I boarded the metro, entered the women's coach and stood by the door, looking out at the sparsely populated open areas. As the stations went by, the inner restlessness I was going through gradually subsided and gave place to reason. A decision had to be made, and that too quickly.
I was three months pregnant, and should have been happy. Not that I wasn't ready to welcome my baby in my arms. But as it seems, it won't be my arms that would welcome it.
It had been difficult for us to conceive, and as time passed we started losing all hope. Tests pointed out the problem in me. My in-laws were very supportive, but I wish Vaibhav had been.
Initially, he was. But my self-accusing behaviour isolated us. And his pride kept us farther away.
We started fighting regularly, followed by days of silence. But still we kept trying, a ray of hope for not only the baby, but for our relationship as well. Our vain attempts frustrated and saddened him, and one fine day he let go off the steam.
"You haven’t ironed my shirt", he said with clenched teeth.
"I forgot", I said.
"Don't you think you are becoming increasingly careless?", he asked.
"No", was my laconic answer.
"Don't be smart with me. It’s your fault. Just accept it. What’s so difficult to accept? Just say you can’t. And I'll stop trying", he said.
"It’s just a shirt, Vaibhav", I said, increasing my pitch to match his.
"Why don’t you just accept your faults, instead of arguing with me? It is your fault. And am bound to suffer with you", he said and went out of the room.
Oh. Now I understood the full meaning of what he meant by ‘accepting my faults’. All the time he had been talking about my inability to have a baby.
All type of people said all type of things about me, but I listened to all that because in my heart I knew that there was one person who would never leave my hand. Never fail me. Never abandon me in the waters.
But it seemed that he just did.
And this broke all that was left inside me and between us. I cried myself to sleep that night, thinking about all the promises he had made to me. Hadn't he promised that whatever he might say, whatever he might do, he'll always love me? That deep inside, there’s place only for me?
Even the news of my pregnancy could not bind us together. The thread was broken forever.
We grew even further apart, if that was possible and I distanced myself from him, still hurt by his words. He did not apologise, and I stopped waiting for one.
The doctor had informed me of my condition. It would be risky to deliver this baby. It could even lead to my death. The doctor advised me to let it go. But she hadn’t gone through all the pains I went through.
And what would I go back to? Vaibhav? Who hadn’t spoken to me for the past week? Who hadn’t bothered to ask once about his baby, let alone my health.
There was no use going back to him, and without that nothing was left.
And so I made my decision to bring this baby to life, knowing that as he thrived, I would wither inside.
The time soon came, and oblivious to everybody I knew, I was soon to leave them all. But my eyes searched for the one I had loved so dearly, and my lips thirsted to tell him the truth, my arms longed for a last hug, and my ears listened for some words of love. But unfortunate that I was, I got none.
Descending to the final journey was the painful of all. Looking at the faces I loved for the last time was heartbreaking. Knowing that it was all I could do for my baby kept me going through it. They were happy for me, praying for the baby. But little did they know of my sacrifice.
Everything went smoothly and the last thing I saw was the doctor's face and all went dark.
Initially the lights hit hard, but after adjusting to it, I saw Vaibhav sitting beside me, holding my hand, a smile on his face, tears wet in his eyes.
Oh, so this is heaven , I thought.
"What were you going to do? Kill yourself for the baby? For my happiness? Oh, you are such a fool! How could you? How could you even think of leaving me? Had you forgotten what I had said? Hadn’t I promised you that no matter what I say, no matter what I do, I'll always love you? How could you even think of leaving me? I am so sorry baby, for all you went through! And what did you think? There won't be a way for us to know the secret you had been hiding? Thank god for the doctor who told me at the last moment. How could you even think about it? You are such an idiot", he said now smiling, and wiping his tears and hugging me at the same time.
I was happy that I had got my love back, and without saying anything, hugged him back.
But if I was alive, then my baby might.....
Sensing my fear, he looked at my frozen features an said something which immediately changed my life, made me believe in all that was there to be believed, ignited my spirit of all that was to be aware of, of all happiness that I thought I didn’t deserved but did get.
"Don’t be alarmed, our little angel is all right, and she looks just like you baby- all cute beautiful", Vaibhav said with a smile as he hugged me back.