As she drove down the alley, tears gushed down her cheeks; how could this be happening to her? How could Ashish want divorce? When did they grow apart? Five years of marriage is a long time and they had been together even before that. She didn’t want to go back home, what was left there; even Ashish wasn’t hers anymore!
Ashish and Neha had met while in high school; went on to study in the same college and were both successful lawyers now. They had climbed the stairs of success together, lauding each other and being each other’s support. A successful career, a beautiful house and a strong marriage was theirs until yesterday when Ashish expressed his desire to go on separate paths.
That night Ashish and Neha retired in different rooms. Infact they didn’t even speak a word to each other. She knew it was best to speak to Ashish after giving him space for a few days. She knew him so well. Neha had always thought that theirs was a bond for eternity. She would have never even in her wildest dreams thought that something like this would befall someday.
Sleep was hard to come by that night. Neha went to the study and sat down with their wedding album. Dust had accumulated over it; they hardly ever sat down to look at the album together. It laid there; all memories in it tucked away in a corner of their study. As she flipped open the pages of the album, she realized how much their relationship had changed over these 5 years. Earlier they spent much more time with each other but now they would only discuss cases or sit together with their laptops. They were with each other physically but actually were in different spaces. They had both taken each other for granted. Life had become more about careers and money rather than each other’s company. But still she worked hard to help Ashish secure their future, then what had happened that caused Ashish to take this step?
As she flipped through the album further, there it was the picture of the instant when Ashish applied vermillion on Neha. It was supposed to be the culmination of their wedding vows. They were now meant to be entwined together, forever. They looked so happy! But that was then and now everything was in shatters. Tears didn’t seem to stop that night. She kept wondering what went wrong.
Exhausted with the constant crying and the heaviness of her heart Neha drifted off to sleep in the study with the album in her embrace. She still looked pretty but the work pressure had left its mark. There were signs of stress on her face. The calmness had disappeared and she looked burdened with pain.
That night Ashish strolled into the study; he saw Neha sleep like a baby with their wedding album in her arms. He felt sorry too; but what he felt for her was sympathy as she had invested her time and energy into this relationship. But there was no love; just habit that was the reason they were together now. He didn’t want to hurt her but there was nothing left apart from empathy in their association and this certainly shouldn’t be the reason for them being together he thought.
He knew it wouldn’t be easy to let go of things between him and Neha. If he waited to speak to Neha, he wouldn’t be able to stay firm on his decision which he knew was for the greater good of both. The love was not there, it was only out of respect for each other and routine that they were still together. It was for the betterment of them both that Ashish had to take this step. He hoped somewhere down the line Neha would understand. He hoped Neha would now give wings to her wishes; live for herself; fulfill her dreams. He quickly gathered all his belongings and left the house.
It was already noon when Neha woke up. She rushed to their room but Ashish wasn’t there. Dejected she thought to herself that she would speak to him in the evening when he gets home. As she went to freshen up, she noticed that Ashish’s stuff was nowhere around. Instinctively she went to their room and opened their cupboard, his clothes and other belongings were gone. It was like somebody had shot her at point blank range. When Ashish had talked about breaking off their marriage there was still hope; hope for sorting things out. But now since Ashish had left without saying a word Neha was flabbergasted.
Never in her life would she have imagined being at this crossroad in life. All this while she was striving for the dream that was theirs or atleast that’s what she thought. She felt numb and hardly felt any emotion. As she sat on her bed staring at her life vacantly, she noticed a note on the side of her bed. It read ‘Neha the love we had got lost somewhere along the way; I don’t want us being together just for the heck of it. It would be unfair to both. Hope one day you’ll be able to forgive me. Live your dreams live for yourself now Neha.’ For some reason at that moment she felt a release, it was as if she was free all of a sudden.
She walked over to the balcony and as she looked over the city, she resolved to move ahead without regret. Ofcourse wounds would take time to heal or perhaps would never heal but life had to go on and this time it would only be for her.
They say “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” Neha decided to look for the new door; look for the new change in her life. Ofcourse she was hurt; who wouldn’t be but she decided to give life a second chance, she decided to walk towards a better tomorrow instead of sulking in the past. In today’s day and age nothing lasts forever. Certain things are beyond our control; only thing we can do is remember “Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together.”