OPINION

Falling in Love

July 04, 2010
Chaitanya S

I gazed up at the clear dark sky. It wouldn't be dark for long though. In a few minutes, fireworks would light up the darkness and welcome the New Year. The glittering lights of the city below were an antithesis to the darkness above. The air was filled with the tinkle of plates and silverware and laughter. Conversations flowed as freely as the alcohol. It was on the terrace of this restaurant that I'd be making the most important decision of my life. Tonight I'd be taking the final plunge.

I fidgeted with the buttons on my jacket. Yes, I'd worn a jacket for a change. A special black ensemble had been created especially for this particular day. "Am I over dressed...?" I wondered as I adjusted the knot of my tie. "Maybe...", but it had to be done. I wanted to make sure that I looked good today. Should I have brought some roses? She loved roses. I knew that she would understand. Was the table right? It was perfect, a table for two, right on the edge of the terrace where we could see the midnight sky merge with the city below. It was a small terrace so she would definitely see me the moment she entered. I was looking forward to seeing the expression in her pretty eyes. I wanted her to see how one could fall in love.

I pulled back the sleeve of my shirt and frowned. It was almost midnight. I wanted to do it under the fireworks. She was late. As usual. I smiled lightly and ran my thumb over the dial. I shook my head as the smile turned into a mild chuckle. Some things never change.

And then she walked in. The love of my life. Her bright eyes started scanning the floor. Her hair started blowing lightly in the breeze. Despite all these years, my heart never failed to skip a beat on seeing her. I always admired her dress sense. Nobody could make that short white dress look better than her. Those blue sandals added a perfect dash of color to her attire.

A smile broke on my lips even as beads of sweat formed on my brow. However clichéd it sounds, I could feel my heart racing. I had been silent for too long. She had to know how much she'd meant to me all this while. I'd always wanted her to be mine. There were too many things left unsaid. Now was the night that she'd know my true feelings for her. I didn't mind sharing my love for her in front of an audience.

I stood up and smiled. Our eyes met. I straightened my tie as I took a step back. Recognition in her eyes turned to confusion on seeing me. I think my presence and my attire made her gasp. She always said that she liked surprises.

"Feeling lonely, darling?", I heard a whisper as my fiancé took my arm and pecked my cheek. That she was also accompanying me had been forgotten at the sight of my love. I hardly noticed how much of an effort my fiancé had made to wear that pink dress and look beautiful for me. Tears brimmed in my eyes as I closed them and inhaled the fragrance of her perfume. I heard the pop and fizz of a champagne bottle. People started clapping and cheering. "Happy New Year" filled the air as I took my fiancé's hand. "I'm sorry....., I can't do it......", I whispered as I climbed on the chair behind me.

I looked across the room and could sense everyone's gaze shifting towards me. But my eyes were fixed on the love of my life. Tears swelled up as I took a step back on the wall of the terrace. I saw "him" pull my love back the moment she made an attempt to move towards me. I felt my tears evaporate. The hatred and contempt for him would over ride my love for her.

"I can't live without you", I hissed as I closed my eyes and took one last step back. The yells and screams from the terrace were drowned in the boom of the fireworks.

Chai completed his MBA from an American university before staying on as a typical desi techie. In Mumbai, he dabbled professionally in Mechanical Engineering, Marketing, PR, Copy Writing, Fashion Photography and Modeling. A reluctant writer, he prefers focusing on subjects with a camera.
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