She was packing her bags as she fought back tears.
The grief stricken soul blinked away the tidbit flashes of her past. A bubbly girl with endless energy and charismatic aura emerged as a long forgotten foggy memory. Was it the same life she was living? The dark circles staring back at her from the mirror across the bed divulged the infinite years of hurdles she had lived through in the past years.
“Prahi, can we discuss this? Don’t be a kid”
She looked at Sameer’s eyes, gouging, trying to find guilt, may be just an apology but found herself staring into an abyss void of love.
How did she come to this? she wondered.
Sameer and Prahishna were the couple college looked forward to. The toppers who would read together, spend most activities, role play, and what not, together. While Sameer scored the first, always, there would be equal celebration. Prahi would tell herself that may be someday she will be able to beat him.
How could it be possible to not fall in love?
It was too ideal and they eventually moved in together. Days went by in the gorgeous evenings, fine dinner, quick small trips, and every day was beyond fairy tale.
Prahishna returned with a surprise few months later. She had been awarded the best employee of the quarter and soon after was promoted. They celebrated it with long drive, a memorable dinner, the most beautiful date in recent times, and melted the night away in love, in pure bliss.
She couldn’t ask anything more from life. Months later she said, “let’s go somewhere out Sami” and heard the same usual reply. “I have to finish this. It’s important”.
Lately, Sameer had been working way too much but Prahi made sure she was always there. After all, if she didn’t understand then who would?
But being turned down for movies, any plans, and seeing that they didn’t spend much time together, she prodded, insisted, no demanded that Sameer goes out with her to a weekend trip she had planned.
“I need to work”, he blatantly replied. “I need to pave way for my success and earn it unlike people who are showered with it for their looks”
That was the first night Prahi kept justifying his words in her head telling that he couldn’t mean it. It was just frustration. What she didn’t know was that the night would be followed by many such sleepless nights. Nights where she would be fighting not just the thoughts but tears too.
She would be screamed at for thinking good of him. “Sami, why don’t you try a different place.”
“Sami, I could recommend you..”
She was cut half way. “Now, the poor good for nothing Sameer needs help from the great Prahi”
The taunts, rage, frustration grew at a menacing pace until today.
“Every single moment, all you keep looking for is to point out how small I am, and how successful you have gotten in 3 years we have been together”, he snapped.
“But, Sameer..”, in tears, she added in her feeble tired voice, “but.. I”
And the words couldn’t ever leave her lips.
She stood in shock. Blinked her eyes twice. Thrice, four times may be. Shook her head. The eerie silence deafened her, numbed her as she shook herself again only to find she was transfixed right there.
Only when a drop of blood dribbled onto the floor from her lips that the wave of shock finally registered in her.
“I am sorry.. I didn’t mean to.. but…”, Sameer was fumbling with words but Prahi went in to pack her bags.
The slap was hard enough to bring out the reality of the dead relationship she was living. Every dilemma, every concern, and hope for the love had been slapped away in that moment.
She got into the cab and headed towards her home. Mid way, she realized there wasn’t any home waiting for her. She headed towards a hotel instead asking the driver to drive away.
How could she forget the parents whose pride she was had cried, sobbed, and had finally cut their ties with her for choosing Sameer.
They weren’t to fault, she thought. Coming from a society where daughters aren’t allowed to study further and are married right at knock of legal age, and sometimes earlier than that. Their studies, if they were pursuing any, would take a backseat. It was rare that a daughter would be allowed to pursue higher studies.
In a society as such, letting your daughter work, was unheard of. While Prahi’s father had never stopped her from anything, had braced himself and fought every stereotype until the day she declared that she had chosen Sameer.
That was the day, the pride washed away in their tears. Her dad was angry, for that was the only thing he had asked of her instead of all the freedom. She didn’t want to get married amid all this and so, she took even bolder step that society couldn’t fathom. A live-in relationship just blew the entire city like in seconds.
Prahi couldn’t stop her tears as she reached the hotel. She recollected every taunt from the close friends after moving in with Sameer. The next day she showed up to office, there were talks. Eyes on her. To her surprise, even her close friends didn’t stop from talking about how selfish, thoughtless, and characterless she could get.
Yes, news traveled the fastest in this city.
Then, she wasn’t afraid of the society. She had faced them as her love was her strength throughout. But today, she didn’t want to go through any more hassles. For what?
On her way to office next day, she drafted a mail. She had been avoiding transfer request to another city because of Sameer. I will send the mail once I am at the desk, she thought.
She reached office. She was expecting a dozen of eyes, again being the talk of the office and town. How people would be laughing at her, telling her how stupid she was.
And this time, she found more than a dozen eyes on her. In fact, every eye on her.
Her eyes filled up with tears that she had been holding back for so long. This wasn’t what she had ever expect to see.
The entire staff stood there right in front of her.
There were small messages written that people were holding.
Few read, “We are so proud. More strength to you. Keep standing for what you choose.” Her eyes continued the water works as she read few messages from colleagues “We are sorry”
The tears were a token of gratitude from a woman who had lost all and had given up for no wrong of hers. Who had given up the fight needed to face anymore criticism or the guts required to walk another tough journey to prove herself.
While all she needed was some space to run away from everything, she got courage and love of a lifetime form what she got to see. She resolved that she wouldn’t run away from the city anymore. The city that was truly hers.
She was finally home, merely trying to live what had been taught to her. Being independent and standing for her choices. For what was right.
So, that’s it. Here it is the story of our strong MD, an employee said to a newcomer.