We stayed in the same house, slept in the same room and lay on the same bed. We swear to be by each other’s side all our life.
But today; we had nothing to talk about, nothing to share and nothing to discuss. We still shared the same house but lived like two strangers who just happen to knew each other.
There was a time when all our fights melted in bed within a gentle touch of our feet, or hand. But now when we fought; we didn’t argue, didn’t say much, or didn’t even try to make up. We just slept on our own side of bed and forgot about it. The next day started like any other day.
“What was wrong?” I asked myself several times but never got any reply.
Once both of us went to a gallery. Mostly there were portraits of people of different color and stripes. They were all different but still resembled something in an unconventional way. All the people in the portrait had something visibly missing. Some of them had an simple element missing like an earring or a shoe or a button, for others it was much more substantial, like a tooth, a finger or a leg.
We both looked at the painting and found our reflection in it. We felt incomplete too. We lost something in time and were struggling to find it back.
I stayed under the shower and closed my eyes. The sound of water washing off the dust from my body gave me a false hope that my sins could be washed off too.
I slept with a colleague of mine last night after finding about his affair. It didn’t happen under the influence of alcohol. I deliberately did it. If he could do it, I did it too.
But the person in me who did it, wasn’t me. It seemed to me the way it must feel to people who cut themselves on purpose. Not pretty, but clean. Not good, but void of regret.
I couldn’t resist anymore.
“Are you going to continue seeing her?” I asked.
“What?” He murmured in panic.
“I saw her mails on your laptop.”
“How can you touch my laptop?”
“Like this,” I said and threw his laptop on the ground.
“Do you love her?” I asked and regretted, “what if he said yes?”
“No,” he replied and I took a breath of relief.
“I don’t know why am I doing this. I don’t love her.” He said next.
“I have also been sleeping with a colleague of mine. I feel like a whore.”
His face turned pale but he wasn’t surprised. He got angry but didn’t say a word.
“Well, I guess, that’s it. We have reached the end.” He finally said.
“No it can’t be,” I said and suddenly the flashes of how much we loved each other and how his presence made me feel started playing in my head.
“I am sure it is,” he said and left. He was gone, just like that.
I was shattered. “Why did I bring it up?” I asked myself.
He was really gone. I was sure that he had gone to the same girl he was seeing. My presence wasn’t comforting enough now.
I didn’t know what was the main issue; our separation, or our separation because there was another person involved.
I lay on the floor and stayed there. I couldn’t even cry. I was feeling cold and started shivering.
“What went so wrong?” I kept questioning myself.
Suddenly my phone rang. “It must be him.” I thought.
I decided to leave everything and start afresh. “We loved each other so much. We can’t give up on each other so easily.” I thought.
“Hello,” I said.
“Is that Shamli?” The voice asked.
“Mam, please write an address, you need to come over.”
“Someone you knew had an accident. We found your number in his emergency contact details.”
“Mr. Sumit Lamba.”
“He is my husband. What has happened to him?”
“He is serious. You need to come fast.”
I wrote the address and rushed to the hospital. I could sense future in the voice of that unknown person.
Sumit was gone. He wasn’t moving. He wasn’t talking. He wasn’t fighting.
I held him and shook him all over but no response.
I woke up everyday with a heart full of regret. I wished it never ended that way. I wished I had the chance to say the last “I love you” to him. I wished.
I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“I am sorry. Listen to me. Turn your back.” I heard a voice.
I opened my eyes and my heart was beating in the speed of a super fast train.
“Sumit? Sumit? You can’t be here.” I said and got up from the bed.
“Hey, I am sorry. Forgive me.”
“You are dead.” I said in panic.
“Are you crazy? It must be in your dreams. Your forehead is all sweaty. Come here, relax.”
I took a hold of myself and checked the date.
It was 6th of May, 2015 and not 2020.
“That was a dream. I saw our future in that dream.” I said and sat on the edge of the bed.
“What did you saw?”
“We started fighting a lot and cheated on each other. Then you died in an accident.” I replied.
“You should really stop watching all these soap operas.” He replied, thinking, he made a joke.
I frowned and looked away, trying not to be irritated with his unceremonious comment.
He slouched closer and hugged me from behind.
“It’s never gonna happen.” He whispered in my ear.
I turned towards him and hugged him back.
“Sorry I forgot your first birthday after our wedding.”
“It’s alright.” I replied.
“Gosh, I hope you get more nightmares like that whenever I do something wrong.” He said and started laughing.
“Go fuck yourself.” I said and pushed him on the bed, breaking the hug.
“I have other plans for tonight,” he said and pulled me closer.
Our fight was taken over by love and not silence.
Being in someone’s emergency contact list meant something deeper than what it looked like.