(Read Part 1)
Priyam didn’t want to recall the details of that fateful day. But her mind did not listen and she was instantly thrown back into time. She felt herself being surrounded by the sounds, sights and smell of her life seven years back. She saw herself, an innocent and beautiful Priyam, walking hand in hand with a handsome looking Ram, strolling in the deep gardens of Bangalore in the hour just before Sunrise. They had had the habit of jogging together in the mornings but that day had been different.
They had met at college during their final year, she a communications student wanting to be a journalist and him a technologist studying computers. They had been so different from each other – as different as extreme opposites can get. She had been outgoing while he was ever the brooding one. She had been content with life’s small pleasures while he had wanted the moon. She spoke one language and he another. The list went on.
But their chemistry had been undeniable even back then and she had had no resistance. She had fallen deeply in love with him and had wanted to spend most of her waking hours with him, ever mindful of the end of term when they may be forced to part ways. Like the young and foolish do, she had never thought about their dramatically different backgrounds.
She had thought their love can overcome all the differences, she had dreamed of a happily ever after. On that particular day, they had met up for their jog as usual. She had been feeling particularly nervous. The term was scheduled to end in another week and she had wanted Ram to utter the reassurances she sought.
Save for a few joggers, they had had the park to themselves. They had decided to take it easy that day and agreed on a leisurely stroll around the park. Of course, they had stopped frequently and after looking around to ensure nobody was watching, had kissed each other repeatedly. Their desire had only heighted with each kiss they shared. Priyam had been thrilled when Ram had taken her face in his hands and murmured his first “I love you” to her.
Throwing caution to the winds, she had poured out her feelings to him and had asked him to marry her. Ram had seemed taken back, even shocked initially but he had quickly recovered and had uttered “Sure” in his normal quiet fashion. That had been enough for her. She had made all the arrangements and she had wanted it to be a big surprise for him. Stupidly, she had thought she will offer herself to him and he would find it impossible to say no. Oh, how could she have been so foolish?
When her parents had temporarily gone out of town, she had thought it a heaven sent opportunity to prove her love to him. His initial hesitation at her proclamation of love had been increasingly sneaking up in her thoughts making her uneasy. So she decided to take their relationship to the next level to show him she truly loved him and had invited him over to her house for the night in the pretext of studying for the final exams together.
She had even dressed up in sexy lingerie. When Ram knocked the door, she had almost screamed in joy. Yes, he had come over which must only mean he really loved her back. She had opened the door, ushered him inside, and had dramatically taken off her clothes in an attempt to seduce him. She had expected Ram to take her into his arms or at least stare at her but she had never imagined what he said next.
“Priya, what do you think you are doing?” Ram had cried bending down to take her discarded robe and handing it to her, “Come on, get dressed. Let’s get started with our books.”
Oh, she had been mortified. She had wanted to bury herself ten thousand feet below the Earth and never surface. Their relationship had gone downhill from then. The next few weeks had been tense with exams and the shadow of her actions on that night. She had felt like a swimmer out of depth desperately trying to stay afloat. She had tried to convince herself that it must have been his sense of honor that must have made him do what he did. He must have wanted to wait till they were both independent before taking the big step. She had tried hard, really hard to deny it had been anything other than his love and honor that had come in the way. Oh, she had been foolish.
On the last day of exams, she had sent him a note declaring her undying love adding that she will be waiting for him. She had suggested for them to run away somewhere, perhaps go on a vacation to sort their life. She had packed her bag and had gone to the designated place to wait for him. She had waited…….. till the clock had continued turning to announce the dawning of another day. She had not wanted to believe that he wouldn’t come…. But he had never turned up. And she had never seen him again. In her anger over her own foolishness, she had not returned home and had taken a train to another city and another life. Oh, she had been so foolish…..