The room was silent except for the whisper of bodies rubbing against each other and the rustle of sheets. After what seemed like just a few minutes of loving but in reality over a couple of hours, Priyam and Ram lay back breathing heavily, content and exhausted. What had they done, thought Priyam. She had been so careful all these years and for this to happen now is the cruelest thing that can happen to her. Oh, how can she do this to herself? She had denied herself love and pleasure the past few years knowing that she will get hurt otherwise. Isn’t one hard lesson enough in one’s life?
They had met again at their class reunion. She had never expected him to turn up which was why she had thought it safe to go. After all, how many technology hotshots turn up for reunions? So she had really been shocked when she had spotted him in the party and had tried sneaking away without being noticed. But fate had had other plans and before long they had bumped into each other in spite of her calculated moves to avoid him.
One glance from him and she had felt like her 20 year old self all over again. Naïve and susceptible to silly emotions. She had pretended she had not been affected meeting him but what she had not counted on was the inescapable chemistry they had shared. She had tried hard to remain unaffected but somehow he seemed determined to charm her. And before long one thing led to another and they found themselves alone in her apartment. She did not even want to think about what transpired after that though admittedly it had been the most wonderful thing that had happened to her.
It had been their first time together and it had been all that she had imagined and more. Priyam stared at the ceiling and wondered what will happen next. They had already broken up once and she was not sure she could take it again. Oh no, not again.
Moaning like an animal in pain, Priyam quickly gathered her clothes and rushed to the bathroom without glancing at the tall lean figure in the bed. Ram can take care of himself for after all doesn’t he have the most perfect and successful life of all in their class? Others are not so fortunate, especially her. She had no time to revel in this aftermath of intense loving, however she longed to. Dawn will break soon and with it reality will descend on them like a heavy shroud of mist. She had no strength left to face it with him. She needed to be alone. She needed to protect herself.
After hurriedly getting dressed, Priyam returned to the room and tried to get some semblance of order back.
“Aren’t you getting dressed? Your family must be missing you” she tossed at him angrily.
“Priya, don’t. Please don’t” he replied, “There is time enough for that later.”
"Ya right. When?” she retorted, “When you are thousands of miles away, safe from me?" she shouted with a shrill laugh trying hard not to give away any of her emotions.
"This should never have happened” she cried almost in a whisper.
“Yes, I know” Ram said, infuriating her even more.
“You bastard, how dare you? How dare you stand there and say that to me after all these years? After all that happened? If at all anything shouldn’t have happened, it was me meeting you. Oh, how I wish I had never met you” she hurled hurtingly at him.
Ram got up from the bed and started getting dressed but not before she noticed him flinch. Priyam immediately wished she could take her words back. Was it possible she might have hurt him?
“Priya, I never meant to hurt you” Ram said hesitatingly. “Can’t you forgive me for what happened in the past?” he murmured. “For heaven’s sake, I was just 21!”
“Forgive?” whispered Priyam, “Yes, I can forgive you Ram but I will never forget. You left me alone…. I trusted you……”