. Not able to understand what was going on, he unfolded the paper in his hands –
I’m still here Arnav, sitting next to you and staring at you. I see you everyday…every moment. I disguised myself as your wife so you could fulfill your promise. Or else you could have never kissed me without hesitation. Never for one moment you let yourself forget the promise because you thought it was unfair to forget it and move on. Now that it is done, let go of me Arnav…let go of the part inside of you that loved me. Don’t feel guilty for marrying her. Accept that you love her too. I’m happy that you fulfilled the promise, but before I go, gift me with the acceptance of your love for Drishti. Let me go Arnav…