It was the festival of colors. One of her favourites. Not a year had gone by when she did not drench herself playing with water and colors. But today she decided to skip it & stay at home. This festival had too many memories attached to it. It was 5 years ago this day that the stranger she had married discovered her diary. It was five years ago that the relationship that was already shaky, started to completely disseminate. She had left her diary carelessly, part assuming he wouldn’t care to read & part hoping he would. Some part of her wishing he would read and understand her and make everything right between them. She had never imagined her marriage could ever breakdown. It was this day that the downward journey had begun.
Today, she decided to head out for a movie instead. It seemed like the whole city was celebrating the festival with their loved ones, as the streets were completely deserted. She drove down the empty streets and subconsciously stopped at the zebra crossing as the red light blinked at a junction. There was really no other movement on the streets that required her to wait. It did not matter that there was no one to see her. It was the rule & her mind just followed it, without any thought. As the seconds ticked backward in anticipation of the light to turn green, she wondered how the same mind allowed her to be with a man who belonged to someone else. Was there not an unwritten rule there too? She felt no guilt. Her thoughts wandered away to that Saturday night dinner with her friend that had ended way differently than she could ever imagine. She remembered the caresses, every word spoken & every kiss exchanged that evening. This chapter had made her conscious of her own desires. That evening, she had returned home as a different person. A dreamy smile was plastered on her face since. She couldn’t stop replaying that evening in her head over and over again like a record playing in loop. The songs that played on the radio that day hummed in her head, the words of which seemed to have found intense meaning all of a sudden. A week had passed since, but her mind could only think of what happened & what more could have been. She now knew that she wanted to go ‘all the way’ with her friend.
Her thoughts were no longer in her control. She felt as light as a feather drifting in the air, being carried around in every direction where the wind chose to take it, absolutely free, in complete trust but uncertain of where it would land. Where would this take her? Would she now be the Paramour? How would this end?
It was the year of the millennium. Everybody had their plans for the big evening. The person she loved was not a party animal & she was sure he wouldn’t ask her out. They were still just good friends, she was still hoping he loved her back the way she did. So when a casual conversation with another friend resulted in a date for New years, she didn’t think twice before saying yes. She knew he was just a friend and had planned to spend the evening together as two single people with no better plans. It was a fun night and after several drinks, she talked to him about the man she loved and desired to spend her life with.
Sixteen years later they were still in touch. In these years, both had settled respectively into marriage & family & had moved to different cities for their career. He called her occasionally to talk to her. And they met not more than 6 times over the years. They didn’t need to be constantly in touch & instantly connected from where they left the previous time. It was a friendship they shared at a different level. As soon as he got to know about the problems her marriage, he flew down to her city to meet her. That was the last time they met. Six months later, today she got a message, ‘in your city for work, call when free’. She liked meeting him, it always ended up in them doing something very different, something that they would always remember & talk about. He believed in creating such special moments. They never had a photo together, but each time they met was etched in their memories forever.
She looked forward to meeting him today. It was the first time they would meet for dinner. Another first as always. They met up early for a drink, at the five star room where he was put up & were to leave for a popular club later for dinner. Conversations flowed freely with the drinks. The laughter & chatting continued through the evening as they caught up on the six months gone by.
He always made her feel special & subtly flirted with her. But she was too preoccupied to ever notice what she meant to him. Today, for the first time she had heard him out as he spoke about his feelings for her & was really moved. He had never touched her in these years, but tonight when he kissed her, it seemed like the most natural thing to do. He held her close & kissed her gently. She had been too strong for too long & was really exhausted with life. And here was a guy whom she had known so well and been such good friends with, who longed for her. She was too numb to think about right or wrong & just wanted to be held close the way he did. Sixteen years of waiting poured out in the most passionate way for him. And for the first time she felt what it was to be loved. He kissed her on her lips, caressed her neck and nibbled on her ear while talking to her. He held her close and then kissed her over & over again, never crossing the line or making her uncomfortable. She didn’t know whether it was the loneliness or the feeling of silent revenge (towards the stranger she had married) or a latent desire in her that she never even knew existed or just plain acceptance of this platonic relationship. But she enjoyed herself like never before. She was high but not drunk. Everything seemed right & she just wanted to live & enjoy the moment as it unfolded upon her. As always, another memory had been created with him tonight.
Later that night when she went back home & quietly slipped into bed right next to the stranger she had married, she knew her life had changed, yet again!