A Pearl in the Ocean


It was here they had first met. It was here where they dreamt of living together for all their lives and though no one said, they knew they will die together. One day ages ago, when Taran was watching the sunset an angel had spoken from his right side, ‘it’s liberating, isn’t it?’ He turned to see the angel in print frock with flowing black hairs and a beautiful smile. He knew then and there that he had fallen in love. Fallen? No, he was flying. This was what freedom tasted like. Loving someone more than senses could allow. Letting yourself go to make space for a complete new stranger. This was beyond words. ‘Yes,’ he said with a smile, ‘the detachment it shows makes it feel always eternal and new’.

‘A taste of the infinite,’ she brushed her hair away from her face.

‘Yes!’ he said excitedly.

‘I feel the same. The fact that it will continue to rise and set even if we were not here fascinates me,’ she said turning to look at the horizon.

‘I am Taran. It’s really nice to meet someone like you,’ he offered his hand.

‘Thanks,’ she shook it heartily letting go after a brief second, ‘but there is no one like me. In fact there is no one like anyone’. She smiled.

‘Would you like a walk afterwards?’ he managed to ask after a few minutes.

‘Yes, that would be wonderful,’ she smiled again.

And that’s how it began. They watched sun rise and set, they went for long walks, to coffee shops, theaters, movies, restaurants, hotels, parties, apartment hunting, book stores, fundraising, volunteering, traveling, Karaoke with lots of laughter and love-making. After three years on this same place they decided to get married. That was the last sunrise they saw… together.

Then the inevitable happened. Death knocked on their door while they were busy… living. They were not ready for this. It was not something they had planned but as they say life has its own plans and death is a part of it. It was not something that should have happened. But it happened and there was nothing that they could have done. No disease, no accident, no warning, nothing. When Taran came home with wedding invitation samples he saw his angel on the floor. He went crazy shouting and crying, calling ambulance and friends. Shouting at her to get up, but she would not listen… she could not listen.

The ambulance reached at a shrieking shack. The beautiful house was a morbid place full of cries and all-pervading death. But before it came, before Taran came, she was dead. She was gone wherever they go after death. Glitch? Heaven? Reincarnation? Netherlands? Who cares? She was not with him anymore and that was all that mattered. That was ugly, stark naked, cruel truth. She had gone… forever. Taran wailed for hours while his friends thought that he had gone mad. Who cared about sanity, anyway? What was life without her? What was the meaning of anything without her?

Doctors found nothing wrong with her. She had simply died. After a lot of wrangling with her family he informed police and told them to perform post-mortem. He was certain there were some issues not looked. But the report was as useless as Mission Mars when hundreds of people are dying of hunger. Apparently her breathing had stopped. Just like that, without anything in her lungs or windpipe. They said she did not suffer; she died within a fraction of a second.

For Taran the question was not ‘How?’ but ‘Why?’ At first he had thought of poison but doctors steered that thought away. Why did she die? Self-blame was slowly entering his garden of memories to bear the fruits of guilt and remorse. Every time he had laughed at her, he had got angry or shouted at her she answered him with smile and he continued to torment her. Why? Why did he always have to fight? Why did he always have to have the remote? Why did he not take enough care? Why? Why? Why? She was delicate (fragile), a flower (flowers wither), an angel (angels fly away). He was blessed to have her even though he did not deserve her. But he was always arguing, fighting, screaming. It should have been him. He should have died instead of her. He should have died with a long chronic illness with no one to take care of him to suffer for all the evil things he had done. He did not deserve her…

Taran’s friends continued to worry about him. ‘What do they know?’ he thought. They have the love of their lives with them and do not care. They do not care the way he never cared for her. He never loved her enough. She would have been much happier without him. Why did she stick with him? Because she loved him. But he did not love her as much as she did. He did not deserve her. He killed her. He does not deserve to live. He has no purpose living. His love has gone and he stayed behind to suffer the torments of life, the ugly green bushes and blood-red sky with guilty yellow sun tortured him. They hated him. He hated himself. He should have died. Not her. Not her! Not HER!

—X—

Life was not worth living after she had gone… because of him. What should he do? What could he do? It had been three days without her. Taran was shocked to admit that. Shocked to admit that he had lived without her for THREE whole days! Every passing moment told him he did not love her. He remembered thinking in good old days he could not live without her. But here he was; a curse on himself, a blot on sacred memory of her love.  His love was not true, just hypocrisy. Was there really nothing he could do? Was he cursed to live all his life like this? Without love? Without the woman he had loved and could not save? He never even had a chance to say goodbye. Was life so miserable and bleak?

He got up with a start as he heard his door bell screech. ‘Comin!’ he shouted and made his way through stale pizzas and chips, boxes and bottles and ice cream cartons. The house was a mess. He was a mess. Who gives a damn anyway for clean house? He looked outside through peephole. He had had enough visitors. He hated them all. Nosy neighbours, friends and family. Why don’t they just leave him alone? What did they know? And worst of all, they whispered. He could not hear but he knew they whispered about him. About how she loved him and he killed her. He knew they blamed him, accused him, cursed him. He knew them and he hated them. ‘Go away!’ he wanted to cry. ‘Friends, family, neighbours, every one of you, why don’t you leave me alone? Leave me alone! Go away!’

There was no one at the door. He opened it and looked outside. A bunch of wild-looking kids were playing with mud at some distance. ‘Did you guys ring the bell?’ he growled at them. ‘No uncle, we are playing,’ a kid told him. ‘Play away, kid. Life will play with you,’ he thought. The kid was lost again in his play, without caring what stupid uncle thought or did. Taran looked down to see a white gift-wrapped box with red-ribbon flowers. Something about the box sent a flare of emotion through his naval. He picked the box and stared at the flowers. It was exactly the way she used to tie it.  Two small ones with a big one in middle. Once on his birthday she had placed hundreds of boxes in the house each with a hand-written letter and a note: I will always love you. He brought the box inside and sat on the sofa, staring for seconds or maybe hours at the box.  Slowly he mustered some courage and opened the box to reveal two things in it. A letter and a ring, her engagement ring.

Taran picked the ring and put it on table. It was as beautiful as he remembered. Her name engraved by his side, promising a love to last all eternity. His eternity was over. He opened the letter and started reading, relishing every word, weeping, laughing, remembering, loving. He picked up his phone and called his friends and family, he called her parents as well. He could see now, they did care for him. They loved him; he could now understand what they felt. He could now see that this death had shocked them and somehow they had gotten more close to each other. They had known what he felt. They knew it could happen to anyone and they better be ready for it. They knew and they cared and they loved. He could now see.

When everyone finally arrived he greeted them heartily with a smile and began reading the letter, pausing only when emotions overtook him. After he finished reading it, they all wept with him remembering a woman who had changed their lives and had shown a glimpse of all-pervading love, stronger than anything, braver than anything, lighter than anything, brighter than anything.

Letter (hand-written):

          Dearest,

I do not know where I am. I do not know how I am communicating with you. All I know is that I feel an intense urge to tell you to let go. There is nothing you could have done. Know that there is no doubt in my heart that if there was anything to do you would have done that for me. I feel intense grief because you are suffering. I loved you with all my heart and you gave me more than I could have ever asked for. I believe no two people could have been happier than we were, no two people could love each other as much as we did. Nothing is left with me now but the certainty of your love and care. You should always remember what I have often told you: you were the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me. Every morning when I got up I only wanted to see your face. To tell you that I love you before you woke up. And I know you pretended to sleep when I would tell you that I love you, because I could see your lips trying to hide your smile.

You think you could have saved me but you did save me. Your love made sure I live and then leave with a treasure very few have. Your love made me feel more alive than I ever thought I could be. Your love made me complete, you made me feel vital. You made me feel like the center of the universe. I am gone but my love remains unaltered. I was just a pearl in the ocean of your life. There will be many more. There will be adventures and voyages you will take, more adventures than we had and you will continue to go on. You have to go on and I know you will. It was my greatest joy to spend my life with you. But now you need to let go. You need to write another chapter in the story of your life. You need to make some space in your heart for someone else to come and someone will. You will live happily and die a contended death with no regrets. To our friends and family I wish to tell them that I loved them and they will have to take care that you continue to live a rich and productive life.

Your memories are still with me. One day they will fade away but you will always live in my heart, in my soul. In my deepest dreams I will see you and when I will, I will tell you that I will always love you.

Love, R.

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