‘Diane? Sweetheart? I forgive you.’

She parked her car next to a yellow bike in the parking lot of the hospital as the rain pelted down with full force outside. She heaved a sigh and reached for her umbrella while wiping a lone stray tear from her cheek.

One more day. One more day of waiting.

She felt it every day, the pain and guilt clawing at her heart. She walked towards the entrance of the hospital with slow steps. She didn’t want this. She wanted the pain to go away. But would it ever?

The lady at the reception, whose nametag read Laura, gave her a smile full of sympathy and said-

‘How are you today Diane?’

She took a deep breath in and looked down at her shoes. They had started showing signs of wear. She didn’t answer the lady’s question. She just looked back up and asked the lady-

‘Can I see him now?’

Laura knew she wouldn’t answer that question. But still she asked her that same question every day she came.

‘Yes, you can see him now’ she replied while giving Diane that same sad smile.

She walked up the stairs and slowly inched towards the room on the far right end of the corridor. She put her ear to the door and listened. The same beeping noises greeted her from the other side. She had the sudden urge to break the door. But she controlled herself and pushed it open.

There he was. He lay in the same position that she had left him in, the day before. Oh how she wished he would move! But would he?

She went towards the bed and sat on the chair beside it. Taking his hand in hers she let out the tears she had been holding back. He had been in coma for a year now and it was all her fault. She could still remember that day clearly as if it had just happened yesterday. The worst part was that every time she saw him, she was reminded of the mistake she had made. After all, it was she who had called him while he was driving. It wasn’t his fault that he didn’t see the truck barrelling towards him. He was just being a good husband and answering his wife’s call.

She wanted him to wake up. She hoped every day that he would wake up and open his eyes. He would look at her with love and warmth and then take her into his arms. He would hold her tight and whisper comforting words to her. In the end, he would forgive her.

‘Sweetheart? Please come back to me.’

But she had to accept that he would never comeback. That she had already lost him. That he would never forgive her. She would have to let him go. She just couldn’t take it anymore. She would have to pay for her sin.

So she ran. Ran like a mad woman to that beautiful cliff where they had met for the first time. They had been in college when they both came here to take a break from the exam pressure. It had been love at first sight for Steve and her and they had been inseparable since then. No matter how many difficulties life threw their way.

She reached the cliff huffing and puffing. Diane spread her arms wide open. She felt like a bird. Light and free.

‘I’m coming Steve. I know I’ll meet you there. I won’t let you go again.’

She let out her last breath and jumped.

But as she made that last jump, she was unaware of a pair of eyes opening back at the hospital and the soft croak of a voice saying

‘Diane? Sweetheart? I forgive you.’