The clouds roared in their glorious voice as they announced the onset of the monsoon. I sat near the window as the first rain of the season came to revive the dying earth. Drops after drops falling on the windowpane as the sky turned grey with occasional bursts of lightening and the thundering. I lit up the final cigarette in the pack and took a heavy puff filling my lungs with the cancer-causing smoke.
I heard footsteps approaching the door. This could be the last cigarette I would ever smoke and so I took it as bigger and as deeper as possible. The sounds became louder the footsteps came closer with each passing moment. My heart began to race while the mind kept deluging in distress and the lungs filling with smoke. I had no clue what will happen next. Will I survive the forthcoming future? I kept asking myself that question with no answer anywhere near.
Then came the knocks on the door. Three knocks to be precise. It was the end game now. There was no turning back. The road that I have walked in life have led me to this very moment. I took the deepest puff from the dying cigarette as it burned a little. I guess it was the last gift from a departing friend. I stood up and check myself in the mirror. This is it. This is the moment of truth. I opened the door of my room along with the doors to my future as I stepped out.
My heart paced rapidly as I took the next step. I was getting anxious as well as filled with emotions of all kind. One after the other I landed my feet in front of each other as I tried not to trip over anything or everything. Soon I entered the area where a lot of people gathered to witness my destiny being redefined. I tried not to look at them or make any eye contact even though nothing was working its magic. I could sense the stares at me, observing all of my moments as I tried to focus on just walking.
Then someone pointed at the place where I was supposed to stand and so I stood still without making any eye contact or even trying to speak with anyone. There were certain feelings that I had never really felt before. I was scared inside but I was putting up a brave front. I stood there all alone: waiting. Waiting for the future to unfold in front of me.
Then I heard the piano being played and immediately my eyes went to the main entrance. The door opens and there walk in the love of my life in her perfect bridal gown accompanied by her father. She started walking slowly towards me. With each piano note, she stepped a little closer and closer. That short 1-minute walk towards me brought back so many memories.
The first time we met.
The first time we went for a walk.
The first time we kissed.
The first time we said those magical words.
The first time we made love and a tear left my eye before hers.
I wondered how in the world someone so special like her could even think of looking at me let alone getting to know me. My life was a bag of mess, deep mess, and she walked it in it head-on. She wasn’t afraid of the chaos rather she came in the form of soothing rain after a long summer break. She picked up every little fragment of my broken soul, filled its edges with love and made me fall in love with myself once again. I never had expected to see a life beyond my darkness, through the wreckage but she delved into the fathomless pit of my chasms and brought back the lost guy. She made me gather my broken pieces as she had once gathered hers. She fitted Her broken pieces in me, to complete me once again.
When people say that love is when you completely surrender yourself and give your partner the power to destroy you with the belief that he/she would never do that. Well, she has that power over me.
Finally, she was right in front of me as her father gave her hand into mine. For that spilt-second that our eyes met, we forgot the world around us and fell in love all over again. She smiled and all of my worries flew away at once. I felt complete at last. Then the ceremony started and soon we were at the junction of making our vows. She read her first. I almost choked as I had tears rolling down while she completed the vows.
It was my turn so I took a deep breath and I was blank. I was completely and utterly blank. Then I looked at her and she saw it in my eyes that I have messed up. She made her face which was signal enough for me to own up. So I said the first thing that came into my mind.
“My words have always failed me when you stand before me. There are so many things this silly heart within me screams to let it all out. But every time I try to frame them, my emotions overpower me. And then I see your confused smile turning into an understanding one and every corner of my dark dungeons of heart lits up. I had lost hope from everything in my life…had closed my eyes on everyone around…had caged my raging soul into an impenetrable cell until you walked into my life. I won’t promise you that I will give you every happiness of the world. But I promise you to stand beside you in every walk of your life…make every little moment of ours a memorable decade…respect you with all my dignity and finally to love you most even when I want to hate you. I know I am not the best possible partner that you could have had but I know I will be the only one who could love you with all my broken soul.
and yeah yeah most important thing…
Last but certainly not the least, I will try not to pass my bad genes to our kids. “
As I concluded, I saw her smiles amidst her tears.
She winked and then we kissed…beholding each other in such a tight embrace as if the two souls were going to be entwined into one…as if it was the last moment of mine on this earth…as if I never ever wanted to let go of her…
“I love you Destiny”, I whispered in her ears, holding her wrinkled pale hand. I stood up from my chair, bent over her and gave her a soft kiss on her forehead while she gave me one last smile before drifting into the slumber from her medicines.
“Grandpa..let me help you”, my 14-year-old granddaughter, Destiny, held my hand and helped me walk out of the hospital ward.
I looked back as I crossed the threshold of the room and a beat of heart pulsated like the moment I had once seen her for the first time in my life and so I knew our story was not over…not yet…
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