No. One word. Takes less than a second to escape from your mouth and forever changes my life. My ears register what they hear but mind refuses to accept it. I think I’ve misheard you. But deep down I already know that I’ve lost the battle. You have been snatched right out of my hand. The pain that pierces my heart fails to manifest into tears. I’m left blank and dazed. I feel I’m falling into a bottomless pit and would never make impact with the ground.
On the other hand, your pain is very much visible. Tears roll down your cheeks even before the word ‘No’ reaches my ears. It’s impossible to say how many nights you would have cried your eyes out to come to the decision, to say the word ‘No’.
I notice the pearls on your face and wipe them. You move your face and kiss my palm. I put both my palms on your face and you burst into tears. I hug you and kiss you on the forehead. Your hands move frantically on my back as if trying to grasp something that would save you but can’t get a hold on it. Now you too are falling down that bottomless pit.
After what seems like eternity, you break loose from my grip and regain your natural self. You are much lighter now after crying, though still sad. You get up, kiss me on the cheeks, mutter something that sounds like ‘I love you’ and then ‘Goodbye’ and walk away.
I don’t understand what has happened. My shirt is still wet from your tears. I stare into wide space and feel helpless and want to cry desperately. I want to shout out loud, run after you and snatch you back from whoever is pulling you away from me. I realise this time nobody is snatching you, it’s your own will to walk away.
I look at your now diminishing figure. You stop walking, turn around and smile. And all that I can still hear is No!