What can happen in half a decade? How much change can there be? To be honest Mayur didn’t want to answer these questions. He knew, deep inside him that what he had long five years ago is never coming back to him. It was this realization that made him able to control his emotional upheaval and press on towards his destination. He had returned home after a gap of three years, if at all the place can be called his home. Now, he was travelling almost 150 kms to meet someone. He claims her to be his good friend, but his close friends know that Mayur can die a thousand deaths for her, he can jump a thousand fires to see her smile. She was really the light of his life, and yet he had not seen her these three years, in fact he has not even talked to her for a year.

Mayur pressed on the accelerator of his car, checked the oil tank meter and looked at the speedometer to see it touch just a shade over 120 kms per hour. He knew he was travelling too fast in this road, but he didn’t care, he was finally meeting her after all these years of waiting. He couldn’t care less about traffic sense today. As he saw the wide expensive road ahead of him, he let his mind wander back to his college days. It was not exactly love at first sight for them, they initially met as friends, and then that friendship grew into love. He was exactly the opposite of what she was, soft spoken and introvert, while she liked to live her life king size. Gradually she began to understand the pitfalls of the relationship with Mayur. Unfortunately Mayur never understood why she wanted to leave him, and perhaps it was for his best that he didn’t.

What causes confusion? It is not just a state of mind, it is physical enemy of the body. A confused person is more likely to make mistakes than anyone else. His first mistake was not to express what he really felt about her. His second mistake was letting her let go of him so easily. And his final mistake was never letting her know how much this whole thing could pain him. But now was not the time to recall past mistakes, it was a time to amend them. The last three years, he did a lot of things; he finally succeeded and his dark old college days were now finally behind and haunting him. All this time, he had kept his safe distance from her, knowing too well that such intimacy would play spoilsport between her and her boyfriend, and Mayur wanted to be the last person to destroy his love’s love!

The last time he talked to her was on her last birthday. In fact tomorrow would mark a year of that happening. He was upbeat now, he had carefully wrapped a present for her. It was a scarf specially hand woven by some Scandinavian weavers, which he had picked up from a street side shop at Rome. The last time they talked, the conversation lasted some very brief awkward seconds of ‘Hi”s and ‘Thank You”’s. After the call, it took Mayur a week to get back to his normal routine and to stop thinking at each moment about her. He was afraid what this visit might do to him.

The past year he had not even followed her activities on social networks, and he was surprised when a week earlier he dialed her number and back came that husky and very sexy voice asking who it was. It took him 8 seconds to speak up, and when he did the words poured out like a torrent. After some pleasantries, he asked whether she would like to meet him as he would be visiting by her town, which of course was a lie. Mayur was really surprised when she said that she would, and that she had something to talk about. His spirits rose, perhaps he still had a chance. He had not stopped harbouring his feelings for her. After all, a heart once given could either be broken or kept with the person safely.

This morning it took him three hours to get ready. He wanted to wear the perfect dress for the occasion. He had to show off his well-toned body which he had managed to do after two years of training in the gym. He took out his car, finally he had a car of his own and began the three hour drive. Now he was just nearing his destination. They had decided to meet at a Chinese restaurant and he had memorized the address. It took him around an hour to find the place. He parked his car and timidly entered the place. The place was quite small with pink walls and golden curtains everywhere. It took him a minute or so to get used to the lighting of the place and when he was finally settled he saw her sitting at the corner table with the menu in her hand. The look on her face did not reveal anything to him. He slowly made his way towards her, and when he reached the table he coughed, knowing nothing better to do.

She gently looked up, and he fell in love with her all over again. Her animated eyes were always so full of life, and he always thought how he would like to spend his entire living existence just looking at them. She was first happy, then surprised and finally angry with him. Happy to see him after a long time, surprised to see him change so much and angry at making her wait for almost an hour. She hated waiting, and specially waiting alone. Mayur had no suitable excuse and so he listened to her rant on for a while. Although he was listening everything she said, his eyes didn’t move from her lips-those red lips always enticing him to kiss. It brought back old memories to him and made his eyes water a little. Fortunately she was too busy explaining something to him that she didn’t notice the two drops of tears that escaped Mayur’s eyes.

Time always seemed to fly by when he was with her. They ordered and he ate a lot, like the days gone by when he was known for his eating skills. He wanted to hear everything that has happened with her, and she was telling him all about it, when suddenly she realized that she had to leave. Mayur looked with sad forlorn eyes and requested her for some more of her time, but that didn’t happen. He offered her a ride in his car, which she accepted.

They got into the car and he made his way across the traffic, battling his way out with the cycles and small three wheelers that seemed to be everywhere. The first time she said it, he thought he didn’t hear her properly.

Mayur asked her, “What did you say?”

“I am married.”

“When did that happen?”

“Just last week, the day you called me.”

“Why didn’t you say something about it to me?”

“I know Mayur that you still love me, and I didn’t want to break your heart. Also, I wanted to meet you for one last time.”

He just heard the last sentence and kept quiet. She sensed that he would not be talking again, and so kept herself quiet. He dropped her at her home, and left without saying a word. The journey back was going to be painful. His hands were numb even though it was summer. His sight became hazy, but still he drove on. He could hear a buzzing sound somewhere inside him, and all felt very hot. He didn’t know what to do, where to go, all he thought about was the girl. It seemed as if the world was ending and Mayur was the last person alive, and he had to figure out now what to do with his life. He had loved her the most, even she knew that. But somehow nothing turned out right for him. He led a miserable life for the past three years and even today all he could get was an abbreviation of happiness. He didn’t notice the lights flashing in front of him, nor did he hear the loud noise of the horn. He just realized something was happening when he felt his car shake and his body felt pain. Just as the buzzing sound was becoming fainter and fainter, her image also began disappearing from his mind as the last breath of life escaped from him.