Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Lovers

The Lovers By Bissme S

We were tired of keeping our affair a secret. We wanted to abandon our spouses. We wanted to abandon our children. We were willing to take the risk of them hating us, forever. We planned everything carefully. We would migrate to Sydney, Australia. Nobody knows us in Sydney and we could start our life fresh.
But when the time finally came, we didn't have the guts and the hearts to abandon our spouses and our children. They did nothing wrong except to love us with all their heart. They will have a hard time digesting the truth.
In the end, we ended our affair and went back to our family. We decided that was for the best. Deep down our hearts, we knew if we did what we had, years to come, we would regret it and we will not be able to forgive ourselves. We might even blamed each other for the sins we had committed and whatever love we had for each other will vanish.
"I would rather have my heart broken than to break their hearts," Ramesh told me.

Ramesh was my first love and I never had the guts to tell him what I felt. I was afraid of the consequences. I was afraid that he might not feel the same way about me. I was afraid that my confession might drive him away and I would not see him, anymore. I was not willing to lose our friendship. We were best friends since our childhood days.
We were hardly 10 when we first met. His family had just moved into our neighborhood and lived the next door to us. Both of our families immediately created an instant bond. Both of our fathers were crazy about football and that subject alone was enough to get them talking for hours.
Our mothers, on the other hand, were mad about Bollywood movies and shopping. Since our parents were always spending so much time together, we became close too. I can’t really pinpoint the exact time when I began to regard him more than a friend. My feelings for him happen so naturally.
My heart was broken when I received his wedding card. I conjured excuses so I didn’t have to attend his wedding. I can't bring myself to see the man I loved tying knot with someone else ... building a future without me. Since his marriage, I purposely put a distance between him and me. I see less of him.
Whenever he call and asked to meet up, I always find some kind of excuses. I thought the less I see him, the less I would feel hurt. It was a difficult task of avoiding him. He was after all my neighbor. That is not all. We were teaching in the same university.
I, often prayed, that he would move far away from me. Seeing him with his wife makes me very sad… reminding me of the life I will never have with him. God answered my prayers when he got a teaching position in one of the well-known universities in Sydney, Australia. I didn’t go the airport to see them for the last time. I just sent a goodbye card with an expensive present.
I really believed his absence would make me forget him. But I was really wrong. No matter what I did, I can never really forget him. I believe marriage will cure my broken heart and give me new dreams. To a certain degree my marriage and my two young sons had kept me busy but still I have not forgotten the moments I spend with Ramesh. His memories never stopped haunting me.
He never stopped sending letters, presents and cards to me on my birthdays. But I never replied any of his letters; and his presents always end up in the dustbin, un-opened.

Five years had passed by and out of the blue, he and his wife Manjula decided to return home. Manjula hated everything about Sydney and wanted desperately to return to Malaysia. He simply complied. He looks a little older but still dashingly handsome. He is a father to a set of twins. He was back as my neighbor again.
By then, both of our parents had passed away. His died on a car crash while mine passed away of old age. I inherited my parent’s home while he inherited his parent’s home. Life is full of ironies. Our parents were neighbors and now we are neighbors. Things got worse when he got his old job back in the university where I was teaching. We became colleagues again.
I asked myself why God has played this cruel joke. Why can't God make him stay in Sydney forever?
He tries his best to resume our friendship. He wanted us to be close again. Strangely enough he doesn't hold any grudges that I didn't reply any of his letters from Australia. I tried my best to give him a cold shoulder, always finding excuses not to spend time with him. But he doesn't seem to get the hints that I didn't want to see him anymore.
It was then I decided that I should tell him the truth, not caring whatever consequences. I should not keep all these feeling bottled up. Perhaps, the revelation will be good for my suffering soul. I would feel a sense of freedom. I feel like a caged bird that desperately wants to be free. I wrote a long letter expressing the feelings I had for him and begged him to stay far away from me.
When I handed him the letter, I said to him: "After reading this letter, I am sure you want nothing to do with me." I walked away without looking back. Within the hour, he called me and said he wanted to see me. He came with his car to pick me up after my classes.
We drove for hours in silence. When the car stopped in deserted area, to my shock, he kissed me, passionately. Only then, I realized he too had the similar feeling for me since his childhood days. Like me, he was too afraid to express his emotion. It was a beginning of our affairs.
We became the sinful lovers. We were smart enough to keep our affair a secret. Nobody suspected a thing. After two years of our affair, we got tired of all that lies, pretending and charades. We wanted some honesty in our relationship. It was then that Ramesh suggested he could ask the college in Sydney if they had any teaching vacancies.
"Our lucks are good. We have jobs waiting for us," Ramesh told me rather excitedly over the phone.
We wanted a fresh beginning in Sydney as a pair of lovers starting a new life together. No more lies, no more pretending and no more charades. But in the end, our conscious got the better of us. We knew we couldn't bring this misery on our spouses and our children.
We can't build our joys and our happiness on their sorrows and their misery. At the same time, we could not continue our affair like before. The lies, the charades and the pretending were taking toll on us. Guilt was killing us slowly. We decided that it was best that we ended our affair.
Ramesh found a teaching job in Singapore and decided to shift there. Distance will put an end to our affair definitely. He sold the house. It was a clear indication; he was not coming back anymore, at least not to my neighborhood.
My heart breaks to see him go. But I had to let him go... for him ... for me... for our wives... for our children ... for all of us. As I reminiscence my love story, I am looking out of the window and see my two sons are playing football. I pray neither of my sons will lead the life I had ... neither of them must feel the way I feel ... neither of them have to make sacrifices I had to make… neither of them must be a homosexual in the closets. They must have a happy ending.

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