|The Scribe Tribe Team|
Tara and I were stacked as the odd pair in college, but it didn't matter to us. We were literally inseparable.
Even when we were the butt of all jokes, Tara shrugged off the criticism as harmless. Ours was a shaggy dog story. The best part was we weren't the ones to deny.
I look back now at the time we spent together, the love that defined us, and contemplate how quickly the romance fizzled out.
Tara always demanded something more from life, clearly not the one for half measures. On the contrary, I was the easy going type, never equating love with anything else.
"Look what you did, Shekhar! To me. To us."
"We could've had a fucking real good life! But you never wanted it, so what we have now is this!"
"Bloody six long months ... honestly what were you thinking?" Tara's voice grew even more louder.
Becoming a full-time, stay-at-home dad post Roohi's birth was the most difficult decision of my life. To grow out of the comfort of a typical 9 to 6 white-collar job, seeing a fat pay check at the last day of every month.
"I threw it all away for you, Tara, and for our child ... for us."
For Tara, living with a lie was probably easier than dealing with the truth. She never wanted to bring Roohi into this world in the first place. I never wanted a dilapidated heart.
"Dad, I'm cold. Could you go, quickly grab a quilt for me?" it took exactly five seconds for Roohi to get me out of my reverie.
Roohi remains the only thread that connects us; the reason we're not divorced yet.
It wasn't that bad always. During our courtship, I used to frequently meet Tara after college at a crowded bus stop, away from prying eyes. Standing there, waiting impatiently at the St. Xavier's College bus stop, I observed how some things in life would never change - like the deafening noise of the mob, the hustle of the local passenger buses, the seemingly foolish and loquacious Gujju women, or the famous Cafe Coffee Day.
We had met there on several occasions, but it was never this bad. Perhaps it was the anticipation that had begun to build painfully within me or the lovesick emotion that I was desperately trying to overcome. All this while, I had been seeking answers. Will she or won't she?
My train of thoughts is disturbed by the blinding headlights of a jeep that screeched to a halt. Cyrus has arrived and with him, the moment of truth. He is unable to decide if he is nervous or just feels the urge to act like an adult but something makes him pull out another cigarette.
"I was able to fix the goddamn jeep."
He lights his cigarette, takes a few puffs, and glances at the moon.
If Tara wanted something desperately, she would go all the way to get it. All she needed was the teensiest push to get started.
"Shekhar, you might not want to believe what I just saw but you have to accompany me without asking or saying anything."
And there she is. Tara locking lips with Jeremy. And they do not stop until 2 minutes and 45 seconds later. This is no ordinary kiss. The two, intertwine horizontally, rolling in the pristine sands and they keep rolling farther over the sea weed and into the waters.
Suddenly there is a momentary lapse of reason. I need to rush to make some calls.
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