Each hoped the other would be there. It was a close, common friend who had passed away. And both stayed a long drive’s distance away. Was it the sad toll of the church bells that pumped up the beating of their hearts or was it…..?
Having paid his obeisance to the still body of a once jovial friend, he stood outside the church. It was too crowded inside; and it would be easier spotting her as she came out. Twenty years was a long time – especially if you were once madly in love.
There was a brief silence inside , followed by the sounds of people moving out. He moved to the shade of a tree that offered an uninterrupted view of those coming out the huge door. The pall bearers emerged, and the coffin was gently placed in the ambulance that would take it to the cemetery a short distance away. Ambulances were still used as hearses! The crowd dispersed.
She emerged. Standing at the doorway, she looked around. Would he be here? She had failed to spot him in church. Her eyes scanned the compound and rested on him. Despite herself, her heart skipped a beat. How very clichéd!
She walked towards him. They exchanged hellos and briefly shook hands. An uncomfortable silence.
“How have you been”? he spoke first.
“Good. And you?"
“I hope you are happy,” him again.
“Yes, very. And you?"
Her mobile rang. “Hmm yes it’s over, I’ll be right out.”
“My husband – he’s waiting outside," she said by way of explanation.
“I’m happy for you," he said as she turned to go.
“I’m happy for you too." she said as she walked away.
Trivandrum / Kerala / India
An ex- banker who resumed writing poetry and prose. Besides writing I love dogs and cats and the rain!