What if….

February 9, 2007

She was more than a little apprehensive. It was the first time that she would be in the same room with him after months now.

The last time she was with him, she remembered kissing him goodbye with all the love she had in her, promising him that she would see him soon. He had held her hand as she started walking away and pulled her against him. Then he had kissed her with such ferocity, claiming her soul in a way that she didn’t think she could leave now. But she knew she had to. When finally he let go of her, she put her lips against his forehead and said she looked forward to seeing him soon.
Ten months had passed since that rain soaked afternoon. Winter had come and weaned and the spring threatened to change into summer.

Those first three months of crying, repressed screaming and bewilderment had gradually rolled into a dull ache that constantly throbbed in her mind. She had thrown herself at her work, at many things that didn’t really matter, if just to escape the pain. But those brief moments when she relaxed, shut her eyes and sorted her thoughts, memories came flooding back. She would try and close the doors to the past, but some of the water would still seep through the cracks in her doors, to wet her eyes. Even now, sometimes she thought…” What if..”

She didn’t expect it would be easy. She didn’t know what she would say. She didn’t know if she could even manage a casual greeting. If she could even meet his eyes. Maybe if she did, she would cry. Maybe he would not even come there. She half wished he would not. The other half of her wanted him to be there, with everything that she had in her. She waited for the evening. She didn’t want to wait for the evening. She hoped it would last forever. She wanted to be over with it as soon as possible.

As the evening drew closer, her trepidation increased. But she decided she would not miss this opportunity. After a long hot shower, that left her hair fragrant and her skin smooth, she walked to the mirror and stared at herself. She knew she had to look her best. She could not let him see her as anything less than her best. Her movements were slow and calculated, almost like she was aware of someone watching her all through the silent dressing up ritual. When she was ready, she looked into the mirror she realized that the last and the most important thing she needed was an invisible mask that covered all that swirling inside her and gave her a calm face and an expression that said “ Yes I am having fun”

Half an hour after the decided time, she sauntered into the room, trying hard to appear nonchalant. As detached and indifferent as possible. She could not say if she was being successful in her attempts. But she tried. Casually as she walked around the room, her hellos, her hugs and pecks, her smiles and her laughter felt a little hollow inside her. She wondered if they sounded as hollow to the others. Every turn of her lithe body was a deliberate graceful movement, just in case he was watching from some corner of the room. As she spoke to them, her eyes wandered around trying to locate the one face she wanted to see the most and avoid the most.

Then she heard someone say that he would not be making it for the evening. She did not ask why. Waves of disappointment and relief collided inside her. Where for a brief moment she felt relaxed, the next second, her reasons for being there that evening collapsed around her. She suddenly wanted to run out of the room, be alone yet be with everyone else. She felt angry with herself for letting him matter so much to her, yet understood that this was the closure she was seeking. After all she had not been responsible for everything that had happened after that last afternoon.

As she walked out of the door, she wondered again.. ”What if he had come here today?” Too exhausted to think any more, she walked the distance to the car intending to drive home as fast as possible, desperate to get into her bed. The dull ache behind her forehead felt more acute now. All she wanted was to get under the covers and shut out the world. Only she didn’t know, a few miles from her own home, the world was to shut her out, that same night. The next day, they could all meet again at her house not believing this was real. How could it be? Hadn’t they all met her last evening? She seemed so full of life, her smile as radiant as ever, her laugh as vivacious as always.
None of them noticed the plain blue envelope that had been slipped in through the door last night lying below the doormat.


It contained a single sheet of paper, with a short paragraph, explaining to her why things had happened. It was written in that slanting straight hand that, she knew so well. The same handwriting that was scribbled on all those little gift stickers and cards that were lying under the black file in the last drawer of her dressing table. Answering questions she had been asking herself for the last ten months.
The last line of the half paged letter read “Sometimes I wonder what if…..”



  1. the infinite possibilities contained in two simple words.. ‘what if’ … beautifully written….

  2. Thanks

  3. very well written i must say. infinitely much better than the design documents i am reading right now 😀

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