I Love You Too - contd
by Manohar Naidu
(Nagpur, Maharashtra, India)
Back to Page 1 of the story
Almost three months passed still there was no trace of Anand. Shashi was at advanced stage of pregnancy and she wanted her parents to come over there. They left India for US intimating Ministry their forwarding address and with a request to my parents not to wait for Anand and will be happy to bless me if I marry soon. Their frankness and positive attitude for my welfare, touched my heart deeply.
A tender pat on my shoulder broke my nostalgic reverie.
He was none other than Anand. I could not believe my eyes. I grabbed him physically into my arms. Thousand rivers I cried on his shoulders. My mom was ecstatic with joy and left the room leaving both of us alone. I made him comfortable alongside with me in the couch. I was unable to speak due to sudden burst of happiness and continuously watched him. There was visible scar on right side of his face and he was wearing military jacket with pair of hand gloves.
After formal chit chat, I felt that he was uneasy.
“I have just dropped in for ten minutes Ragini, on way to my squadron. My vehicle is waiting outside.” He paused. It appeared that he was searching for words.
“Perhaps this is our last meeting. I will not
be able to marry you and make your life miserable.” Looking at his watch Anand was avoiding eye contact with me.
“Hey Anand, again do you want to cheat me? Be clear.” Suspicion, uncertainty, fear started clouding my mind.
Slowly, he zipped open his jacket by his left hand fingers and I helped him remove it fully. Oh! No! His right arm was missing and prosthesis arm was fitted. A mute answer and a great contribution to nation’s victory. Bravo! But how could he decide my fate on his own on this misfortune ?
He got up from the couch, picked up the jacket by his left hand, looked into my wet eyes, made the usual lip movements.
I observed him carefully as he walked to the door. I knew that time was running out but suppressed the urge to check my watch. I took deep breath and started counting in reverse under my breath. “Ten, nine, eight, seven.... I LOVE YOU TOO, DEAR ANAND.” I screamed. “I shall wait for you.”
I rushed towards him and hugged warmly, and then whispered. “My both hands shall shall be waiting with wedding garlands for you whenever you wish, my dear Sabre slayer.” Wiping the moist eyes, helped supporting his right hand, I opened the door, walked upto the waiting vehicle and wished him good bye. ***