August 28, 2008

Finally Free

Adarsh walked down the pavement, filled with a sense of joy. He paused to think about it. He was skeptical when everyone said ‘Time heals’, but now, he actually believed it. Days would go by and he wouldn’t even have thought of his ex-wife. He could actually say ‘ex-wife’ now without getting that hollow feeling in his chest.

‘Yes, I decidedly feel much better’ he told himself as he resumed walking. Albeit, listening to music, feeling the warmth of the sun and looking at the spring flowers on the trees certainly helped. It hadn’t been easy. He thought back to that afternoon that he had spent at his friends’ place. Nikki had made a wonderful lunch for everyone, and he was taking a nap in the backyard. His friends’ kids were playing, and he had fallen to a blissful nap.

“Aw, he looks so peaceful” he heard Sheela say.

“He does, doesn’t he? It has been rough for him” Nitin said.

He knew they were talking about him, but he hadn’t fully woken up, and tried to go back to sleep, wishing his friends would walk away.

“Did you know he is going to dance classes?” Patil added. Adarsh sensed a hidden smirk. Clearly, Patil hadn’t approved. But Adarsh didn’t care.

They all burst out laughing. Adarsh was wide awake now, his heart pounding. He knew those who eavesdropped would never hear good about themselves. But he couldn’t bring himself to let his friends know he was awake. Things had been awkward since he and Varsha split. They had all been friends since school and now they had to make sure only one of them was invited to any gathering.

With a sinking heart, he listened.

“So she leaves him, and he turns gay?” asked Sheela.

“Don’t say that, you know better! And whoever said dance classes are not for straight folks” Nitin raised a murmur of protest. Nitin was Nikki’s husband.

“Hmm maybe you haven’t known him long enough” Patil added.

"You know, I do remember Varsha insinuating something a few years ago, but I had shrugged it off…and now, I cannot remember what she was talking about” Sheela said.

There was a pause.

“I never thought they would make it through high school” Patil said. “I didn’t think she would take you up on your bet with her” Patil said.

“What do you mean?” Nitin asked.

Adarsh strained to hear, and stayed as still as he could.

“Oh, we were supposed to never ever mention it..but I guess its ok now. So Sheela, Nikki and Varsha had been friends since they were little. In high school, when they found out Adarsh had a crush on Varsha, they made a stupid bet..the details aren’t important..Adarsh still doesn’t know that the only reason Varsha went out with him was because of that bet”

“That’s awful. I hope he wasn’t awake” he heard Nitin say as they moved away.

“Oh no, I am sure he was sleeping..Varsha said he snorts every time he wakes up. It used to annoy her quite a bit” Sheela laughingly added.

Adarsh opened his eyes slowly, with a pounding heart, feeling betrayed on all fronts. The very foundation of his life for the past decade was a false one, and his friends, the ones he thought he could turn to for comfort, were not really his own.

He had joined them later that afternoon and taken his leave. And he never went back.

He found that it wasn’t all that hard to make new friends. He didn’t stop going to his dance classes. He would probably never be good at it, but at the least, he was trying something new. He thought about moving to a new place altogether and then decided against it. He was not a coward.

And so there he was, a few months later, jogging around the park in the morning as he had begun to recently. From feeling nothing for a long time, to actually feeling happy, was nothing short of exhilarating. The world felt alive with possibilities. Anything could happen now. He finally felt free.

He did a quick dance move that he learnt the previous night. And found himself on the grass.

“Do you need help?” a concerned female voice hovered around him.

“I sure do!” he said, as he took the proffered arm.


Shakir said...

Hahahaa!! Everybody goes thru such a phase and when u know that ur really outta it, u cant help but feel more happier!! :)

Divs said...

sUpErO! hehe
Lovin it girl.. If you are stoppin this, you better start another...

Zanychild said...

Super cool
a new start for Adarsh!

Suhasni said...

Ooops! Bad timing. I landed on this one right at the ending. And yet, I can't but feel happy.
Too bad...anyways I will still read from the beginning as I always do despite the ending (both movies and books :P).
Hope there are many more to come..good job!

Rush said...

Thanks for your comments meow, dodo, suhasni & zanychild - i hope you enjoyed te blog..

and dodo, thanks for reading it again on my blog ;)

Gayathri said...

Ouch, truth hurts. :(