They met through a common friend, though not in person for the first time. Most appropriately in the world of Internet, they met on Facebook through the common friend. They started chatting regularly and became friends. The day that they first met in person, they felt like they had known each other forever, they understood each other so well.
Though it was not love at first sight, they did feel something blossoming between them. In two or three meetings, they realized they were in love with each other. Did they know that this was the beginning of a love so strong, so beautiful – the kind that people experience once in a lifetime? Probably not. Their names – Anu and Manu.
Anu was sweet, mature, patient and totally in love with him. Manu was passionate, volatile, moody but loved her to pieces. Two people who were as different as chalk from cheese, yet shared a lot of common interests and passions. She loved photography and so did he. Visiting new places, trying new cuisines were things that they both loved to do. He was a sailor who travelled for months at a stretch and she was firmly grounded in one place, though she did stretch her wings and fly to see new places. But she always came back to the city she called home. She gave him roots in a life which was mostly drifting. Where she was based is the place that became his home which he came to from his days spent sailing to different countries.
Though their love for each other was strong and unyielding, they did have their share of fights. When Manu was away, Anu would miss him, want him with her and wait for him impatiently. They had misunderstandings, insecurities and fights when they were away from each other for long periods of time. Yet, when they would be together again, it would be like they had never been apart and all the difficult times would be forgotten. They were the perfect friends and soulmates. He never went out of his way to bring her flowers, chocolates or gifts. But whenever she was with him, she felt like the most beautiful woman in the world. He made her life special with the small little gestures which were touching and full of love. His months of staying isolated on ship had turned him into a serious and sometimes withdrawn person who took life too seriously at times. She always made him laugh and taught him the important lesson of not taking life too seriously and living life to the fullest. Though she was fun-loving and lived life one day at a time, she was not shallow. Still, his presence added depth to her personality and added meaning to her life. He taught her to recognize the vast reserves of potential and talent inside her. He was the first person to recognize the writer inside her and kept pestering her to write. They completed and complimented each other.
You would think nothing could keep this beautiful couple apart who were meant to be together forever. But, they faced a seemingly insurmountable mindset. She was ten years older than he was. In today’s progressive’s times, there are instances of marriages where the woman is older than the man. Still, they knew they faced a tough time ahead.
He loved her, saw his soulmate in her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. She couldn’t imagine life with anyone else. She stood strong, slowly and surely brought her folks around to agree to their love. But, try hard though he did, he could not convince his parents to agree to the woman he loved. His parents were not bad people. In fact, she had met his mother once and found her a very kind and a caring lady. However, here she was a mother fighting for what she thought was right for her son. It was impossible for them to give up on age old thinking and the conventional ideas of marriage. He loved his parents and wanted this union to happen with their consent.
He was in hometown, trying to convince his parents. She worried, fretted, discussed the situation with her close friends. They told her to wait and give him time. She was nervous, a little insecure because she was scared of losing him. Yet, she decided to stop worrying and be confident in the love of her man. She was sure his parents would eventually agree and he would come back to her. After all, hadn’t he promised her that when he returned, it would be with an engagement ring.
He did come back to her only to tell her that they had no choice but to separate as his parents were not accepting the relationship and he couldn’t go against them. She didn’t know how to react. This couldn’t be happening to her. She waited for him to turn around and tell her that this was a joke and he had come back to her and they would be together forever. That didn’t happen.
Was she hurt? That’s an understatement. Did she feel betrayed? Definitely. Did she feel bitterness and anger towards him? Yes, she did.
She tried to make him understand how badly he was letting her and parents down. He had assured her parents that he would convince his parents. He was a changed man. Maybe, his parents’ utter opposition to the relationship had unnerved him. He became cold as ice with her and told her harshly they had no choice. She wanted to kick him, scream at him, shake him till he came to his senses. But, one look into his cold eyes that had once held so much warmth for her and she knew it was of no use.
Anu was facing the toughest challenge of her life. Though his eyes were cold, Manu’s mind was fighting a losing battle with his heart. In weak moments, she would find him melting. She loved him more than life and nothing was worse than seeing the man she loved turning weak, not able to stand by his love but not able to leave her too. She decided to harden herself and sever all ties with him. She had to break his heart to do that. It took a lot of time to do that because he also trusted her completely. She broke his trust and hurt him in a way that she knew he would never forgive. Why did she do that? Because she believes love should be your strength, not your weakness.
Did he start hating her? Probably, yes. Anu knows that Manu and she can never be together again – too much water under the bridge. Anu just hopes that he will understand someday.