“Can you take my hand and feel what I had for him”, she said that and took my old ragged hands in hers. At first I wished I could just rip our hands apart for I couldnt bear the cold and the fragility. “Yes dear, do you want something? Shall I get you some water?”, I asked. She just laid there, staring in my eyes, and uttered something that I couldnt understand for a while, may be she was asking me to bring something or she just mumbled some words to break that deafening silence between us.
I cant believe I cant even talk to her anymore, I have been living with her like strangers for months now, she doesnt even remember my name. Of all the things a man could go through in old age, she had to put me through this. I cant even hate her for anything now, she wouldnt even get the extent of my madness and frustration for she thinks her beloved husband has fled away leaving her behind with a stranger. Odd enough she loves everything about this man, comes up with questions every night, sadly the same ones again.
She tightened her grip by my hand as if she lost it for a while, her strength made me skip a beat. By the time I could come back, she pointed at something lying on the side desk. But when I moved to get it for her she stopped me; “Not now dear, not now. Give it to him when I’ll leave this room for good”, she said. I didnt have the strength to fight her back that night, I didnt have the feel for anything, not even the taste to answer all her questions over and over again. I wished I could sleep that night and wake up with a bad dream, and everything around me seems just the way it was. But dreams and reality are always mistaken. “I better get some sleep. Do you want me to bring you something?”, I asked. She just stared for a while as if she was calculating her answer and then brought my hands close to her face like she wanted to tell me something I didnt know before. “Stranger, I love you for every night that you have spared with me. No matter how much I loved my husband, I love you even more. If this is when my life ends and he comes upto you someday just tell him what he once told me; It’s easier to fall in Love with a stranger!”. Those words destroyed everything that was around me, even Me. She kissed my hand and then left them numb.
The night was restless and insane, I couldnt sleep for a moment and it turned out to be a curse in the morning. She had passed away that night without even giving me a clue, how or when. The day was spent in a hassle and the night alone. How I wished I had spent just a little more time with her but fate had to take her away before I could leave her behind. Pressing my hands against the sheets, I sat there by her corner thinking how different it would have been if she remembered who I was atleast THAT night, just that. Those words took my sight towards where she pointed at that night, towards a letter “Give it to him when I have let the room”, her voice echoed from somewhere behind. I knew it was for me and that I had to see, the crumbled pages, the shaky handwritten words, all seemed a part of her. The letter smelt something that was filled with love.
I love you for who you are and whom you were. I have been spending each night with you as if it was my last. You seem to think how I have forgotten you and I know how annoyed you were at times, but to tell you the truth I loved annoying you because then I had a chance to make it up to you.
I remember you talking me out of all that I had gone through the night we met, as strangers. I cant forget how you made it all so easy for me, that I could feel words melting on my tongue that night. It was something within you that held me close.
All I needed now was to feel how you had felt that night, how you had fallen in love with a complete stranger that night and how you loved every day after that. Take it as my one last wish before I die, I wanted to know YOU every night, I wanted to have YOU every night by my side. Not just as a husband but a stranger with whom I had fallen in love each night.
Take this letter as my farewell kiss to you, and remember I could have never forgotten you. Of all the worse that could have happened to you, I would have ended myself way before all this had come true.
I love you stranger.
I wish I could just rip this piece of paper apart as her words have killed all that fire within. She left me with no words to say at all!