”Tu pyar hai kisi aur ka…thujhe chaahatha koyi aur hai…”
”Tu pasand hai kisi aur ki…thujhe maangtha koyi aur hai…”
As narrated by Nemo :
I took a deep breath in. This was it. I decided that I wouldn’t go over the top because we are not a couple and I just wanted to tell her. I had waited far too long for this, I should have done this years ago….
I got off my car and neatened my shirt. This was so difficult. .I was so nervous that I even thought of going back! It wasn’t the fear of the impending disappointment, nor was it the pain that I knew that I would feel. .but just the thought that now Aara may look at me differently and things will probably never be the same again…because now she would know what I kept in my heart for so long. ..
Armed with a box of Lindor and a bunch of red roses, I walked up the stairs to her apartment.
I fidgeted when I reached the top of the staircase but not for long because she quickly opened the door, startling me in the process!
“Got you again! “,she laughed ” I always know when you’re outside no matter how quiet you try to be”
I just smiled. I was beyond nervous! I had dated plenty of girls and always had the right words. ..but this time it was different, very different.
“This is for you “, I said as I handed her the flowers and the chocolates and I hesitated before giving her the gift box with the chain inside.
Aara was silent as she herself hesitated before accepting the gifts but when she opened the gift box. ..
“I can’t accept this”
“It’s only a chain”, I said, so unsure of myself
She fumbled but didn’t say anything
“I told you that I have something important to tell you. ..Aara”
“Please. ..no…no..I don’t have the mental and emotional energy to handle a joke right now Nemo”, she said as she shook her head
” It’s not a joke. ..it never was”, I whispered
” Nemo. ..”
“I don’t want an answer. ..I mean I wanted an answer but I know that you aren’t in the right frame of mind right now. ..but sweetheart, I have waited too long to tell you and if I don’t tell you now I’m never going to have the courage to tell you ever”
A tear fell from my eye as I recalled our childhood and our teen years. ..and I held both her hands
” The day that you stepped into my life, was the biggest blessing for me..,when i think of it now, it seemed as though the minute that you entered, Allah’s mercy followed ..I never knew back then that the best memories of my life will have your name written all over it…as we grew older and closer you unlocked places in my heart that I didn’t even know existed and still it didn’t hit me. ..after you came back for me and rehabilitated me so selflessly, I understood then that only you have the ability to weave that magic into my life because you were the only one who genuinely had faith in me. ..when I was fine and on my own again, I missed you every second of every day and I tried to tell you so many times. ..the day that Maariah found her grandfather, at Bloukrans bridge, in Jhb and in Durban at Selvan’s wedding and each time I failed. I know that it may look as though I am exploiting the situation but the truth is Aara that. ..that. ..that I love you. .I have always loved you. I am hopelessly and deeply in love with you and all that I can think about is that I want to spend the rest of my life loving you and I know, I know that you can’t give me what I want right now. ..I just want you to know that I will wait for you for the rest of my life…I know that I hurt you many times and I know that I am not worthy of you but as flawed as I am. ..even every single flaw of mine is in love with you…I’m sorry that I took so long to tell you” and I kissed her hands as more tears fell from my eyes. I wished that things could be different and that I had told her back then. We probably would have been married by now!
Aara was as still as a statue, and the tears that fell from her eyes seemed to be the only movement from her side. ..I put my hand on her cheek and ultimately ended up choking on my own tears as they poured down harder.
“You were right about what you had said. ..if only you had listened to me the first time”, she whispered as she broke down into uncontrollable sobs..I hugged her and it felt as though this was the last time that she would be in my arms. Aara hugged me back and didn’t stop crying either. It was a moment that froze in time, one that I would surely remember all my life. ..
” I know what it feels like Nemo”, she said as she cried harder ” and I am so sorry. ..not because I once loved you..because I did. ..not because of Zoheb. ..but because my heart is so torn apart and I have nothing except grief and pain in it…nobody will understand what I feel, I put up a brave face but inside I am crumbling so badly that I sometimes I wonder if I will make it to the next day”
” No don’t say that”, I said as I held her
” I’m breaking Nemo. .slowly but surely. ..there was a time when I would have said yes to you without waiting for a second longer but to say yes now would be unfair to all of us”
I knew what she meant. ..this was a bitter sweet moment as both our hearts broke together. Mine perhaps trying to look for a way to get to hers and hers perhaps looking back into the past while she stood lifelessly in the present. ..
As narrated by Aara :
“I love you Aara, I have always loved you”
His words resounded in my head and in the very pit of my soul. Nemo meant it,he really meant it. I couldn’t bring myself to look at him because I didn’t have the answer that he craved from me. ..but when he cried, something inside me melted and I broke down. Maybe I needed to cry, maybe I needed to cry with someone who understood. I was overwhelmed by his maturity and by his honesty. ..a few years ago I would have said yes immediately.
But life changes, people change, I have changed.
Could I ever love him again? Maybe. But right now, I was in no position to love anyone, perhaps not even Zoheb. It had taken me alot of self restraint and alot of patience to get over Nemo and it had taken me a lot of courage to welcome a relationship with Zoheb. Both times, I was the one who suffered. Inside me, it felt as though my heart had been ripped out of my body and I was robotically living from day to day. Still, a big part of me wanted to see him again…
I held onto Nemo the way that I used to as a child, it broke my heart to not be able to have anything to give him. ..
And as though he was reading my mind. .he whispered softly
” Allah knows, You have always given me everything. .even now in your silence and in your trust in me. .you have given me everything yet again…you could have kicked me out but you didn’t, you could have pushed me away. .but you didn’t”
” That’s because you will always be my Nemo”, I said as I tried to smile through my tears
Nemo’s eyes were filled with an emotion that I had never seen there before, and a silent anguish that hurt me so deeply that I could barely meet his eyes.
Destiny is a strange thing…how and why do feelings change, how does the heart accept a stranger and reject a familiar face?
Who is really playing the role of a season, a reason and a lifetime?
Why can we forgive but can’t forget? Why are we scared of new roads and walk into dead ends over and over again?
Why do we hold onto this world and it’s contents so dearly when we know that it is just temporary?
So many whys and no answers…or so we think. Sometimes the answers are within us, but we are too afraid to accept them.
I never imagined that this short time away from Zoheb and the time spent with Nemo would drive me to a place that was entirely new to me, a seemingly endless journey that seemed to have reached a deadly decline as I tried to balance myself between stability and freefall…
Because where I stood, had a name. Where I stood, was on the edge of tomorrow. ..