The Promise

 

Winner of StoryBerrys Story Writing Challenge June 2023

 

The Promise

Crumbled in bed, tugging herself under the bed sheet Leela could hear the beautiful rainfall early morning. The longing to be in bed during this lovely monsoon is something we all crave for. With closed eyes, Leela extended her hands with a smile to hold somebody next to her in bed but soon she realized the place next to her was empty. She slowly opened her eyes. Tears welled up in her beautiful eyes as she realized that Rohit was not there with her anymore.

Last month only Leela lost her husband, Rohit, in a car accident. They had recently tied the nuptial knot. Leela got up and made a cup of tea for herself. Standing on the balcony, she sipped her tea and gazed outside the beautiful lustrous park. The drizzle of the rain had washed the greenery. The grasses looked fresh and velvety. Her mind was filled with the thoughts of Rohit. At the drop of mind, she took her umbrella and went to the park.

Leela’s heart was getting heavy. Slowly she was getting more jargoned by his memories. She took a deep sigh and sat down on a bench as her knees shook.

 

In the flashback:

It was drizzling. The newlywed couple was sharing the same umbrella. Rohit wanted to enjoy the rain. He went out of the shelter to get wet.  

Leela worriedly said, “Rohit, please come inside. You will get wet and fall sick”, and carefully she pulled him inside her umbrella.

Rohit smiled “I love it when you care so much about me dear”. Sensing the closeness in his eyes her body got tensed and she quickly tried to take a step back. Soon she realized, her attempt to create a distance had failed because Rohit was holding her firmly.

Leela tried to avoid eye contact with him. While looking down, she murmured, “Please, let me go”.                                                      

Rohit mischievously asked, “Do you want me to release you?”

The sudden direct question made Leela very cautious.

Rohit adoringly said, “Look into my eyes Leela”.

The moment she looked at him, he slightly loosened his grip on her and said, “You are the most beautiful thing that has happened to me Leela. No matter what happens, you will always find me next to you for your whole life”.

There was a calmness, a sense of belongingness in his eyes that every woman looks up to in her man.

She was overwhelmed listening to him, very childishly she asked “Promise?”

To this, Rohit replied with an affirmation, “Yes, my dear”. After a few silent moments, she blushingly came out of the umbrella.

 

Coming back to the current scenario:

She closed her eyes and extended her hand out in the rain. Raindrops made her hands wet. With a heavy voice, she whispered, “Do you remember this is where you kissed me for the first time?” It was breezy but the weather hardly affected her.

Thinking of that moment tears rolled out her cheeks. Holding all the sadness and grief in her mind she whispered, “You did not keep your promise, Rohit!”

Leela opened her eyes. The feeling of loneliness had crept within. She knew she have to survive but it was not easy for her to overrule her emotions towards Rohit. The longing to be with her husband gave shrills to her spine. She closed her eyes once again and could easily visualize her husband as if Rohit was sitting right next to her. She could feel that Rohit was smiling at her.  She craved to touch her husband for the last time but knew it was not possible.

A sudden breeze swept off her umbrella and she felt that Rohit, caressed her hair making her feel that she is not alone. The sudden touch conjured her mind with strength and hope.

 

After a while:

The alarm had already snoozed thrice. Leela with a smile extended her hands with a smile to hold somebody next to her in bed but soon she realized the place next to her was empty. Rohit was not there. She quickly recalled that she had just been to the park where she had witnessed the presence of her husband.

Leela got up and made a cup of tea for herself. Sipping her tea, standing on the balcony she gazed outside the beautiful lustrous park. Looking at the bright sunny morning Leela smiled. Simultaneously, she softly spoke to herself in amazement, “It must have been a dream. There is no rainfall. “

A sudden strength has built-in. She was surprised to see that change in her. She had been avoiding going to work or meeting family/relatives or friends. She was keeping herself in complete isolation. Seeing the sudden shift in her thought, she made up her mind to resume work right at that moment.

She got ready and before leaving for the office, while locking the door took, she took her umbrella and was surprised to see that it was wet. The amazing part was that her shoes were also wet and were covered with broken wet grasses.

She paused for a moment and asked herself, “Was that a dream, an illusionary creation of mind or a reality? But, how is that possible?”.

What is your take on that?

 

Sweta Gupta

 

 

 

 

 

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