I absently walked out of the airport lost in deep thought. I was still thinking about the old man and his words. What was he trying to say?
“Sir” Mandy’s voice startled me.
I glanced at him and he gave me a smile. I returned the smile weakly and got on the car.
Mandy sat on the driver seat and asked “are you alright sir? You seem lost somewhere.”
“Yeah, just exhausted” I said leaning my back and closing my eyes.
“So, you will be heading back to your apartment right?” asked Mandy not being sure.
“Of course, I am do you have any other plan?” I asked still with my eyes closed.
“No, I just thought you might like to visit center before going to your apartment” he replied.
I opened my eyes and said “why would I do that?”
“Because it’s been long so I thought you would like to see her first.”
“Mr. Mandy seems to think too much these days. Tell me one thing why would I like to see someone else’s wife?” I rolled my eyes.
“Why would you celebrate someone else’s wife’s birthday?”
I widened my eyes and said furiously “should I kick you out of the car. It is better you concentrate on your work rather than on my personal stuff.”
“I am sorry” he apologized quickly.
“You better be” I said and closed back my eyes trying to take some rest but Mandy’s words drew me back to Lisa’s thoughts.
“What would she be doing now? Maybe, living happily with her husband. But she didn’t wanted to go back. Whatever it is it’s none of my business she have different path to walk so do I. I should no more be affected by her.”
“Sir, we are here” Mandy brought me back to my sense.
I opened my eyes looked around before getting down from the car. I walked to my apartment and plonked on the couch. I was back in my lifeless apartment. I looked around my apartment thinking about the beautiful moments spend with Lisa on her birthday.
I got up and stood by the window trying to control myself from thinking about her. But glancing down from the window made me recall how I chased Lisa away. She was not ready to go but I forced her to go. Her eyes before leaving flashed on my mind.
I was no more in control. I grabbed my keys and walked outside. I drove my car towards the center without knowing what I was doing. She was gone like in past but this time it was I who chased her away.
At least last time I had a feeling that I tried but it was too late. So, in another life I would make her mine. But this time I was regretting it. There was guilt inside me “why did I let her go?”
I got down from my car and walked inside. But as I reached the hall I was no longer able to take any steps further. The feeling of her not being there was making my eyes wet. So I turned around and walked outside. I sat on the staircase absently watching at the gate where she used to stand and bid me bye.
Tears rolled down my eyes and I was letting it go. I had no thought of wiping it away and getting up trying to be strong. I was fade up showing how strong I was because no matter how hard I tried I would always end up being the weakest.
“She is gone…”
I jolted hearing Jessica’s voice. I had no idea when she came and sat beside me. I hurriedly wiped my tears away. I didn’t want her to see me crying.
“I know you had feelings for her so you don’t have to hide your tears. I know it long before when I first saw you with her and the way you looked at her explained how much you adore her. So this moment I am taking myself as your friend and want to share something about her with you only if you don’t mind.”
I glanced at her and nodded my head.
“Lisa was the most talented student in our grade. She was so active and great artist as well for which she got a sponsor to take the responsibility of all her school expenses. Along with being good on study she was good at loving as well.”
I passed a shocked gaze at her with my wide eyes.
Nodding her head she continued “yeah, you heard it right. She was so madly in love with a boy. But saddest thing is she never got any chance to say that boy how much she loved him. It was our last day of high school our exams were over and she said that she was going to talk with the boy that day. I was happy for her and prayed that she would succeed.
I didn’t knew it would be the last time seeing her because the very next day I was sent to another city by my parents to prepare for my further studies. When I returned back I got to know that she was already married. I didn’t knew who she was married to I just came to know that she was forced into that marriage.”
“Why was she forced?” I asked.
“I have no idea. When I met her again here she never talked about her marriage. All I could feel was she was having very hard life.”
“And what about the boy she loved?” I asked out of curiosity.
“She never said who he was. She was very good at keeping secret. She told me she loved someone but no matter how much I tried she never revealed his name. Not even after meeting each other after so long. She just said one thing.” She looked away from me.
“What?” I asked swallowing hard. I knew I was very close to break my heart again.
“Whenever you were with her she said she felt like she was with him. Your presence gave her soothe and fulfilled the blank space she had in her heart.”
I got up feeling hard to breathe and walked towards the gate.
“Don’t you want to know who he was?” her question stopped me.
“Why?” I asked without turning back.
“Who knows if you were chosen one to light up her life? Though she never said anything to me but I know her she might have left some clue” she replied.
I thought for a while and said “she is no one to me why would I light up her life. I have no interest in searching for the clue” I tried to walk away but Jessica spoke again “she was not ready to go with James but James raised his hand on her and forced her to get on the car.”
I tightened my fist hearing her but still I managed to get close to my car.
“Remember your one wrong move had destroyed someone’s life you soon need to pay for it. Do something before it is too late.”
Old man’s voice echoed on my head as I was about to open the door.
“Was he trying to indicate this? But how can my moves destroy her life? I had no direct connection with her.”
I leaned my back on the car and watched the place where Lisa used to stand which drew me back to the flashback.
“I am not fool to stand here whole day and hurt my legs. I do have my works.”
“And can I know what work is it?”
“You will know when I will be gone.”
My eyes widened and I hurriedly rushed inside.
“What is it?” Jessica asked.
“Get back to your work I remembered something I need to deal with” I said and rushed towards block B.
I went to the hall where Lisa was drawing something on the canvas last time. As I entered I saw the canvas was still on the easel. I slowly stepped toward it and glance at the painting. I went numb when I saw the painting of Lisa and me sitting on the bench. Her head was lying on my shoulder and my gaze was fixed on her.
I slowly lifted my hand and touched the painting trying to feel her on that canvas but that was not possible at all. I looked away when my eyes were full of tears and my vision got blurred. I walked out the hall and walked to my office.
I plonked on the chair and watched the room which I had provide to Lisa. After some time taking deep breath I walked to the room. I pushed the door wide open and walked inside. I slowly began to touch its wall, table, bed trying to feel Lisa.
I sat on the bed and supported my head with my hand. I tried to calm myself down but the fact that she was in love with some other boy made my heart race loud. I felt like I was not that much hurt when I saw her in that bridal dress that day.
I touched the pillow gently where Lisa rested her head but suddenly I noticed something beneath the pillow. I lifted the pillow and saw a notebook. It was the same notebook which she was carrying last time.
I took it on my hand and slowly flipped its page.
“Lisa” was written in very beautiful 3d style. I touched the name and turned the page. But the page was empty I turned to another page which too was empty. I was astonished. But as I flipped it desperately something fall on the ground.
As I picked it up it was the card which I had given her few days ago with the yellow rose asking for her apology. Though she threw away the flower in front of me but she had kept the card with her.
As I began to flip the page randomly somewhere in between the page I felt like I saw something. As I carefully made the turns I found a sketch. I was dumbfounded seeing the picture of a boy standing behind the window. Was it me?
I flipped another page and there was a sketch of a boy standing on the side of the road and watching at something which remind me of the days when I used to stand on the side of the road in front of her home. When I flipped the third page the sketch of a girl with her hand on boy’s shoulder drew me back to a flashback.