He looked at her from the corner of his eye. She half turned away awkwardly and then as if she had suddenly thought of something, she looked right back at him again. He knew it was now or never. He decided it was now.
He leaned in and kissed her.
Not the kind of kiss they show in the movies.
A soft kiss – almost like a caress.
Like a gentle breeze that blows across your face and you close your eyes involuntarily. Like tiny drops of ice cold rain – full of unspoken promises.
The kind only the very young can experience. Or the very innocent.
For a few moments he felt the sky had opened up and every tiny star had come out to applaud. He felt himself levitate and defy gravity for seconds or minutes or hours. He wasn’t sure which. He knew for sure that if he let go of her, he would fall to the ground. Every cell of his being felt transformed.
And yet when he opened his eyes and pulled his face apart – he saw her face was clouded and her eyes were welling up with tears.
What is wrong?
Did I hurt you?
Did I do something wrong?
She shook her head. He held her by her shoulders and pinned her with his troubled gaze.
Tell me. Why are there tears in your eyes?
Because I will never experience this again.
It is over. Forever.
There can never again be a first kiss.
There can never again be this sweet longing laced with uncertainty.
But there will be many more moments. Of tenderness and love. And Passion. And Togetherness.
Yes there will. But this.. this moment right now is the sweetest and the purest of them all. I know that even without experiencing the others.
There will never be another like this.
With you or with anyone else.
If every wish in every love stricken soul was to narrate its story
in wretched helplessness
It would still not speak of the longing in a single simple plea of mine
hoping to see you again tomorrow.
Would you die for a woman you love? If she left you and wouldn’t have anything to do with you? Or if she died – would you take your own life? Follow her as she jumped off a cliff maybe?
Yes. If I loved her truly. Without a doubt.
You say it like you are proud of it.
I am. There is no greater declaration of love.
So it is about making a statement to the world?
No. It is the greatest sign of true love. To refuse to live after the one you love has left.
I think not. I would think that living on would be far more laborious. To carry on loving a memory. To realize that everyday visualizing that face is becoming increasingly and painfully difficult and yet spending every day attempting.
But dying is so much bigger. I give up the opportunity to live a long life – to perhaps love again – to move on. To find happiness again.
It is the bigger spectacle of love perhaps. But certainly not the bigger gesture. To live a lifetime knowing what it could have been and what it is or rather what it isn’t…… To love and yearn. To live with a shadow of something that has been. Never ever being able to recreate the same magic with another.
So your idea is to live on and never get into another relationship? Pine like a sad hero from a soppy romantic movie?
No. Not necessarily alone. But pine yes. Not in the alcohol infused way of the movies. But pine nonetheless.
Most people cannot bear to be alone. Mostly the world may not allow them that luxury. Inevitably another relationship will be assembled. It requires a profound courage to forge another relationship on the corpse of an incredible love – knowing full well that the former will never be forgotten.
To mouth ‘I love you’ to another and know that it can never mean the same thing in exactly the same way and yet mouth it anyway almost as a punishment to oneself. A reprimand to one’s being because we couldn’t hold on to a love of a lifetime.
Yes… I think living after losing would be a greater love. A truer one. A braver one.
Have you been in love before?
Yes. I have.
It didn’t work out. We parted ways.
But you still love her?
No. Actually I don’t. I respect her and all but no – I don’t love her anymore.
See? This is the part I don’t get. If you in fact were in love – the real McCoy – how does the relationship not working out change anything? You should still be in love irrespective of whether you are together or not.
Why? Things change. People change.
But Love? Love changes? Shouldn’t it be forever? Shouldn’t it persist in spite of everything and because of everything?
For a seemingly cynical person – oddly – you are idealistic.
For an apparently non cynical person who believes in Love – oddly – you seem too practical.
So according to you – a person SHOULD love only once in their lifetime?
No according to me – a person COULD love only once in their lifetime. It cannot be a choice. It should be a foregone conclusion. If love is that exalted emotion that you believe in – then shouldn’t it be impossible to get back what you have given away forever – your heart in this case?
It is not a physical thing you know. This giving away of your heart. It is just a concept. And nobody gives away their whole heart even if they claim to. Only a part of it.
And the rest of the heart is kept to distribute as per the need or stashed away as a little nest egg in case the first affair does not work out?
Hah…You do have a cruel way of putting things. Do you think it possible to give away your whole heart? Completely – not even reserving a tiny bit for yourself? What about the part the loves you? Even that part?
Yes. Completely. Utterly. It shouldn’t be possible to even love yourself. You shouldn’t have the power to choose whether or not to. I would imagine it would be uncontrollable.
Which means that if you were unlucky enough to fall in love with the wrong person then you are stuck with loving that person for life? No respite?
Stuck? I wouldn’t put it so mildly. You are liberated from feeling for any other or condemned to feel for only one. For life. You are in love. Having it returned in a way that you like or for that matter – returned at all – isn’t the reward or the punishment. Being in Love is.