She walked through the large glass doors into the open galleria. The sound of wind and rain cutting across the huge open space and yard next to the galleria, whooshing in her ears. It was a chilly and wet night.
Just minutes ago she had come to this party,not expecting what or rather who she had seen here just now. As she came out the singing from inside the party hall diminished. Although she could still hear it muffled.
She crossed her arms, as if trying to hold herself together. Her long black sequined dress flapping around her legs as she crossed the galleria and came to halt at its edge, over-looking the yard.
Her face and body were now exposed to the rain drops falling on her slowly making her wet. She looked out with faraway, despondent eyes. Staring at nothing. Looking straight ahead but seeing into nothingness. Only subconsciously being riveted to the voice coming from inside. Never leaving it once.
She might have looked stunned to any onlooker. She stood there for a minute, her soft features stoic, brown eyes fixed yet showing a yearning for something, someone.
Slowly her eyes shifted focus looking at the pelting rain now and she glided forth into the raining yard. Feeling comforted with the falling water. The breeze, the rain was welcome. As if seeing through her, understanding her, feeling what she felt. Crying with her.
She walked to the center of the yard and tilted her face towards the dark night sky, soaking, dripping and feeling answered by the nature God. As though by some unknown force the universe echoed the hurricane developing inside her. She stood there for how long now, she had no idea. Time seemed to have stopped. she could see nothing, feel nothing, hear nothing.
“Jennifer!”, shouted a voice from behind. Her eyes flew open, startled. Confounded.
How could he?
Why has he come for her?
A thousand questions stormed her mind all at once. It was a voice she loved so much, yet dreaded. The same voice she had run away from few minutes back. Her heartbeat quickened with every fraction of a second until she could hear it ringing in her ears.
“Jennifer!”, he called out again, shouting it louder, more forcefully this time, in an attempt to reach her across the thundering noise of rain. Beckoning her. She dared not turn back to face him.
He is not here. This isn’t him. The voice will stop calling now. She thought.
Jennifer stood nailed to that place in denial. Wanting him to go away. Not moving once. Her brain flooding with shock, disbelief, anger and pain all at once. Seconds passed with sullen laziness, stretching forever. She could feel the blood pulsating in her vessels, her heartbeat thundering in her ears like the rain, in anticipation of what was about to happen. Suddenly as if out of nowhere a hand grabbed hers from behind and she twirled around.
He stood there in front of her, towering over her, getting drenched with her. His eyes searching for hers. She couldn’t bring herself to look at his face. The very face that had haunted her all the summer. She didn’t want to hear his voice, the same voice that she had been replaying in her head over and over again all these months. She looked straight ahead, eyes revealing none of the emotions that shook her from within. He gave her a jerk, holding both her arms, trying to bring her out of the haze that seemed to have enveloped her.
“Jennifer please,” he pleaded, “come on inside.”
” I’ve got nothing to do with you. Leave me alone!” Jennifer replied bitterly, wrenching her arms loose from his grasp.
The water was slashing across both their faces now. She did not want to go back inside in the shade and dryness and lighted corridor. The wet and dark night comforted her. Embraced her. Here she could somehow feel less vulnerable, less hurting. Away from the the demons that chased her.
He caught her wrist this time, more tenaciously and dragged her inside. She tried to fight loose, but of course she was no match for his strength.
The agony inside her heart had taken the form of complete bitterness now. “Leave me!”, she cried. “How dare you? And what do you care? Why do you come asking for me after all these months?” He let her hand go.
The were inside the galleria now. The lights bright enough for him to see her beautiful round face contorted with anger and hurt. Their eyes met. She breathed heavily looking at him, her eyes pooled with tears. Glistening. Showing the torment of the past many days when he had kept himself away from her.
“I am sorry”, he choked. “I am so sorry. I should have never left. I was a fool in thinking I would be able to live without you.” His face echoing her emotions now. “Everyday I tried to live without you was a torment. I tried convincing myself I could do it, that I could build a life without you. But that’s not true.”
“The truth is, I love you. So much. Too much to let you go. Please forgive me.” He looked at her with a longing so intense she could barely hide her tears anymore. Tears were rolling down her cheeks freely now. His acknowledgement of their love had broken her stoicism. She was sobbing and trying to take in every word he had just uttered. Her heart still pounding in her chest.
“I never once stopped thinking of you. I fought with with myself but I couldn’t win. I want to be with you forever.” He pleaded once again.
Strange what bittersweet feelings love could make you go through. Here, months of struggle and dejection was being responded to. She clenched her teeth, feeling vengeful. Her heart breathing a sigh of relief in knowing he had suffered equally. Missed her equally.
He moved a step closer to her, extending his arms to take her in. She relented, shivering for the first time at his touch.
“I am never going to forgive you.” She said, with a small cry knowing she had already given up from within. How could she not, when this is all she had ever wanted. To be with him, in his arms. How could she fight such a strong force that urged her forward. But there were months of pain and loneliness, not ready to leave her heart just yet. She couldn’t completely relax in his embrace, body still taut from earlier rejection. Although her crying had ceased to a soft sobbing now.
He held her close to his heart, rubbing his cheek on top of her head, and his voice came out in a way that stuns your heart for seconds. And he sang to her. The same song she had run away from minutes earlier. The depth and melancholy of his voice drowned her. His was the most magical voice she had ever heard. How could she have ever thought of living endless nights and days without the comfort of his arms.
She loved him too much. And more. She closed her eyes and finally let herself sink into the love that beheld her now.
“I’ll be your wish, I’ll be your dream…” the song went on. And she knew she would never let him go. It was in this moment that she embraced life again. Never letting go. “I love you more with every breath…truly madly deeply..”