2517 Words
An intricate flower design and the twinkle of a small diamond right in the middle caught my eye again and again as I twirled the ring on my ring finger, wondering if this ring was burdening my fiancé more than me. I was still the same, if not happier after his proposal...but he seemed to have a complete one-eighty degree mood shift that was making me more and more uncomfortable day by day. It had been a week now, and I had had enough of giving him space. I knew he was of the independent sort; he loved his ‘me’ time and though, I was a very clingy girlfriend otherwise, I knew when to give him space. I tried everything I could – I tried to get him to talk to me, gave him space, cuddled him when I thought he was too stressed, but there was no change in his attitude. At first, I had thought that he had some issues at work, but then neither did his friends hint towards it, nor did he ever look stressed about work. In fact, work was all he did all the time, and I was beginning to get the hint that he was avoiding me. I sighed, deciding to pluck up my courage and get out of my car and face him again. Being a successful CEO in the business world – an addition to the Birlas and Ambanis in India – meant that he worked from home whenever he wanted to. And today had been one of those days, when he slept in till I was out for work and once again, I missed his Morning kisses. If that wasn’t enough of a hint for me, I didn’t know what was. After locking my car, picking up my purse, I trudged up the stairs to his penthouse, all the way to the fifteenth floor of the building because I was prone to feeling claustrophobic in the elevator today. I wasn’t really breathless till I reached the penthouse; all I had was a blank face even though I was freaking out inside. “Neil?” I called out to what seemed like an empty living room from where I was standing and was only met by the echo of my voice. After a few moments was it that I had received my answer, “I’m right here.” A distracted voice came back. And that was it – no darling, honey, sweetheart, welcome home, or any kind of affection. I had heard that men changed after marriage – because now you were not a challenge to them anymore. But here it seemed like putting a ring on my finger was enough for him to change, and we didn’t even have our engagement ceremony yet. No, no, Myra, there’s surely something else that’s bothering him. Cold feet – yes, it could be cold feet. “Hey,” I said and sat next to him while curling my feet towards myself. He was still engrossed in his work, and I could feel the heavy absence of the time when he used to shower me with kisses when I came back from work. I still felt the sparks...did he too? Or maybe, he didn’t feel them anymore. Maybe, he realised that sweet little me did not deserve to be married to a great and successful CEO like him, and he was finding a polite way to turn me down. There goes my brain with its negative thoughts. Seems like this cycle of self-deprecation will never end. First my father, then my schoolmates, and now the one whom I had thought will never make me feel so insecure one day. What an epic failure. “Freshen up, will you? You are sweaty and you look tired.” He said. He didn’t even look at me in the past entire week so how did he know how tired I was? He wasn’t even being subtle about wanting to be away from me. “Did I do something wrong?” I asked him, not beating around the bush. I had done enough of that in the past entire week and I didn’t have the patience anymore. He slowly looked away from his laptop and met my gaze. I was instantly taken aback at the realization of how long it had been since he had even looked at me. The heaviness in my heart intensified the moment I felt that his gaze didn’t carry the same affection or the same intensity as it did before. “Why do you think so?” He went back to working on his laptop as if he hadn’t just said something and I didn’t even exist. My mind was raging between two emotions – curling up into a corner and crying, or throwing his laptop and smashing it to pieces. “What’s wrong, Neil?” I was not crying. I did not want to look weak and pathetic if we were going to have an argument right now. Now, that question, caught his attention. He sighed slowly, ran his fingers through his hair – the same ones I loved so much, and closed his laptop. Even though a few moments ago, I wanted to close and throw away that laptop badly, with him closing the laptop it seemed like something bad was going to happen. The emotions that I could find in his gaze were remorse and uncertainty. It did nothing but made my heart beat faster, and not in a good way. I was usually a cheerful and optimistic person, but today not even a single, positive thought had come to my mind when I thought about the current status of my relationship with Neil. “I’m so sorry, Myra,” his voice dripped with regret, “I’ve been such an ass to you lately.” I felt a little relieved, thinking that perhaps him being an ass was the reason he was looking so remorseful. “I just didn’t know how to say this to you,” Oh no, I don’t feel so good anymore, “I’ve been trying for the entire week but, f**k! I have been acting like a coward.” He shuffled slightly closer to me and placed a warm, large palm on my knee. If this action had sent warmth through my entire body a week ago, now all I felt was cold. I didn’t even move from my curled up position. “I still don’t know how to say this to you, Myra,” He took in a deep breath and I lost all the breath in my body, “I can’t do this anymore.” “What?!" Yes, it had been going on in my mind, but it didn’t mean that I was actually prepared to hear what he had said. Perhaps, I was misinterpreting everything and he meant something else. Hopefully, I wished that was the case. “I mean this engagement, Myra, this relationship between you and me. It’s not working for me.” He hung his head slightly, as if in shame and I kept staring at him. “We can get the marriage postponed…we don’t have to get married at all if that’s what you want.” I told him, my heart pounding in my chest at the sudden thought of losing him like this. “No, you don’t understand. It isn’t just about the engagement or the marriage; I’m talking about our relationship, too.” He shook his head as if I would never understand what he was trying to say. My heart couldn’t beat faster, and I could feel my face paling slowly. I was ready to give up my dream of marrying him one day if it meant keeping him, but he wasn’t talking about just marriage. I had no idea I would lose him this way. “What are you talking about, Neil?” I whispered. “We can’t be together. I think…it’s time we…break up.” There was finality to his words that led me to believe that there was no changing his mind. My world was falling apart at his feet and I couldn’t do anything about it…just watch silently. “But why…where did all of this come from all of a sudden?” He sighed, “You won’t understand, Myra.” “Then make me! This relationship is mine as much as it is yours and I’m not going to let you go away without explaining each and every thing to me. Is there anything I can do to save this relationship?” He shook his head. “Why? What went so wrong?” I almost whined. My voice was nothing but a high-pitched whisper and all I could do was try not to cry. “You’re being immature now, Myra.” Did he really think I was a child? “Even you knew this was going to end someday.” But not in this f*****g way! He really did mean that, alright. If I had thought thinking about it sent daggers through my heart, then I couldn’t even describe what I was feeling now. All I knew was that my heart squeezed in my chest, so painfully that I couldn’t even breathe. There was a sinking feeling in the pit of my abdomen – the feeling of heartbreak that I was quite familiar with by now. Perhaps, I should’ve never had tried for love. “Ten...” I took in a deep breath because my voice was sounding breathy and squeaky, “Ten years; I have loved you for so long. You have loved me for so long. Then why?” My voice cracked pathetically at the end, but I was done crying and showing my weakness to those who didn’t deserve to see it. I had had enough of people thinking that they could leave me whenever they wanted to and I would be okay with it. “I do love you, Myra...but I just don’t think I’m ready for such huge commitments yet. I need’re so clingy –” “Clingy?!” I had almost screeched that but I reigned in my temper just in time. He thought I was clingy? I wanted to laugh at him. This was yet another man to prove me right – expecting emotional support of any kind from man was sheer stupidity. It just made you look too clingy. “I’ve...I’ve given you as much space as I can...I know you love your independence so much. It was still less for you? Or is it that you don’t want to compromise a little bit of your space for me?” When he remained silent, I really didn’t know what I would do. I wanted to fight for him, for us, so badly, but I didn’t have it in me anymore. If he thought I was clingy, then he could go to hell and get a woman who would give him infinite amounts of space. I slapped his hand away from my knee, and uncurled myself. There was no point in staying here for a minute more. I stood up and struggled to remove the ring on my finger – it was too stubborn, and I almost cried when it refused to budge. Once it slipped out, I quietly placed it on the centre table, and stood up to pack my things and take them away with me. “Where are you going?” He asked, standing up and coming after me. His face, too, was slowly losing its colour. I didn’t reply and locked the door to our bedroom where most of my stuff was kept. I unzipped three cases, filled them to their topmost capacity, and took in another deep breath, fighting the urge to cry. I didn’t touch a single thing that was connected to him in any way – didn’t want to carry the burden with me while he was having the time of his life. When I felt I was ready, I unlocked the door to find him standing right outside. That bastard was crying, as if he deserved to shed even a single tear for breaking my heart. “Where are you going?!” He asked in a hoarse and demanding voice, and perhaps it would have had worked on me before. Now I was too far gone to care. I just shouldered past him and walked towards the doors that were going to give me and him the much needed freedom. I could hear the heavy footsteps behind me, but I was too fast for even his long legs to catch up. “Look, Myra, I know I have hurt you. But please,” his concern and desperation was genuine, oh wow. “It’s too dark outside now, and I don’t want you to be alone –” “I know you find me too clingy,” I turned around and gave him a harsh, blurry glare, “And, I know it’s hard to believe, but I actually have a life and friends apart from you. You are my world, but my universe has never revolved around only you. I thought you knew that. I’m not going to be alone.” I dropped my bags, and gave him a smile that screamed ‘storming fury’, “Enjoy, Neil. Now all of this is yours. This entire space,” I gestured to his penthouse, “Is entirely yours, once again. Though I hope you don’t wait too long for marriage – you’re already thirty, and you are living in India. We are not that forward to wait for you to get married until you are sixty – at least our families are not.” I picked up my bags again and stormed out of the door, but just then, I turned around and hollered, “If you find any stuff of mine, you are free to burn it or donate it to someone needy.” I didn’t turn back after that, not even a fleeting glance because I was too busy running into the elevator and not giving a f**k about claustrophobia. It was when I had driven halfway across the city of Chandigarh, and was alone in my car when I had a good cry over my destroyed love life.
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