It’s 24th April today, I waited for her where we used to meet every year. The sky was clear and the wind was gently blowing touching me with its tenderness. I sat on the flat rock looking around admiring the changes it has gone through over the years. Everything has changed, before there was nothing but a landscape filled with bushes and other vegetation. Now there is a four storey building used as an office for some private firm. I thought that they would have excavated the rock where I used to sit with her talking for hours until it was too late to go home but I was wrong, they have kept the rock exactly the way it was, untouched in its own natural form. I wondered who would be the proprietor of the building who seems to have the attachment with the rock as I was.
24th April 1972
It was the first night of our meeting; she was not comfortable to meet with me where people can see us so the only place I could find was this place which was filled with bushes that time. She has kept her hair untangled looking simple and graceful. Portion of her silky hair shielded her face perfectly hiding the dark mole on her cheek. She used to laugh when I make fun and she would look at me with that gentle look which would have melted me right away. She claimed that it was one of her best moment; knowing that I was a part of that moment met my heart swell with happiness. We held each other’s hand wishing the moment to last for eternity promising to love forever.
24th April 1977
I waited for him trying to look perfect and happy. As I saw him appearing my heart leapt a bit and I realized that despite of long break up I still love him. He smiled at me and sat near me like usual. He told me that he met a wonderful woman and was going to marry with her. Despite the sadness overwhelming me I wore a mask of pretentious, wishing him every ounce of earthly happiness. He told me that I should come to his marriage because I was his good friend. And I wondered whether I can give justice to that friendship. But I didn’t want to lose him again so I pretended I was happy being his friend. I told him that I was also going out with someone but I wished if it was true. I waited for these feelings to go away yet it seems to be growing and I wondered why?
24th April 1985
There was construction going on and I was reluctant to meet her because I was busy with my life. But then we promised to meet each other once every year and I wondered what is there between us. She has her own life so do I. But then why do we meet? Somehow meeting each other has become a ritual which neither of us could avoid. She was waiting for me as usual. We talked about the stress in the office, I told her about my kids and she laughed. When I asked about her family she just smiled and said that she has big family and the information about them are over loaded which is why she does not want to share. Like always she is still that girl who could never open up easily to anyone and I thought what is holding her back.
24th October 1995
I waited for him like always. I look forward to this day and it has become like a life supporting agent. He has matured over the years and I teased him about his big belly. He told me that I have become fragile and weak. He told me to go to hospital and I told him that there was nothing and I wondered if it was true. He complained about his wife and told me that she was very possessive. And I laughed as I was reminded about how much possessive I was back then which drove him away from my life forever. I told him that she is possessive because she loves him. Despite the aged physical appearance we have not yet learnt about the value of people around us.
Today 24th April, 2000
It was becoming dark but she has not yet turn up. I tried to call her but then I realized that only contact I can make is our meeting here which both of us never failed. I waited for her up to 12 midnight but then she was nowhere else to be seen. Feeling frustrated and deserted I left that place promising never to show up again.
With the pain of betrayal still hanging with me and with sourly mood I was taken aback when I saw an envelope of her familiar handwriting which greeted me on my table.
I know you have been waiting for me yesterday. I am sorry that I could not be there for you. I failed you this time. Life has suddenly taken a different route and I was helpless but to follow that route. I tried to contact you but then I realized that you are a family man now, you must be busy with your life and you have better things to worry about. I just want to thank you for all these years for being there on 24th April, it was the only day I look forward and I pass the rest of the year clinging to that memory. Life was beautiful because I always say to myself that happiness is just the state of mind but your presence in my life made it more beautiful. Until we meet each other next time may be in next generation, take care my friend. THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING.
I later came to know that she has died a month ago in city hospital. She never married anyone, she never had a family. And I wept when I realized that she has kept the promise to love me forever. She was the building’s proprietor and she had taken over that place all this year so that she could hold on to our memory.