Love is not something effervescent as it is apparent in today’s world.
Love is a feeling beyond any which can stay with people throughout their lives and lovers can love each other despite harsh dimensions of time and distance.
Be it ages gone by, love can find a place in hearts of people and can stand the test of time most firmly.
Time, wealth, health, fame can pass away. Love remains till the end. That is the theme of this story, which tells a tale of two people who were separated. Not realising how much they loved one another during younger years, when they finally meet up again years later, and in an unfortunate circumstance, love prevails.
(One Year Ago)
Oh, what a day! The day that was anticipated since such a long time. Long time? No. It wasn’t just long time. It was as if centuries had passed. Oh what joy! Had his heart ever beaten so fast?
Harry received this letter, which instantly drifted him back in the past, in a time which he had remembered & cherished all these years. It was mixed emotions for him.
The letter came at noon but not with the post with which other letters came. It was handed to the maid by someone, a special delivery. Harry had bothered to go through it now at night, after he finally put himself to leisure after a long day. The moment Harry took it, he’d known who had written it. The handwritings hadn’t changed…
She did remember him. After all these years. Hundreds of questions ran through Harry’s mind… Where has she been? What did she look like now? Was she still that same cheerful, happy girl with big innocent eyes, rosy smile and wavy hair? But these didn’t matter to him now. He was far too overjoyed by her letter. He’ll know all about it. Only a day to go… Tomorrow, he’ll be meeting her.
A Glimpse of the Past
After his parents’ death in a car accident, Harry had lost every reason to live. He received warmth of love from his aunt who had taken him in, but that couldn’t lessen his sorrow.
Finally, his life changed. And that happened after meeting this girl. They met in high-school. He still remembered the first time he saw her. At that time, he wouldn’t have known how this girl would change his life.
It was her first day in their last year. Her family had shifted in this city recently. After the teacher had introduced her to the class, she found the only vacant seat to sit, which was beside Harry. “Hi!” she had said and Harry had responded to her. He couldn’t remember when was the last time he had a proper conversation with his fellow classmates. But, there was something about her, a charm, that Harry couldn’t resist talking to her. As days passed, both got to know each other. It was for the first time Harry had made a friend, to say so. Both had gotten used to each other’s company, and eventually became best friends. They both spent time together. They studied together (due to which Harry’s grades improved in exams), they went to movies, they went on picnics… Those were the best times in his life that he had had with her.
How could he have ever forgotten her? Harry had never known the joy he felt with her. His life had changed completely. It filled with happiness.
She gave him hope. The hope that everything was going to be alright. A belief that he was far more capable than he thought himself of. What Harry was today, he never could have imagined to be. He used to be this miserable, dull, shunted fellow. He had had no aims, no life, no wish to carry on his useless existence. She came, an angel, filled him full of life and love. She made him realize his potential; she gave him a reason to live. With her, he could forget all his sorrows; and it was with her, he had felt that his life was worthy.
The moments of their parting were still fresh in his mind, as if it was yesterday. Before leaving for college, she had hugged him tight and said, “Don’t think I’ll be away from you. I’ll be with you always, in your memories, in your thoughts, in your heart. So, whenever you miss me, just remember me. For, I’ll always be remembering you…” and with a hope of meeting soon again, she left. But far more than words could have said, they both had understood what they meant to convey to each other.
Harry hadn’t seen her after that. They used to write letters then and it carried on for quite a while. Harry pursued his ambition of engineering while she, her dreams of becoming a doctor.
Their colleges were in faraway cities and Harry could never go to meet her; neither could she, once they got into their college lives.
After some time, the letters stopped, from her… Harry wrote many letters even after they went unanswered, but finally had to give up. There was no apparent reason behind such an abrupt end. No such indication in her previous letters as well. She would never have stopped contacting him without saying anything. She would have let him known.
After college, Harry had searched for her. He went to her college to know of her whereabouts, and found that she had left college mid-way, almost about the time when his letters went unanswered, with no clear reason known to anyone. There was nothing Harry could do.
That was six years back. But her memories were still there as if she was never gone. His was a longing of years to see her again. His life was left with a void that never did fill.
As time passed, Harry’s life attained peaks and went on achieving new heights. He was successful today. He led a team of engineers in a famous engineering firm. Also, recently he had written a novel that was on a rise to topping the bestseller charts day by day. This book was special. Writing had been a passion for him since high-school, since she came in his life. She was passionate about literature. She used to give Harry books to read and also showed him poetries she composed. And, with her, he too developed an interest in literature. This novel was a story exactly about his own life, rather more about the times spent with her.
But if it wasn’t for her love, he’d never had transformed from what he used to be to what he was now. Oh yes, her love. This love is such a wonderful thing. It’s this love that even after all these years, Harry felt it undiminished, strengthening him in every phase of his life. Her love is what has always kept him going. Oh how immensely powerful her love is. She is as though always with him. Harry had realized that she didn’t give him some reason to live. She herself became the reason.
Harry had read the letter a dozen of times by the evening. Was he dreaming? Could this all be true? He re-checked and reconfirmed, by reading the letter several more times, before going to bed.
The morning seemed to be endless, the clock seemed slower than usual. Harry went out to look for something that he could gift her on meeting, and came back with a Pierre Cardin pen, a CD of music album she used to like a lot in high-school, and had made a mental note to go by the florist’s on the route to the Park. That’s all he could think of in such a short time.
Then, he plunged into his cabinet where he’d preserved everything he had received from her. Books she had given, her letters, her gifts… He rummaged through it all, revisiting every single object, paper, photograph, every memory he had of her. Among all those memories, there was this blue tie which was the last gift he’d received from her. Harry pulled it out, straightened it, and put it with the set of clothes he’d wear to the Park.
A blue coat over the white shirt that went well with his navy-blue trousers. Finally, it took 15 minutes to tie the tie, taking care of it’s precisely tied knot and its alignment with collar, to the details.
Harry set out exactly at 4:00 pm, went his way walking to the florist, bought a huge bouquet full of her favourites: roses, and then took a cab straight to Park. His watch showed 4:45 pm when he finally settled down upon a bench. The weather was cloudy, mildly cold. The birds chirped and the flowers everywhere swayed with a cool breeze. Harry’s heart beat faster with the ticking of his watch. He’d imagined hundreds of scenarios: how he’ll talk, what he’ll say…
It was almost 5:00 pm and Harry felt butterflies in his stomach. A cold wind had arose. The Park thrived with people. Everyone seemed full of life and energy. Flowers seemed to blossom as if in spring, the chirping of birds grew louder and the long await of years now finally seemed to be reaching the end…
Harry had been sitting on the bench for too long now. She didn’t come. The dial was crossing 6:15 pm. Harry was certain she would come. There was no doubt about it. After about 5 minutes, his mobile rang. An unknown number. Could this be her? Harry picked up. After the call, in some next minutes, Harry was rushing to a hospital in a cab. The call was from his doctor friend who informed him about how a patient, caught in an accident, kept asking for him before going unconscious.
The police at once took notice of it and had contacted him, for the doctor attending her, Mr. John Blackwood, happened to be Harry’s friend.
“Call Harry. He is at the Park… West-end Park.” “Who?”
“Harry McHal. Call him. He’s waiting for me.” “The author?”
“Yes. Harry McHal. He’s at the Park. Call him. Call him quick. Someone call him.”
The doctor tried to ask her for more details and, assuming it was his friend she asked for, he had called Harry to enquire.
The accident happened at the Hampton Crossroad, where the cab she was in was hit by a Heavy-Carrier that took a wrong turn on the lane. The Heavy-Carrier had hit the back of the cab, rendering her severely injured, while the cab driver sustained a few injuries. The driver of the Carrier had fled.
Harry’s world had come crashing down. There she was, whom he was dying to see all these years, and was finally here, caught in a terrible accident. The more the hours passed, the more tensed and worried he grew. She’ll be out of this soon. She’ll recover. She will. She has to.
The doctor hadn’t said anything except that her case was critical, before the emergency operation. Doctors had operated on her in next 3 hours and put her under intensive care all night. Harry had waited all night outside her ward.
The doctor, Mr. Blackwood, went for an inspection early morning at 4:30 am and came out to tell Harry:
“She is conscious now, but still critical. There’re a lot of internal injuries, and our treatments aren’t responded well. We’re doing everything that we can”, he assured. The tone of the doctor didn’t seem right.
“She’ll be alright, right?”
“Can’t say anything at the moment.”
“We can only hold on to the drugs to do their work. I won’t give you false hopes. Only time will tell.”
Harry’s heart suddenly weighed heavy with a shock on hearing this. What did he mean ‘only time will tell?’ He felt acute despair flash upon him. Somehow, he managed to speak,
“Can I see her?”
“She is conscious. But it’d be better to let her sleep.”
“I won’t take long. I just want to see her.”
The doctor reflected over the request.
“Please let me see her. Just a few minutes.”
After a moment of pause, the doctor agreed.
“Okay, I’ll allow you. But it’d be better if it’s quick.”
Finally, after six long years the moment came, but amidst such a tragedy. How would he behold her lying critical upon a hospital bed? Harry felt himself ripped with the sorrow that had befallen him. He struggled to hold back his emotions, and did his best not to betray them.
It was raining outside. His heart was pounding. Entering the ward, he finally took a glance towards the bed. There she was, covered in a white sheet, bandaged head that had smears of blood, an oxygen supply attached to her. As he advanced towards it, Harry felt a calm spread in him.
She turned her head slightly on his approach and their eyes met. Those were the same pretty eyes, the same beautiful face, now marred with injuries over it. She didn’t seem to have changed much.
“Harry!” she managed an enthusiastic tone in a weak low voice.
Oh, how he remembered this voice! Harry felt a sudden surge of emotions, tremendous joy filled his heart.
He seated himself on a chair beside the bed.
“Finally…How much I’ve longed to see you! How are you?” she spoke with deep gasps of breath.
He smiled, “I’m good. Now that I’ve seen you, I am better”, he replied.
She smiled through the oxygen mask.
“It’s been centuries. I’ve waited to see you all these years. Where were you? You didn’t reply my letters…”
“I know you will be angry with me. You have a right to. I’d let you know all about it. But believe me, I’ve never forgotten you all this while.”
“Neither have I, Daz.”
She again smiled faintly.
Suddenly her breathing intensified.
“You should rest. I’d better call the doctor.” “No. Stay. I want no one now that I’ve met you.”
“You are going to be fine. You will be absolutely fine. And, first thing I’m going to do is to take you on a ride through the city. Just like old times.”
Harry could make out blush upon her cheeks. How beautiful she looked. How piteous, her to be suffering.
In short gasps, she said, “Harry, you’ll find a diary… in a bag which was with me… until I was brought here… Do obtain it. You’ll know everything about me… about these past years,” her voice had weakened.
“I’ll hear it from you when you get well.”
From the moment Harry had entered and she turned her head to look at him, she had not taken off her eyes from him. Neither had Harry. They both stared at each other as if trying to get all the glimpse of one another that they could, permanently fixing this moment in themselves.
Her breathing grew deeper again for a few seconds. Harry urged her to let him call the doctor now. She resisted.
“No. Just stay with me”, she said “I’m alright. Never been better,” and managed a weak smile.
It had started to rain outside heavily. Thundering was heard.
They looked at each other in silence. That moment, to Harry, seemed to contain all his life in it.
Few moments passed, she was calm now. Her breathing normal again and she finally spoke with some efforts:
“Come here Harry, give me a hug.”
Harry leaned forward, gently put his arms around her neck. Their cheeks next to each other. With great efforts, she wrapped her arms around his back into an embrace. Harry could feel her warmth.
She slightly rose up and levelled her face next to his ear.
“Harry……… I love you”, she said in almost a whisper, “I have
always loved you.”
Harry felt a strange tingling in his sensations, overwhelmed with emotions.
“I love you too, sweetie. I love you so much”, said Harry.
Her hold on Harry tightened for a second. There was a loud thundering outside. And then, her arms loosened. She sunk back. Harry rose slightly, and saw her. Her eyes were closed and he could make out a calm smile from the mask.
“Daisy”, he called out, his voice croaked.
“Daisy”, he called out again, slightly louder. But her lifeless face didn’t move. Her arms fell over from his back…
Harry went numb for a moment. Tears trickled down his eyes. A sudden grief had gotten hold of him as if the world had come to an end.
In next few moments, Harry had ran for the doctor; the doctor took his time and checked for life in her, in vain. The machines behind the bed didn’t beep anymore. Harry just stood by her side, with a grief indescribable, for all that he could remember.
It struck Harry that the cab had come to a halt. He’d reached the place. Getting out of the cab, he took out his umbrella, for it had started to rain heavily and held the bouquet in his hands firmly, as he managed to walk.
‘Daisy’, the tombstone was inscribed. He placed the bouquet upon the grave and stood in silence, winds bellowing and rains pouring on…
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