Life is a journey and in this journey we meet many people. Some people leave a mark on us which remains etched in our hearts and their words always echo in our ears. We follow their footprints, for we know it is their light which will bring out the best of us. At times, our journey may seem as a labyrinth but that’s what makes it beautiful. We all grow up by nursing someone else’s sorrow, grieving through someone else’s grief and being happy in someone else’s happiness.
‘You think it’s my mistake? FINE! Put the blame on me.’ ‘You have this habit of gathering sympathy from your daughter by portraying yourself as the victim.’
It was hard for me to concentrate amidst all this noise. I went to the living room, slammed the door and went out. I headed towards my safe haven.
I saw David sitting out on the porch. He waved at me. The wrinkles on his face were prominent. Age leaves its marks on everyone. His hands were trembling, yet he had the enthusiasm of a kid. It is quite weird for a fifteen year old teenager and a seventy year old man to be friends. Ever since I was a toddler, we would go out for fishing, catch butterflies together, and eat mangoes in his orchard. He would tell me stories and I would listen in awe.
I sat next to him with a gloomy face. ‘What’s the matter kid?’ he interrogated. ‘Well, same old fight. Don’t they understand that they have a daughter who has her board exams in the next three months?’
‘Grownups are quite complicated, kid. Give them time. Things will be fine.’ he assured me with a smile. ‘I’ll never spoil my child’s life. Seeing my mom and dad makes me question true love and the institution of marriage. You say sweet nothings to each other, the love gives you butterflies in your stomach, you start dreaming about that someone and then it fades away with time. You even start taking them for granted’, I went on blabbering.
‘Hold on kid and take a deep breath. I’ll tell you a story now.’ David mumbled. For me his stories were always the best part of our friendship. David cleared his throat and started narrating.
“Let me take you to a time, some 50 years ago when I was a totally different person. I would rarely initiate a conversation with someone. Back then in the third year of my college, I was in love with a girl, Savannah. I don’t know when and how I had fallen in love with her. I would always find her in a conversation with someone with a smile on her face. People used to praise her for her helping nature. She had the aura of honesty of a child, the energy of a teenager and the maturity of an adult. As they say Destiny has its plan, I finally initiated a conversation with her. I would talk to her for hours. She was a beautiful chaos, someone with whom I could be myself.
Hiding my love for her was getting difficult. I finally mustered up the courage to confess my love. I knew that this would either crumble my heart into a million pieces or it would make my life beautiful. I had hope lurking in my heart. I confessed to her that I was in love with her and she reciprocated my love. Life was bliss with her. Our love coursed through the rise and fall of situations. At times we had problems but I knew I loved her and she knew she loved me.
After college we had to stay in different cities. The distance would make us crave for each other even more.
During Christmas, I had gone to visit her place. The door of her house was open. I entered the house and found the entire room lit with candles. Savannah was on her knees with a ring. ‘Will you marry me, sweetheart?’ I couldn’t stop smiling. She looked resplendent in the dim light. ‘Will you answer my question? My knee is hurting’, she muttered. ‘Yes’ “
David blushed as he completed his story.
‘Dinner’s ready. Come in before the candles blow out’, the voice came from behind us.
Savannah stood behind us with a smile on her face. She looked beautiful as always.
‘I hope someday you change your opinion about love and marriage, kid.’ David said as he got up to go inside. I wished them good night and left the place.
Twenty years have passed since the day David narrated his story. David taught me what true love is. The magic that accompanies it lights up lives and it is greater than any other emotion. As they say ‘falling in love is easy but staying in love is special’.