It is a sultry evening outside and the humming of the old air-conditioner groaning and laboring away to keep off the sweltering heat at bay in his office keeps him solitary company. Ruefully he scans his desk for he has loads of pending work to be done before his long day is through, but, he is rather preoccupied, battling his demons and rehashing some private thoughts. He feels stifled by the sheer quantum volume of piled-up work and yearns to stretch out his wings, take off on a flight of fancy and leave his worries behind for a change.
Being single and the lone offspring, his commitments are few besides aging parents for whom he diligently provides for through his unstinting and regular remittances. And then there are the dutiful bi-weekly calls or two. His folks are his primary reason for him to seek work on foreign shores and he is resolute not to let them down and ensure that they are comfortably off as they are already into their twilight years. To boot, being quintessentially a loner, he neither misses the bright city lights outside nor wishes to mingle with a world that seems so alien to him and more often than not, flatters to deceive – a cruel mean world that is utterly absorbed with itself and its insatiable self-gratification.
As he broods swiveling in his chair overlooking the seafront, he takes in the view yonder as the orange-crimson orb of the sun dips down into the sea & heralds the onset of the twilight zone. Bright twinkling lights; some soft and muted while others harsh, stretch into the distance along the waterfront and the city seems to bustle with renewed energy. The city has a new-fangled pulse and it’s on the move; perhaps to wallow in more self-indulgence and decadence. Fancy wheels with nattily dressed girls/women and their escorts flit in and out of traffic in search of their thrills for the night.
But, the throbbing fast city-life and the even faster girls hold no lure for him. Heart of hearts he wishes that he could find that ‘special someone’ who was destined for him and exists for only him; if only he reaches out, that is! A pensive look on his face with chin cupped over upturned knuckles, his forehead furrows in intense concentration and a shadow flits over his eyes as he wonders:
"Agreed, there is something called ‘destiny’; but, is his ‘special someone’ really somewhere out there?"
"Who is she? What is she like and how is she as a person? Will she be warm, loving, caring, faithful, committed, understanding, trustworthy, dependable….? Would she take care of his ailing parents while he is on foreign shores earning his livelihood?"
"How is he supposed to reach out for her or would she find him as he sits there reminiscing?"
"Do miracles happen just like that? Does ones life have to be this complicated?"
"Damn it all"; so many questions and not a single answer at the end of it all! He returns to his work and tries to engross himself in it in order to divert the source of his thought processes. Tough luck though, because no matter how hard he tries, he simply cannot concentrate on his work and this causes him some amount of consternation. It is time to close shop for the day but yet he hangs on for no particular reason.
He hasn’t logged in for ages and whenever he has in the past, it has been to check his mail; almost all of it spam which screams out vivid fantasies aloud from the subject line! With barely concealed irritation he hastily checks them and gleefully hits on the ‘Delete’ button and it is obliterated until the next batch comes in, that is! He just can’t put a finger to it, but discerns a feeling of missing-out on something and no matter how hard he tries to shake it off; it clings on to him like a second skin. He needs some distraction and decides to login to a chat room and sits back to witness the ensuing banter from an outsiders standpoint.
What he sees unfolding before him wouldn’t hold down the attention span of a gnat; let alone his! Most of it is all ribaldry at its perverse worst ? multicolored lines screaming out cheap thrills and superfluities to nobody in particular; some automatically generated messages he surmises. However there are some good natured conversations too and he follows it with some interest. One particular name strikes his eye and his interest is piqued. Her banter is in lighter vein and it looks like she is warm, polite, good-natured, witty and quite adept at multi-tasking ? talking to a couple of people effortlessly.
On an impulse, he pings in private and although she is rather reluctant to respond initially, something just clicks; the ice breaks and soon they are engaged in full-fledged conversation. To his introverted nature she comes through as genuine and yet, they both are wary of the other. His, is understandable because he has programmed himself to steer clear of the opposite sex as he believes in his ‘Destined-to-be’ theory. But she seems to be an enigma as she says that she is wary of believing anything that is even breathed a word on the net; probably a fallout of some broken trust in the past? Nonetheless, they do make a fantastic start and sparks something vital in him. It tells him that it marks the beginning of a long journey that can either make his dream come true or break it.
Over the next couple of days, this rendezvous on the net continues and he finds her to be all that he has wanted in his special someone – warm, loving, caring, understanding, trustworthy and dependable. She tells him that she is single although touching early forties very soon. Strangely, even though it translates to ten years difference in age, it never is an issue with things from his perspective on life. Rather, it sort of appeals to his outlook on life, as from his exposure to girls, albeit limited, he has found almost all of them to be rather too focused on trivialities and mindless chatter; which he had always considered to be sheer anathema.
…On an impulse, he pings in private and although she is rather reluctant to respond initially, something just clicks….
But here she is; somebody so different, somebody who warms the cockles of his heart and tugs at his heartstrings so! Yet, he keeps mum over his feelings for her and so looks forward to their daily trysts that both can’t do without, even for a single day. He learns more and more about her; her interests, hobbies, likes, dislikes and the like and she likewise, and gradually the feelings of complete trust, mutual understanding and respect are cemented. Photographs are exchanged and pretty soon, telephone numbers too. Numerous calls are made back and forth. Her soft and husky voice exudes love and oozes sheer charm and has him captivated. It is a point of no-return and from thence there is no looking back, at least not for him!
He just can’t stop thinking of her and that’s when he writes her a poem:
Your dazzling smile adds to your allure
You have charmed me with your candour
You have left your mark on my soul
Oh, there is so much more to extol
You are my life – My everything and all
How blessed I am that I heard your call
For you sought me out from nowhere
God must have indeed heard my prayer
It took me a while to say that ‘Yes’
That much I’d willingly confess
Coz I wanted you just mine forever
To walk beside me as we both grow older
You care for me and love me so
Without you I feel lost & so hollow
You make me smile and so complete
You are my special someone; God’s own treat!
He is sorely tempted to confess his innermost feelings to her and send her the poem, but again, he draws on his reserves of strength and refrains; consoling himself that the time is not right, but sometime soon.
And then one fine day while they are engaged in deep conversation, the bombshell drops while she says the magic words, straight out of the blue; "I love you" and nothing is the same again! He has almost willed it to happen and if she isn’t to have uttered those words, he would definitely have said them at some point of time, although at a much later juncture. Yet, her words take him by surprise and diplomatically, on some pretext of imperative work; he manages to extricate himself from the dicey situation for a while. His brain working frantically and heart thudding at a gallop; he finds it impossible to think as he is deluged by a gamut of thoughts:
"Is this love? Is she truly in love with him?"
"Would she stay by him until his last breath – strong, true, trustworthy, steady, reliable, committed & dependable?"
"In reality, is this he wants from her; or is it just a friend that he is looking for?"
Agreed; there is this bottomless void in him and he has always known that his very own special someone is somewhere out there just in the offing for him. Something inexplicable and yet tangible had made him or her or both reach out. The vibes are strong and all encompassing. Everything seems so right when he is with her. But; to find her on the net???????..? And then again; she is so dear to him, and embodies all that he believes in and he needs her so in his life. Should he or shouldn’t he? And then, in a flash it is out of his hands!
He hurries back to his PC and with trembling hands types in those magic words, "I love you too!" And for good measure, he sends her the poem too!
There – it was all destined to be, you see!
Note: The story that I have recounted is a true one and the gist of it came to me from a friend in the form of a very short and veiled communiqu? a while back, sans the poem though. I have elaborated on it and been magnanimously liberal in delving into my thoughts and drawing upon my imagination to draw it out.
To veer back to the couple in the story, they met on several occasions and the bond that they shared was further cemented and from what I garner, they are simply inseparable! They will be getting engaged to marry on the 14th of Feb 2007 ? Valentines Day and theirs will be a very private ceremony as he faces very stiff opposition from both sides. There will be no crowds, no well wishers and no reception. It will be a simple exchange of vows and rings on hallowed ground. The Good Lord will be their witness and their mutual trust, faith and enhanced perceptions of the other; based on the bedrock of love, will be their contract for marriage and amalgamation of souls.
He risks being ostracized by his own family, and she from hers, as both families are opposed to this union and yet, theirs is a bond that will definitely stand the test of time. I write this as a toast to the couple and an ode to their love, for being destined-to-be!
Author: Chris Rego- UAE