“I’m already here.”

“That’s good. I’m on the cab now; give me fifteen minutes.” She responded. “If you see a MH 7546, that’ll be me.”

I told her to take care before she hung up. I put down my phone and looked to my left. I caught the sight of the waitress coming over with a cup of coffee that I had just ordered.

She put it on my table and I gave a smile in return.

My eyes followed the trail of the curly smokes lazily rising from the cup. Trailing the chair beside me with my fingers, I remember sitting in the same spot five years ago when I first met Lakshmi.

She’s proven herself on our first date she’s someone who gave me an aim to live this life rather than making money, and I must admit, that made me fall for her. Ever since then, a lot of things have changed. We weren’t the college sweethearts we once were. We started having dreams that differed from each other.

She worked at an Engineering college an hour away from where I was employed. She started out as a lecturer and I a General Physician. We pushed ourselves to the limit to get recognized, and all of our efforts paid off, perhaps the success made us insensitive towards our love life.

None of us attempted to call it the end. It was a secure partnership. We were good friends. But suddenly, our conversations never involved thinking about getting married or having a family in the future.

I don’t blame her. I don’t blame myself either. No matter how much two people invest at the start of the relationship, no one can prepare them for the eventual downfall of it.

Were relationships that lasted this long supposed to feel so empty?

Perhaps we grew too much apart that our relationship perished in return.

I feel like I’m being unfair to her. I’d rather leave her than be confronted with questions whether I want to continue down this path with her or not. I have been patient enough to see how things will play out, and as it turns out, I could just be hurting her more than completing her life.

I ought to put an end this illusion today. Which is why having to meet here here on buzzing Monday felt too ordinary for me. A special place to do something so sorrowful. Call me cruel, but that’s how it should unfold.

Three hours have passed since I have come to terms with my thoughts. What in the world happened to Lakshmi? Could she have guessed the agenda of our meeting?

I wouldn’t realize it then, but I thought too much of hurting her that it didn’t occur to me how she can also do it to me and possibly more.

I heaved a sigh and looked out of the window. I don’t see any traffic jam on the road. It did start raining an hour ago, but it wasn’t even heavy at all.

I felt stuck in the cafe. Time seemed frozen, and so were the people around me who seemed to be talking on and on. I tried calling Lakshmi on the phone, but it was switched off.

That’s it! If she just kidding with me, I’d write him a letter instead. I stomped like a kid upon leaving the cafe. I was too angry by now.

It took some time before I sighted a taxi. The driver parked it by my side. On notifying him about my destination, he apologied “Sorry Saheb; the road leading to your house is blocked due to an accident.”

I nodded. Maybe that’s where Lakshmi got stuck.

“Poor friend of mine, though. He’ll never be able to drive again, not with crushed legs like that.”

“Is he also a cab driver just like you?”


Hearing this, I got numb. I can feel my lips tremble as I uttered, “Everyone else must have survived then.”

The way the driver shook his head reminded me of a helpless doctor who had to announce the death of his patient.

I closed my eyes and clasped my hands together. “Please, do you know the plate number of your friend’s cab?”

The driver must have found it odd that I kept on asking about his friend. “MH 754…6..or..7. I don’t exactly remember. Do you know him? Seems like you’re really interested.”

I was no longer in control of my body which shook violently. Being suddenly silent after all those questions, he looked at me and asked again, “Do you know him?”

“No,” I said in between tears, which poured down uncontrollably. “Only the passenger.”

“ARREY DEVAA…” I heard the driver curse under his breath. Without having to ask for it, he made me sit inside and took the taxi around and headed to where the accident had happened.

It wouldn’t sink in me that Lakshmi is gone forever until I see her.

When we arrived at the scene, the driver didn’t even ask me to pay. Instead he followed me to the scene which was pure chaos, with police and ambulance cars surrounding the area. All I wanted was to see Lakshmi. Lakshmi whom I was about to part ways with!

A police constable attempted to stop me from approaching the scene, but I told him I’m the dead victim’s boyfriemd. He had a crestfallen look when he heard it and took me to a covered stretcher.

His boyfriend. I can’t believe I can still call myself that despite everything I’ve thought about us. That would make things a lot simpler, though.

My hands were shaking as I pulled down the cover. It was definitely Lakshmi, who looked like she has fallen into a deep slumber. No visible injuries, but she’s gone. I put the cover back and walked away.

For a moment, I stood there, with exactly no idea what to do next. What they say is true: you never know the value of something until you’ve completely lost it.

The constable came to where I was, holding something in his hands.

“I think these belong to you. This has been clearly ruled out as an accident, so I don’t think this belongings still holds its relevance. Once again, I’m sorry.” With that, he left.

It was an envelope with something bulky in it. Nothing was written on it, but I carefully opened it to find a small box and a short letter. It read:


Thank you for staying with me throughout these years.

I decided to write this letter simply because I tremble while giving speeches in public places (even though I teach), and I know you love letters more than anything else.

I haven’t had the smallest amount of confidence in me, and yet you were patient enough to put me back in track into life. You remain the most wonderful and important person in my life.

I believe we haven’t talked much about the future, but here’s a little something I can give in return for all your patience.”

Opening a small box, I found an elegant diamond ring with both of our initials engraved on it with the phrase, “Patience is love grown eternally.”

Cover Picture Courtesy – http://www.filmsofindia.com/images