My Noiseless Memories – Chapter 25


Present Day

I entered the hospital. Life was normal around, but to me everything seemed to be in complete silence. There was sense of shock. I approached the hospital emergency desk, told them that I was looking for my wife and her name is Zoya.

She checked her register and expressed her condolences. They pointed me to the room where she lay. I broke down at least 3 times before reaching the door handle. I opened the door, walked a couple of steps and with my trembling hands, I slowly moved the curtain… My mouth went dry in shock as I moved closer. The body was completely covered. I couldn’t find the courage to move the cloth. I trembled, cried, and punched the wall in complete resentment until my knuckles bled.

Rajesh calmed me down, made me sit on the chair. I told him I can’t do this. He took courage and said to hold onto myself. He slowly moved the cloth and revealed the face…

Their lied a body, so badly hurt and completely dressed in bandages. I couldn’t understand what was going on. She had a small mole on her left side of her collar bone but here it wasn’t there… I wiped my tears to have a clear look at the body. It was not Zoya… It was her friend, Sheetal… I was shell shocked. I couldn’t understand what was going on. Rajesh stood there confused without an answer. He went running to the doctor and said that it was not Zoya but her friend Sheetal.

‘I suppose somewhere the identities have been confused…’

The doctor took to us to the other patient in the intensive ward. She said, ‘…That poor girl suffered a fracture on her ribs and shoulder. Her vocal cord was hurt but was lucky to survive the horror. My chief has fixed her and he says that she would be fine in the next couple of months…’

She checked for her name in the patient list…

‘Patient’s name is…’

‘Zoya…!’ I said

I walked backwards to the wall, tears rolled out from my eyes, there was aridness in my mouth, I stammered to speak the words but one word kept coming to me again and again… Zoya… Zoya…

I smiled, I prayed, I cried, I thanked, I was speechless, I finally got back my Zoya… That was the longest day of my life…

I understood the reason for the accident. Sheetal and Zoya were on their way to the local NHS registration. Zoya was in a hurry and didn’t carry her bag. She gave the NHS card and her mobile to Sheetal. She kept it along with hers in her bag.

Sheetal was driving at an average speed. She lost control of the car when a smuggled car and its driver drove too fast to end up in a head on collision with Sheetal’s car. Zoya survived because she was sitting in the back seat with belt on and Sheetal succumbed to her injuries. It was heartbreaking to hear the news. The worst was over…

I remembered the old Arabic verse… A man passes through 7 shades of love… Attraction, Infatuation, Love, Reverence, Worship, Obsession and Death… To us it was a rebirth of our relationship…

It took 36 hours for Zoya to get out of her sedatives. I sat there patiently waiting for her to get back to her senses. She opened her eyes with lots of difficulty. She couldn’t move her head freely but was fine. She saw me and was overcome with emotion. She couldn’t handle the pain of her body but she didn’t show any sign of discomfort. She raised her hand and I held it with subtle care.

After holding her hand for almost 20 minutes, she felt comfortable. She then tried to speak but couldn’t. She wanted to say something but I couldn’t understand. I asked her to take some rest and not to trouble herself but she didn’t. I called the doctor to understand what she was gesturing but even she couldn’t understand…After her repeated sign languages to explain, I finally faced the horror…

I fell on the chair looking at her who was still trying to talk to me in sign language…I couldn’t understand what she spoke but the plight of watching her explain in sign language shattered me. I never wanted a lot of things to happen in my life… But I never wanted this for Zoya…I cursed myself that why it wasn’t me in her place and why it had to be Zoya…

I watched her over and over again trying to explain that it wasn’t her mistake and she was sorry for what has happened… She kept mentioning if I still loved her… I was broken… I was in tears…I took her hand into mine, kissed on her forehead, hugged her and affirmed that I still love her the same way as I always did…

Our first meeting, our first fight, the first date, our trip to Tennessee, those wonderful college days, our unending chats, those exam sessions, our late night cooking escapades, those inexpressible feelings for each other, her childish mischief, proposing her in Chicago, those burning desires, our heartbreaks, graduation, work, marriage, daughter… I could sense those beautiful memories rushing before my eyes…But they were different.

I could see the images but I couldn’t recollect the different sounds in them…There was no music… There was no sound… There was no chatter… There was no cheerfulness… The creation around was at peace but the images were dull…The world was silent…There was no noise…

My memories were noiseless…

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My Noiseless Memories – Chapter 20


Not so long ago…

The story before the breakup… continued
I understood an important moral from that situation. To fight and conquer in all my battles is not supreme excellence. Supreme excellence consists in breaking her resistance without fighting. I loved her…I worshiped our relationship…I let her go…
So the day came…She left for Chicago…I left for Orlando…
After spending two wonderful years together as great friends, I felt better letting her go…For the first 10 hours, it was cool. I felt better that I had some more breathing space which I was missing in the last two years. It was a week long trip and the first two days went by with me missing her at rare occasions. Then came the day we had to go to Disneyland…I started the morning much more excited than any other. I bathed, woke up the other guys, we had breakfast, took off and reached Disneyland.
Thankfully we didn’t have to stand in the queue as Archana has already done the bulk booking. I started to walk towards the gates. I was walking along with Sumanth and casually looked others walking around us. Everyone was happy because they were with the people who matter the most in their lives.
What was I doing here alone? With every step I took, the stride became difficult. By the team, I reached the gates; I was in no mood to get in…I turned back and started to run…
Preethi and Sumanth stood their looking me…
‘What happened to Arjun? Why is he running to the taxi stand?’ asked Preethi.
Sumanth just smiled and let me go…
I took the cab, reached airport, boarded the next flight to Chicago… Reached Chicago, went to Tania’s place where Zoya’s been to… The door was locked. I didn’t call Zoya or Tania or Fatima…I sat on the door steps waiting for my love… It’s been more than 3 days since we spoke… But I couldn’t wait anymore…
‘What wrong babe?’

‘Nothing…’

‘Something’s been bothering her…She’s been this way all these two days?’ said Tania
‘Are you okay…?’ asked Fatima carrying her shopping bags…I stood in the dark waiting for her to come closer…
She saw me but couldn’t see my face; she took slow, short steps towards me… I walked a couple of steps so that the moon light could fall over me…
She saw me, dropped her bags in surprise…picked up her pace and finally came running to me…I missed her too much for too long and I couldn’t miss anymore…I stood there, wanted to touch her but I didn’t, wanted to hug her but I didn’t, I wanted to kiss her but didn’t…I wanted to make the move…
She was overwhelmed with emotions…She hugged me…Tears rolled from her eyes. She hugged me real tight…I could sense for the first time that she did have feelings and she missed me dearly! There was no better moment I could wait for to propose her… I went on my one knee, held her hand and said,

 
‘You are the only person that can make my heart beat faster and slower at the same time. I came here tonight because when I realized that if I want to spend the rest of my life with you then I want the rest of my life to start as soon as possible. It seems right now that all I’ve ever done in my life is making my way here to you. If I tell you I love you, can I keep you forever?’

There was surprise, shock from Tania, Fatima and the onlookers

‘Yes…’ She said in disbelief…

‘I love you…’

‘I love you too…’

I could sense the excitement in her; she couldn’t believe what was going around her until everyone watching us clapped and applauded to show their excitement… 

We were officially in ‘Love’