This short story became SPIXer (Most popular story) on 10 Nov 2012 and won INR 500 (US$ 10)
Editor’s Choice: Hug of Death – Love Short Story
I believe that if I should die,
and you were to walk near my grave,
from the very depths of the earth
I would hear your footsteps
(Benito Perez Galdos)
Yes. I was waiting to hear his footsteps. My eyes were too heavy to be opened but had great anticipation too. It was just two more days when I would be his wife. My dream was coming true. My prince charming would be coming, wearing an ivory suit, riding on a milky horse with the wide white wings. The crimson sky, matching with his dark red bow-tie, covering beneath it the vast bluish green sea, would reflect its blush when I would, covered with the rosy and green bridal dress, keeping my eyes down, smiling from the corner of my lips, step little forward, coming out of the group of my well dressed and giggling friends, to offer him the garland of my love.
Petals of the garland turned hard. They were not any more soft and tender rose petals but the pieces of windscreen glass, broken in many pieces, showering at us with lightning speed, piercing my face with great velocity, forcing my eyes to shut for ever. Every part of my body twisted by the immense pain.
I shrieked loudly but it was soundless. He came to rescue the damsel in stress, like it happens in any fairytale. I felt his presence first time in my life but he appeared no stranger. There was calmness of an absolute emptiness. Red sky immersed deep in the vast aqua water. The turquoise reservoir turned in the blackness of death. The pain subsided. A flashing light shaped him out of the infinite deep darkness. My closed eyes could feel the intensity of his glory. My soul melted to the vibration radiating from him,
“Come, it is time to leave this painful mortal world.” He said, his voice soothing.
“I can’t.” My heart in a feeble attempt tried to confine my soul.
“This is destiny. Your mortal body is no more capable to support your existence. You accomplished your purpose. Now it is time for you to complete yourself by fusing with the infinite.” He said. The calmness in his voice was unparalleled.
“My existence and purpose are no more mine. I can’t leave him alone; immortality is meaningless without his love.” I refused to the almighty.
My body jumped few inches above from the bed. Intense electric shock was applied by a team of desperate doctors. Piercing pain was felt at my ribs, neck, pelvis and knees.
“Yes, pulses are coming back. Try one more time” The senior most doctor sounded optimistic.
Another shock made my body bounce again. The absolute calmness tactically accepted the defeat temporarily.
“Unbelievable! Rib bone has ruptured the heart, skull is wide open, but there is still vitality” A nurse muttered under her breath as she couldn’t control her surprise.
The pain engrossed my temporary consciousness, sending me back to the impasse between the salvation and the love.
It was the most surprising morning. I opened my door to collect newspaper and milk and there it was, a brown packet with few red roses. I opened the packet almost tearing it to find a beautifully embroidered bluish-green lehenga with rosy choli and chunni. Inside the packet, there was a pink letter too. I read it.
There would be nothing new, if my even this gesture would make you upset again. But you know that I do not know how to express my feeling for you. Last five years since you have entered my life have been the most wonderful time for me. Although my expressions have never appeared even close to your selfless devotion for me, my love for you is nothing less. Reason why I have kept saying no to our marriage is not that I love you any little but that somehow I fail to convince myself that the destiny of love is to tie ourselves socially as well by sealing our relationship with so called marriage. I still feel that my love for you does not need such mortal proof. I wish that I get a chance to show my immortal love for you, and I am sure one day I will. But for now, for you, and only for you, I am convinced to the fact that time has come when I sit on my knees and hold your hands to ask only one question, “Will you marry me?”
Only yours, forever
I finished reading the letter, and there was he, smiling, sitting on his knees, looking into my wet eyes, and holding a diamond ring in his hand.
The calmness tried again to infuse my soul in it, “Salvation is extreme and ultimate form of the pleasure, way beyond feeling of the earthly emotions such as love. Death is the truth. Embrace yourself, the real of you.”
Once again my soul tried to leave my physically broken heart. But aghast feeling protested again as my heart cried, “Moment ago when the fraction of vitality tore me with the absolute pain, it made me realize I did not own myself anymore. I have already lost my soul to him. Just as a droplet loses its existence by fusing in other, same too our souls are now no more existing in the plurality.”
Huff! Huff!! Huff!!!
My heart cried again in the immense pain by a pressure of hands giving me cardiopulmonary resuscitation. My body was no longer able to hold my imposed feelings. Poor heart tried again to control the insurgency by recalling those awaiting eyes of him.
After sangeet, Jai came near to me and whispered, “Through back gate, join me for a long drive.”
Soon I was sitting very close to him in his SUV, hugging tightly his left hand and keeping my head on his shoulder.
“Anu..” Jai whispered in a sultry voice. I kept quiet, my eyes closed. “We shall not go to any hill station or a beach for our honeymoon,” I was liking every second with my eyes closed, enjoying his nearness. “I have a different plan.” Fragrance of Eau de Cologne mixed with his sweating due to one hour of dance intoxicated me unable to say anything. I continued listening his mesmerizing voice, “we shall go to our village and stay for whole one month. You with lehenga and chunni will come to the green fields running like a free bird then I shall hug you tightly and…”
He bent to kiss me. I shivered.
My body swung out of the SUV and hit the divider on the road. SUV was turned turtle by a sudden thrust of a speedy truck that hit the car from the perpendicular direction. Before pain took over any part or pore of my body, a sweetness of unconsciousness spread across to save me from the unbearable disaster. My eyes were about to shut forever when I saw him as he was trying to come out from the driving seat, having bloody rivulets on his face, stretching his hand as much as possible towards me, to hold me, perhaps for the last time. There was enormous hope in his dying eyes.
“Hello, Yes.. he is busy.. giving CPR… WHAT, oh no.. ” The nurse was talking on the phone but my ears disallowed my heart to hear anything. The mutiny of my organs was getting serious.
My heart, however, pleaded again in its last attempt, “Oh Almighty, now this soul is all yours but allow me, just once, only once, to fulfil his last wish. Let me hold him just one more time.”
“Doctor, call from OT 3. We lost him.” The nurse sounded sad.
There was pause for a fraction of second but quickly duty took over the emotion. The senior doctor continued CPR.
Huff! … Huff!! Huff!!! Huff!!!!
“Control doctor, control yourself… look at the monitor.. no pulse.. she is no more” The nurse said, but I was no more existing there to listen to her words.
I now adjusted to the light of his glory. The light diffused to overcome the darkness surrounded. Slowly his shape appeared as a man in the ivory suit. He stretched his hand to hold mine. He was Jai. I stepped a little forward and hugged him, tightly, to never be separated from him. My mortal heart was finally rested in peace. Forever.
They that love beyond the world
cannot be separated by it.
Death cannot kill what never dies.