She felt \peace. She had found her purpose. All this while, working like a crazed maniac, she had tried to find some solace. But something had always been missing. After endlessly searching for it in meaningless relationships, she had found it, the missing piece of her heart. It had always been him.
She ran her fingers through his hair as she smiled down at him. And he laughed with her. As though he understood. As though he was happy to have her around.
She cast a triumphant glance towards his father, expecting him to be beaming from ear to ear but he just shook his head sadly and walked out. Confused, she turned towards his mum who stood rooted.
“Did I do something wrong?” She asked, refusing to leave his side.
His mother relented. She sighed deeply, “No bacche, I’m sorry. This has just been so difficult for me, I forget that it was equally hard for you.” While you stayed. His mother left those unsaid words hanging in the air.
“I’m not going anywhere again. I’m going to stay here, near him.” She said in her most convincing voice.
A tired smile appeared on his mother’s face, “I know what you’re going through. There is nothing you can do for him. There’s nothing you can achieve by staying here. Don’t throw away your life. I’m sure he wouldn’t have wanted that.”
Her confusion grew, “All this while you’ve been making me feel horrible about leaving and now that I want to stay you’re asking me to go?”
His mum pursed her lips and came closer to her. She placed a warm hand on her shoulder. “I was.. ” She hesitated, “I guess I was just mad, that nothing happened to you.” His mom touched her face gently, “Mad that both of you had the accident and you came out without a scratch.” She wiped an unshed tear, “And my son, who would have been 30 this year, is..” she swallowed deeply. “Who knows what great things he could have done.” She said, a half smile appearing on her face.
She stared at her mother, a little in disbelief mixed with a little sympathy. She had often wondered, why she hadn’t come to any harm. They both had been together that day. Both of them wearing a seatbelt, not going too fast, no alcohol in their system. It was just that, an accident. And she had come out of it unscathed, a few scars and bruises. The bruises didn’t even last a week. Nothing to show what a large part of her had died in that accident.
Him on the other hand, almost immediately, they had known that he would never be okay. She had hated herself for not protecting him. How she could have done that was anybody’s guess. But she couldn’t really fault his mother for harbouring those feelings. She had often prayed that she could go back in time and chose to drive that fateful day. Then what would have he done? Left her? Been with her?
“But I’m here now, I can’t. I can’t leave him again.” She shudder at the thought.
His mum separated her hand from him, “Please, don’t make this harder on us than it already is.”
“I don’t understand. Why can’t I stay?” She asked, slight anger creeping into her voice.
His mom took her hand into hers. “Come, visit anytime. But don’t do this. He would hate to see you waste your life. I know he would. He wanted to see you happy.”
She turned back to him. He had drifted off to sleep. Maybe his mother was right. Yes, she had found peace here. But that didn’t mean she had to stay here. Would he even know that she was around?