In My Embrace
“Stop crying first of all, tell me, what happened? Why did he leave you?” I asked her, consciously stepping an inch closer to her.
She wiped her tears, and nose too, trying to frame her first sentence. The hurricane inside her overcame her hopeless efforts, and she fell onto me. Embracing me, she wailed, miserably.
I stood there still, trying to figure out what to do. She was vulnerable and I was helpless.
“Sia,” I began, “Please don’t cry. Listen to me.” I could feel her shiver. Gently caressing her back, I mumbled, “Please stop crying.”
She continued sobbing. I could sense my heart break and shatter into teeny tiny pieces, not because she loved someone else, but because she was crying; and I could do nothing.
A few minutes later, her heartbeat calmed – anxious thumping was replaced by rhythmic beating.
Finally, the sobs were replaced by sniffs and sighs.
Freeing herself, she looked at me. Her brown eyes were morose and dull now. Grief had engulfed their shine. It was awfully terrible to see her this way.
“Raghu..” She initiated, but was immediately interrupted by two simultaneous hiccups.
Shamefacedly, she turned away. I smiled, and she laughed. She continued laughing for sometime, and then halted.
Desolated, she hugged me again; tighter this time. I hugged her back; comfortably this time.
It hurt to see her hurt.
They tell me, what I feel for her is love. I proclaim to not really care. If being immensely pleased due to her smile, and being pathetically down in the dumps, seeing her shed tears is even remotely related to being in love, then, perhaps I was in love.
I couldn’t tell her yet; I wouldn’t tell her now because right now she needed to be taken care of. And that was my only priority.
That evening, we stayed quiet. Our breaths hailed; our silences accosted.
I hopelessly wished the moment to stay, yet selflessly wished her pain to fade.