‘How dare you!’ She poured molten lead into my ears, the moment I had proposed to her. I stopped right there. More than a decade has passed since then.
After a long time, we meet in the compartment of a train. She is holding a three-four-year old boy on her lap. Roma recognizes me at once. Sparks of joy shine in her eyes. In course of conversation, I ask her about the father of that boy. Dark clouds flicker over her face. I understand what I had to understand.
She gives me her mobile number before getting down. “I stay in Dhaka, all alone. My teaching job gives me the freedom to remain free in the afternoons. Come over to my place whenever you get time.”
I stay silent. Someone in my head mutters in an oddly distant voice, “How dare you!”
A story can begin even after the story has ended. I never imagined I’d get to see Joyoti again after such a long time. We both were okay with wrapping our old tale in brown papers. We were in our own separate circles, in our own separate worlds. I heard that she had settled in London after marriage, and was teaching at a university after doing her PhD in Economics. In this globalized world, we could have found each other if we had wanted to. But neither of us had tried to do that.
Years later I got this chance to do research in the Department of Physics at UK’s Bristol University. It’s a small, neat and clean city. I love roaming around the entire city during leisure time. The tranquil coffee shop at the City Centre is a favorite place of mine. One day, while relishing coffee, my gaze suddenly travelled to a table on the other side. A middle-aged woman was sitting all alone, wearing a pair of jeans and a summer coat with a t-shirt. She appeared to be an Indian. Suddenly, time travelled backward and l didn’t find it hard to recognize her. It was her! I approached her out of immense joy of seeing her. And I caught her by surprise.
“Yes, it’s me. It’s been a while since I’m here. I’m doing research in the Physics department of Bristol University. And you?”
“Oh really? I’m a Reader in the Economics Department of that place. Long time no see! It’s been 12 years. By the way, you’re still the same as before.”
Our post-story begins. Who says that only the first love of youth is irresistible! Re-kindled love in the middle age can be equally fervent. We realize that our emotions pressed beneath the rocks are released now. Gradually, we start walking towards in we both have other lives elsewhere.
Mohammad Anwarul Kabir is a poet and micro-story writer, presently teaching Computer Science at AIUB; Subarna Khan is an avid reader and also publishes her poems and short stories and book reviews on G+, Mirakee, Wattpad and many online platforms.