The Second Love

She was cursing herself, cursing because she fell in love for the first time, cursing because she fell in love again, cursing because she had to sacrifice one.

The oversized moon was blazing like a diamond, splattering white light all around the sky. Blistering moonlight had made black shadow less night snowy and sky was looking like a painted canvas. It seemed like nature was lighting a candle in the darkness and assuring Nitya that everything will be alright. Nitya was sitting on the floor of the terrace with her legs crossed, sharing hidden thoughts with her personal diary. The moonlight was so intense that Nitya could read each and every word inscribed in her diary clearly.

‘I didn’t want to hurt him. I was not intended to do so. I was just trying to be straightforward because I can’t do false commitments. It’s not that I don’t feel for him or like him. It’s just that I like someone else more than him. I’m in a relationship with someone else. I’m in a dilemma. I don’t know what I should do. Where should I go, with whom should I share my plight,’ she wrote.

She wanted to cry hard but held her heart tightly. However, a heart is always heart. It never listens to anyone except itself. In spite of resisting herself from crying, a tear started flowing from the corner of her eye.
She was cursing herself, cursing because she fell in love for the first time, cursing because she fell in love again, cursing because she had to sacrifice one. She couldn’t control herself and started crying hard, recalling the discussions between her and Ayush(her second love).
Nitya: ‘What if I say that you are not my first love? What if I say I can’t spend my life with you? What if I say that I can’t fulfill any of your expectations?’ she asked Ayush regretfully.
Ayush: ‘Don’t say I’m not your first love; say I’m your love because love can never be measured in quantity. Don’t say you can’t spend your life with me; say you can spend moments of your life with me because for love each moment is precious, countless and equivalent to millions of lives. Don’t say that you can’t fulfill any of my expectations because love never takes, rather it gives,’ Ayush said, with the warmth of love in his eyes.
Nitya: ‘You do not understand my situation. My priority, my love is something else right now, not you,’ she tried hard to explain.
Ayush: ‘Priorities are a part of life. It changes with time but one can never stop loving someone because of priorities. I understand your main concern and I’m ready to support you in everything. You have become my responsibility from the day I have started loving you,’ he replied, holding the girl’s cheeks tenderly.

‘I know I was doing right. It was my own decision to resist myself and not to reveal my inner being. I tried not to talk to him and to focus on my current relationship but I don’t know why I every time drop him a message. When I’m managing to control my mind and heart then why my inner being is still hunting for his text. Why it forces me to break my self-made rule. It is a big fight, bigger than a contagious disease. A deceased at least have the option to die, I don’t even have the option to depart this life. I will have to suffer from this pain daily and will have to live facing it. I wish there would be a death penalty for hurting someone; I would have surrendered myself to it. Because the guilt inside me is burning me and this is really painful,’ she wrote and tears shed from her eyes as if making her realize of their existence.

Ayush: ‘Do you love me or not?’ he asked.
Nitya: ‘I think we should not drag this topic,’ she blinded to the question.
Ayush: ‘You are running away from the situation,’ he said, holding her shoulders firmly.
Nitya: ‘I’m running toward my dreams,’ she responded with determined eyes.
Ayush: ‘This is not the solution to your problem,’ he shouted at her.
Nitya: ‘What do you want?’ she screamed at him and broke up. Ayush calmed himself down and looked into her eyes lovingly.
Ayush: ‘I want you to accept the reality. You know, your brain is saying something else and heart wanting something else,’ he asserted her.
Nitya: ‘Yes, I like you but can’t be with you,’ she looked into his eyes and accepted in a frustrating manner.
Ayush: ‘Don’t be. I understand and is ready for every good or bad decision taken by you,’ he once again touched her cheeks tenderly. Nitya gazed at him for a while. She was amazed to see the extent of love in Ayush’s heart.
He loved Nitya so much that he was ready to sacrifice anything for her dreams. He was all set to accept any upcoming challenge. She was feeling selfish and so was feeling guilty. She wanted Ayush to confront her and throw her out of his life.

‘I asked him to make a decision on whether he wants to continue with the friendship. It was my fault. I should have trusted him. He is a nice soul. He understands me completely and this is the reason I asked him to do so. I care for him. I don’t want him to feel hurt because of me. It is not even killing him but butchering me from inside. I’m feeling two pains, his and mine. I wonder how I’m still alive,’ the diary witnessed.

She closed her eyes and started recollecting Aayush’s words ‘If you don’t want to meet. Say it to my face. I will accept it and will not say anything,’ he texted.
Nitya: ‘Stop it. When did I say I don’t want to come,’ she wrote in the text.
Ayush: ‘It’s your decision and I’m ready to accept the worst,’ he replied.
Nitya: ‘I’m sorry for hurting you. I was not intended to do so,’ she texted back, after getting short with words.
Tears started coming from her eyes after reading that text. It was withering and she felt insulted but she accepted it and didn’t utter a word because the guilt inside her was more harassing than insult she had felt. In an attempt to make Ayush confront her, she had asked him to make a decision regarding his wish to continue with the friendship or not. It was her stupidity. She couldn’t realize that Ayush’s sacrifice for her was not hurting him but her words of making a choice were more painful.
She had never thought that she would be standing in the midst of this dilemma where she would have to choose between her priorities and love. She was in a relationship with her dreams. She wanted to be an IAS officer but never knew love would encounter her way in such a manner. It was no one’s fault to be there and stand in front of each other like this. It was a destiny meant to happen. Ayush was still lucky enough because he was only fighting with the pain of love but Nitya was fighting with the pain of love and guilt. It was not easy for her to choose between the two but the truth was she had to make a choice.
Ayush: ‘It’s all right. Don’t ever think like that. Just because you don’t want to be with me doesn’t mean I will finish everything. I’m ready to wait for you. I will be the happiest person to see you in the dusky uniform and I will wait for the day eagerly. Go, chase your dreams and come soon because a part of your heart is waiting for you here,’ he texted back with lots of love and kisses.

Nitya: You knew very well that, eventually, I would be focusing on my career, not on you then why did you insist me to accept the reality? she asked, confused.
Ayush: You know, love is very powerful and ignorance, at the same time, is slaughtering. Knowing that you love me gives me an immense satisfaction. It gives me power and patience to back you and be with you, and I can overcome any hurdle, but ignorance kills me from inside. It is no less than a demon who takes your life away from you and leaves you half-dead. Although away, but with you, I want to live not die.
Nitya: ‘I love you,’ she texted.
Ayush: ‘I love you too,’ he texted back.

‘I’m going today with a promise to come back one day. I will be yours then and you will be mine officially. Let’s not try to make this time right for us forcefully. We can’t force anything. Let’s go with the flow of nature. I will come back. The right will come soon and I will be yours forever,’ she wrote.

She kept the pen down and glared the moon with her watery eyes. It was looking beautiful. Its light was giving warmth and sense of security to Nitya and she recalled how she shared her dream of becoming an IAS officer with her only friend ‘Moon.’ How she stayed on the terrace for hours, dreaming herself in the dusky uniform. This big celestial giant has always made her realize that she would also dazzle like him one day, big, bright and gleaming.
Nitya wiped her tears erratically, ‘Thanks for being there for me always,’ she said to her celestial friend and went on to sleep, heading toward her first love, her dreams.

Unconditional

“Do you know how it feels when you lost your way and then return home safely?” he asked her. “I think so,” she replied, confused.
“I’m feeling the same right now and I don’t want to lose you again,” he said, looking into her eyes, affectionately.

The sun was all set to take another tour at 18 degrees below the horizon. A bright golden layer had started appearing in the beautiful blue sky. The view was so attractive that if any hopeless person would look at it, he would get a reason to live “Dawns have always been extremely beautiful,” Radhika wondered, gazing at the golden sky. “I wish I could look so attractive,” she said to herself. The sight was so breathtaking that Radhika herself was feeling jealous from nature and she was not at all wrong. “This nature has created us. It has the right to look so gorgeous,” she said.

It was 6:15 in the morning and anxious Radhika had not slept overnight. She closed the window gently and switched on the Geyser. It was a big day for her. She was going to meet the man of her life for the first time.  Radhika had never imagined in her wildest dreams that she would be doing an arranged marriage. In fact, everyone in the family had expected the opposite from her. She was right on her part. She had spent four years of her life in books, struggled to become a Chartered Accountant. Her dedicated love for her career never allowed her to adore someone else.

Radhika was a beautiful lass with fair complexion and doe eyes. The yellow suit salwar which she chose to wear was adding stars to her splendor. “Radhika, have you got ready? They will be reaching anytime,” Radhika’s mom shouted.

“Yes Mom,” Radhika yelled in the similar tone. As time was flying, the butterflies inside Radhika’s stomach were getting more active. The feeling of excitement and nervousness inside her was competing for each other. It seemed like she had two Radhika’s inside her, one was electrified and other was jumpy. She was wandering in the room hastily from one end to other, with her eyes fixed at the clock.

She never felt so nervous and uneasy. It was, in fact, more difficult than CA final for her. “Calm down Radhika, why are you getting so nervous? The groom should feel this not you,” she tried to compose her but it was not at all working.

“I hope I’m looking good,” she again felt uneasy and looked in the mirror for the 20th time since morning. Radhika has always been much focussed and never cared about anything except her studies and family. This was happening for the first time that she was bothering so much about her looks and dressing.

The groom’s family finally arrived. Both the families greeted each other and the boy touched Radhika’s parents’ feet in respect. “Arjun was waiting for this day eagerly,” Groom’s father chaffed and both the families cracked up in return. Arjun, having no other option, blushed. Arjun was a handsome young man, tall and well fitted. He was an officer in the Indian Air Force and was currently based in Dehradun.

Radhika’s mother called Radhika for the official meet. She came downstairs, her eyes looking at the ground. She was feeling so nervous that her snowy cheeks had turned red.

“Radhika, this is Arjun,” Radhika’s dad introduced both of them and Radhika somehow managed to look up. As she looked at the guy, she got confound and Arjun too looked at Radhika in amazement. Both of them kept on staring each other for a minute as if they had seen something impossible. “I think we should send them both in the garden. They won’t be able to talk here freely,” Arjun’s dad proposed everyone. “Why not,” Radhika’s dad agreed and ‘would be’ groom and bride was sent outside for making their official meet a bit comfortable. They entered the garden area silently without uttering a word.

“You,” Radhika shouted loudly as she entered inside.

“Ssshhhhhhh,” Arjun signaled her to speak slowly.

“Yes, me,” he added.

“I can’t believe this. You are the guy,” Radhika said in a shock.

“In fact, I was not expecting you on the other side,” Arjun countered.

“Wow!!! This is unbelievable,” Radhika tried to believe her fate.

Radhika and Arjun were classmates in the college. Radhika was very studious and so, she never talked to any boy in the class. Arjun, on the other side, was preparing for Indian Air Force and remained busy in his preparations. Unlike a moment before, Radhika seemed to be much calmer. She was behaving casually as if she had met someone very close. Radhika goggled Arjun for a while just to make herself believe that he was actually him “What!!” Arjun asked.

“You have grown up,” Radhika said to him and Arjun laughed.

“I hope I’m looking good,” he said, tilting his crimson tie.

“Are you getting nervous?” she asked.

“Yeah, I think so,” Arjun replied.

“Why? In fact, I should feel so,” Radhika said.

“Why? Can’t a boy feel nervous on his big date,” he said and Radhika smiled in return. She thought of the moment when she was feeling worried about her looks and dressing a few minutes back.

“Do you want to ask something? He asked her.

Radhika again looked at him, amused. Arjun was behaving completely different of what Radhika had expected the date to be. “Why would I ask something? In fact, you should ask something no?” Radhika asked.

“Why not, it is equally new to you as it is for me,” he said.

“So, what do you think about this meet?” finally she asked one.

“Umm, Do you really want me to answer this?” he asked.

“Yes, an honest one,” she said.

“Alright, do you remember that card in the college which you found on your desk?”

“Yeah, secret admirer. Haha, that was really funny. Who does that?” she said.

“Me,” Arjun replied and Radhika looked at her, numb. “It was you?” she asked.

“Yes,” Arjun answered and they both looked into each other’s eyes’

“Why didn’t you say anything?” she asked.

“You were not ready to listen. You were busy in making career,” he explained.

“Do you remember the food that my friend Ginny used to bring for you?” Radhika asked him.

“Yeah. I used to love it,” he said excitedly and Radhika gave him a dirty look. Arjun again looked at her in a confused manner.

“Don’t say, it was from your side,” Arjun said, mystified and Radhika nodded her head in yes without uttering a word.

“Whoa!!! Noooo, just a second, why didn’t you say anything?” Arjun asked in a shock.

“I wanted you to say it first,” she answered and they again looked at each other. “I kept on waiting, but, you never came,” Radhika added. She got emotional this time and turned around to resist herself from crying.

Arjun held her hand tenderly. “Don’t go,” he said, his face was showing the fear of losing Radhika again. He stood in front of her, bowed down on his knees. “Radhika, I love you. Will you marry me?” and he proposed her. Radhika got goosebumps all around and she closed her eyes gently to feel the warmth of the moment.

Life had given so many surprises to Radhika but this was the best she was getting. She somehow managed to gain her senses back “Umm, How would I know that you love me? She asked the same question that every girl ask her man. Arjun got up. “Do you know how it feels when you lost your way and then return home safely?” he asked her. “I think so,” she replied, confused.

“I’m feeling the same right now and I don’t want to lose you again,” he said, looking into her eyes, affectionately.

There was so much love in Arjun’s eyes that Radhika couldn’t take off her eyes from him. “How much do you love me? What can you give me?” she asked, continually looking into his eyes.

“You know, I can give you anything except one thing,” he answered.

“What is it?” Radhika asked.

“Answer to this question because my love for you is unconditional,” he replied and won Radhika’s heart in no time. Radhika smiled and blushed. Finally, Radhika had found the man of her dreams and Arjun the princess of his life. They both decided to give their parents the good news that they were ready to marry each other.

“So, Is this an arrange marriage or love?” Radhika asked Arjun, on their way back to living room.

“I think it’s just a marriage. It doesn’t matter whether you are going for an arrange marriage or a love. What matters is how compatible you are as a couple. Do you feel a magical connection when you meet someone? Love is not choosing your partner beforehand and started liking him. In fact, it is a connection that you feel, it is a feeling of getting back your lost home even if you are meeting each other for the first time,” Arjun elaborated. Radhika nodded her head in yes and they both went inside to celebrate their unconditional love.