Joined: 17 November 2012
As the church bells called for prayer, a congregation gathered in St. Luke's Cathedral to celebrate the union of two young lovers. She sat on the far left, her teary eyes blocked from view by the Victorian fascinator. He was searching for her, scanning the crowd to get a glimpse of her beautiful face before their worlds came crashing down.
He still remembers the first snow on Christmas day when they met outside the church gates. Her pious lips were rosary beads of a nun, hands clasped in prayer, eyes...Damn, that fascinator was always in the way. The hair was neatly plated to a side, her warm gestures greeted incoming visitors. She was handing out choir flyers. He took the flyer with one hand and slipped his number with the other. Two hours later, the phone rang.
"Hello", he swallowed his saliva. "Girl from the church? I have been waiting for you to call. I am mesmerized by your..I am terrible at this. Would you like to go on a date with me?"
"Hello sir. I am sorry we do not date customers".
"Who is this?"
"Sir, I am calling from ICICICIC bank. Would you like to purchase our credit card?"
"Only if you get her to call me. What do you think? NO, ruined my life man!"
He hung up to begin another stare down with the darned cellular phone that would not ring for another twelve hours.
"Hello", the woman on the line greeted him with an apologetic tone. "My name is Madhubala. I am calling for R...K from the St. Luke's choir session earlier today".
"Where again?" He tried to play cool but, his voice gave away his excitement. "Ah yes, the girl with the almond eyes. I mean, almonds. You were eating almonds during service, nahi?"
"That was Suzi", she spoke with disappointment. He really messed up trying to act uninterested.
Time for damage control. "I was only joking. I think you are a nice, I mean pretty. I mean kind and you have a great voice", she laughed at the string of compliments he spit out in one breath.
"Would you like to go on a date with me?"
They spent the next two hours planning the date, talking about work, talking about school, talking about dreams and life and passion and love and cartoons and nothing at all. They talked until they fell asleep because there would always be something to talk about.
"Next morning, we heard each other panic on the phone line when we both got up and were late to the date", an old man walked with a cane in one hand and his son's arm in the other. "Rishabh Junior, my boy, that is what I call love. She was my girl, my only girl".
"Dad, why did you have to give me the same name as you? Now I am also doomed to bachelorhood for life! I want to settle down, ya know?" the young man joked with his father.
"Says the man who will not take the bride quest trip to India".
"I don't want to talk about it", supplied Rishabh. "I have a woman and I would like you to meet her soon. We are flying down to Goa dad. Your dreams of an Indian bahu will not remain dreams for long". He pulled his father in for a tight hug and head toward the sunset.
"I don't want to talk about it", said Madhubala. "I had a loving husband, whose life was cut short by the war. God bless his heart, the man died in combat. He left me a beautiful daughter. What else could I ask for?", she reasoned with her modernized daughter pestering her to tell tales of her first love.
"Fine, mum. If you don't want to say anything, that is fine with me. But please, you should see Rishabh's father. He tells everyone how beautiful his girlfriend was". A twenty something Bala, dragged her aged mother into a lakeside park; the same park she had her first date with her first love.
A lone tear escaped Madhu's eye as she spotted a man in the distance, his figure resembling her lost love.
"Rishabh", Bala waved at the two men seated on a park bench. She set up a picnic with two yoga mats, an 80's boombox, neatly cut triangular sandwiches and ice-cold lemonade: just like twenty five years ago.
"Madhubala, aaa...uh, huh...huh", the old man began coughing mid sentence. "Aaahaan". She ran up to him with a glass of lemonade and rubbed his back until he was normal again.
The children looked at their parents with a curious eye. "Dad, her name is Bala. Madhubala is her mother's name".
"Oh, sorry!" his face changed many colours like someone had dropped a weight on his chest. He could hardly breathe, he was choking on the sweetness of the lemonade, the tenderness of her touch, the serenity of her vocals. All these years had passed in a hope that someone, somewhere would lead him to his Madhubala and when he found her, he was helpless.
"Mum, this is Mr. Rishabh Kundra Senior, Rishabh's father", Bala asked her mother to shake hands but she chose to acknowledge Rishabh with a namaste.
"We will take a walk and you guys can discuss the wedding details".
Madhu and Rishabh waited until their kids had reached their car. They saw them drive away and finally breathed a sigh of relief.
"How have you been?"
She spoke with formality yet, her savage fingers were out of control. They touched him, running up and down his palm, they were affectionate.
"Lonely", he sobbed. She had never seen him cry except the day she moved away. "I missed you so much. I wish I had never let you go".
His tear found its way to her finger, she savoured it like a pearl.
"I married the man my mother chose for me. I loved him too till death do us 'part. I.."
Her hands reached up to his collarbone. Her name was still inked on his skin like he was hers forever.
"I waited for you. Girls came and went but, I told you Madhu I will only marry once. In the church of Jesus Christ, I gave you that promise ring and I kept my promise. I am sorry it turned out this way. I am sorry I couldn't stop you. I am sorry..."
"Say no more", her touch interrupted him. She smoothed the rough terrain of his lips.
The glow was back in his eyes and the redness visible on his cheeks. She had this effect on him; she made him blush. He smiled after years of faked happiness, he was living again. His thumb unhooked her bra strap.
"You still do that?" she punched him lightly.
"You still wear a red lipstick?" he tasted the plum, cherry crimson by Lady Godiva.
He traced the shimmer on her back, "You still use glitter gel?" he smirked.
"You still tease me about it", she attacked his neck with kisses. She always had a soft spot for that tattoo he got against her will. It made her love him even more.
Just as their emotions heightened, something stopped them from going any further.
"The kids", they both spoke in harmony.
"I must not prioritize my happiness above Bala's. I love my daughter".
"I love my son. If he wishes to marry Bala then, I will do anything I can to make that happen".
"Even if that means letting go again", and they did. Their hands pulled away reluctantly as they spotted their children getting out the car, smiling and in love.
The priest perfomed all formalities before the couple read their wedding vows, "If anyone objects to this union, speak now or forever hold your peace". His eyes spotted hers. She had taking off the fascinator, she was longing for him also. He took a seat beside her, hiding her hand under his coat pocket.
"In another life", she caressed his soft flesh.
"In another life", he kissed her warmth from afar.
They both let go to meet in another life.
A/N: How do you like it? Do tell :)
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Joined: 17 November 2012
Joined: 17 November 2012
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Joined: 17 November 2012
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