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  • Writer's pictureAmit Shankar

November Rain

There was no way she could do it.

Fairness of action was what she advocated all her life and now, when it was time to live her words, she could not fail. But while claiming the moral high ground, she was also aware of the other side—the practical one.

A decision was to be taken as the incumbent stress was taking a toll on her. From being addicted to happiness, she had turned into master of gloom. Binge eating-drinking, insomnia and snapping had become a part of her existence. Her entire five feet six inches frame was running on pills. Every day, every hour something went wrong—throbbing aches to panic attacks. She was sick and tired of life and her lies.

Today, things had to be sorted by announcing her love for Siddhartha. After all, she was not the first one to have fallen out of marriage.

She looked at her watch.

It was well past midnight and the street was deserted. She stretched her neck and flexed her fingers. Was she doing the right thing? Her marriage had failed but her husband, Karan was not to be blamed. The monotony of marriage, professional ambition, the rat race and so much more played the devil.

But now she wanted start all over again, with Siddhartha. He was so perfect; like her wish list come true—understanding, kind, charming, intelligent, and so quiet. He never complained or cribbed, never asked for anything and was such a great listener. She loved him and was sure of her feelings.

Her fingers incessantly drummed an esoteric pattern on the steering wheel. The vodka soaked intestines were still not potent enough to make her slam the door on eight year-long relationship. The tapping fingers lost their rhythm as her guts twisted and she felt like throwing up. She rolled down the window. Cold November wind rushed in, carrying a bit of the drizzle. She could not help but think of her favourite song, November Rain. Almost simultaneously, the realisation that it was Karan’s favourite too hit her like sledgehammer.

Was it too late to discover things in common between them?

She rolled up the window and steered the car towards her residence.

Should she park in the driveway or outside, just in case if she had to leave immediately? Owing to sheer convenience, she opted for the latter one.

“Karan, we have to talk.”

“Please don’t get hysterical but...”

There were so many opening lines she had thought of.

As she turned the key to her apartment door, she forgot all of them.

“Click” the six lever bolt lock surrendered and she pushed open the door.

But for the weak, sliced light of the tiffany lamp, the living room was dark. He would be in his study, she thought and tip toed across the long stretch of the living area.

The study was still and she stood there, facing the chair.

“Karan, I have to tell you some thing.” She paused. “You have been a good man and I don’t have anything against you. But then, I can’t take it anymore. I have to live life, have my share of joy and laughter and see the world. I want to fly, I want to be like other women, to feel normal emotions, of love, hate, jealousy, anger. I want to come home to welcoming arms. I am sorry Karan. But I have to move on. Please forgive me, if you can. You have been fair to me, you have never complained, not even said a thing, never ever, but then…” Her voice choked. Before the first tear could soak the cold marble, she walked away.

Sitting in the living room, lost and shattered, she scanned the walls with numerous picture frames, of all sizes and red colour. She burst into a howl as her tear infested eyes caressed each photo frame, re-living the memories, bringing back the time.

Howling, she walked towards the sideboard.

She opened it and pulled out a red photo frame. Looking at it adoringly, she whispered, “Siddhartha, I love you.”

She smiled and wiped her tears as she got up on the chair, trying to put the red photo frame on the wall, which had more than three-dozen red, vacant frames, just like the one in her hand.

As the drizzle turned into a heavy downpour, the vacant chair from the study mocked the bizarre loneliness, soaking the strains of the song ‘November rain’ wafting through the living room.

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