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The Last Letter - II


(The Last Letter - II)


After the convocation ceremony, Aron planned to go out with Irene to a movie. When they met, Irene congratulated him and wished him success. But something in him was eating away. He didn’t know if he was feeling happy or sad.
Outside the movie theatre, as they waited for the show to begin, a group of rowdy boys came up. One of them remarked, “Ha, Uncle, has a beautiful girl with him. I wonder how these old men can hook such silly girls.”
Aron felt anger rush in him. But the sad part was, they spoke the truth. He looked like an Uncle, in his thirties.
“And we poor boys have to remain single all our lives. Must be a gold-digger!”
Aron lost his temper. He went up to them, and punched the guy hard. A fight ensued and the guards had to intervene.
“They were eve-teasing. You should throw them out!” Aron shouted to the guards.
“Keep your cool, Aron.” Irene held him back. “They are a bunch of idiots. Just ignore them.”
The movie didn’t feel at all good. After the movie, Aron went with Irene to his apartment. He had received some blows and his face hurt. Irene sponged the redness with cold water.
“I want to tell you something,” he said. He held her hands as she gently rubbed the cold sponge on his face.
“I am listening.”
“I…I am… I am a bit weird! I think I am suffering from a disease unknown to mankind ever before!”
Irene, looked intently into his dark eyes. “What is it?” She whispered.

“There is a disease called progeria. It is a very rare disease, affecting some 100 people around the world in a population of 7 billion. The one who is affected is normal at birth, but starts aging rapidly, say about 6 -8 times the normal rate. By the time the child is 10 years old, he looks like an old man of 60 years.” 

He sighed.
Irene didn’t say anything.
“For the 20 years of my life, my aging was half of the normal rate. Then suddenly, this

progeria type of syndrome

 struck me, which suddenly accelerated my aging process. I feel, like I have been aging at the rate of 6 physiological years per chronological age of mine. By the time I reach 27 years, I will look like a 50 year old man in middle age, and if the unusual aging process doesn’t stop I will die before I turn 30, like a 70 year old man.”
Irene placed her hands on his and clasped them.
“Is there any treatment?” she asked.
“None that we know.”
“I will stand by you in all moment of your life. I will pray to God, He will listen to my prayers. And let’s get married. We can be one forever.”
“I don’t know. I don’t think so, your parents will approve of the marriage after knowing this. And you shouldn’t marry me, I don’t know if I will more than 5-6 years.”
She placed his hands on her bosom. “I have given you my heart and soul. I can’t think of anyone except you. I am yours till the last of my breath.”
They cuddled and slept.
The year that followed, saw a lot of happenings. Aron, joined the resident ship for doctors, to enhance his medical knowledge and experience. His aging however continued with an accelerated rate. There was a patch of baldness on his head and half of his hair turned grey. And he felt difficulty in reading books. He realized he had become hypermetropic also and went for bifocal lens.
 Irene pressed him to talk to her parents about their marriage, as soon as she completed her graduation. He agreed to do the talking, but said he would speak the truth about his medical condition.
He wished he was normal. It was so wonderful to be normal. But those who were normal didn’t understand the blessings of normalcy. How he hated to be called weird! He would have rather had cancer. At least people sympathises with the cancer patient and doesn’t call them weird. And there is a cure for that disease in the initial stages. And here he was all alone in the world of 7 billion people who would call him weird. Irene had been his support, but then for how long could he be with her. And it would make her life worse.
The day Irene graduated, they celebrated by an intimate moment alone in a lonely deserted fort. The wild grass had grown tall, and the trees obscured unwanted views. They talked of life and souls, and the beauty God bestowed on mankind. And then, they just looked deep into each other’s eyes. The silence stretched and the moment seemed like eternity.
“I think I have been in love with your eyes. They haven’t changed ever since I know you,” she said removing his specs and gently kissing him on the eyelids. “Talk to my father today about our marriage!”
“What if he refuses?”
“He can’t refuse. I know him well.”
That evening, Aron went to meet Irene’s dad. Her dad was a grave looking man in his fifties, and seemed strict in his looks. However when he smiled, Aron felt the warmth in the old man’s gesture.
“So, I see you have come to ask my daughter’s hand for your son!”
Aron’s face fell! He wished the ground below his feet had become a quicksand and he disappeared into it. How badly he wanted to get up and say, that he had just come foe an old man’s chit chat and was going away.
“Sir, actually, you see I ain’t married!” was all, he could say after some thought.
“Oh! I see. Then, I think you must have come for your younger brother or nephew. These days, kids are like shy. Can’t even face their future spouse old man!”
“No sir. All I want to say is, I am in love with your daughter and want to marry her. I am only 25.”
“What?” He said shocked. “Listen, it has to be a joke!”
“No. I didn’t want to cheat you, or I would have used makeup to look younger. I want to present the facts before you as it is, so that you don’t feel I cheated you in asking your most priceless possession.”
He told the old man everything.
“Do you love her?”
“I do.”
“Then my dear son, as a father I would request you to keep away from her. I would have been the happiest person to have you as my son. But then I shudder to think her fate as a father. You will ruin her happiness, and she will only suffer if she marries you. Maybe, it is selfishness on my part that I am asking you to refuse this relationship, but if you do not, it will show selfishness on your part.”
Aron kept quiet, gently lowering his head and looking at the floor. The old man came closer to him and held his hand.
“Son, I beg you for the sake of your love and feel pity on an old father, please refuse this relationship.”
“Okay, sir. It is not for the sake of love, but for a father’s pleading that I refuse. For love would ask us to be together till the last of our breath. Good day, sir!”
“Thank you, young man. I want you to make me a promise! Promise me you won’t ever contact her or write to her again.”
“I will never try to contact her or write to her as long as I am alive. I promise.”
“Thank you, dear son. I saw her reading your letters. It will be very difficult for her, but in the long term, it will be for her good. I sympathize with you son; you would have been the best for my daughter, but I think the stars are at fault.”
That night, when he was alone in his apartment he shouted and screamed and broke things. He punched the glass pane and it shattered and cut his hand. Finally he calmed down, and lay on the bed looking at the ceiling fan and trying to count the rotations, tears formed in his eyes and ran down his cheeks hitting the pillow. He had cried again after a long time. And there were no remedies to soothe his throbbing heart. When his tears had dried, he thought of writing a letter. He had written a letter to Irene almost every day, but now he couldn’t write to her. He sought to write to God.
Dated: 04-07-20xx
Dear God,
                Thank you for this beautiful life. You have given me the best of parents who stood by me in my difficult times. Thank You for giving me a chance to exist and see life. I do not have any complaints against You. You gave me a very long childhood, and I feel grateful to You. Your mercy has ever been on me. I even got the true love of a girl that I had only imagined in my dreams. It has been a great accomplishment in my life to win the heart of a woman, and that happened because of Your Grace showered on me.
O’ Beneficent one, on the Day of Judgement, when You ask everyone- “I gave you youth, what did you do with it?”, I hope You will consider my case an exception and exempt me from the trial. I will try my best to do as much good in this short life-span You gave me. This “Youth-less Syndrome”, may have affected me, and I may have failed in my duty as a human being, but You are Kind and Merciful and so I hope You will forgive my sins.
Thank You so much, once again.
A mere creation of Yours,
Lovingly.
He felt peace after writing the letter and drifted into a deep sleep.
He did not meet Irene or sent her any letters. Neither would he call her or receive her phone calls. So finally, when Irene got tired of waiting, she visited him in his apartment. She asked him why he wasn’t responding to her phone calls and messages.
“I am just busy”, he said. “And the Professor’s daughter keeps me busy. She is so lively a girl. I wish you were her.”
“I know you are trying to make me feel jealous. What did dad say about our marriage?”
“He agreed. However I told him that I am working on a cure for my illness. My Professor is working with me. And we are going to make a breakthrough in science soon.”
Irene sighed. “I hope it is soon!”
Aron smiled. “I hope it will be soon. I think the Professor’s daughter loves me, and I too like her. If I succeed, I will have be indebted to my Professor. And most probably, he will ask my hand for his daughter.”
“Then marry her. Your life is more important.”
Aron smiled.” Yes. And then you get married to someone else.”
“Don’t you ever dare to say that? My life is either you or nothing. We promised to grow old together.”
“I am already old. I have to do some research on the aging process and I will be underground for a very long time. I hope you can understand.”
“How long?”
“I don’t know.”
She wished to stay in his apartment, but he told he was busy and she must go.  She left unwillingly, and he watched her as she left. She turned back and saw him looking. She stopped, ran back and hugged him.
“I don’t know, I feel uneasy.” She said. “I don’t want to let you go off me.”
He kept quiet feeling her warm hug. “I hope all will be alright soon! Now go.”
She went away, with a sad heart. She would force her father to get her married to him as soon as possible. Staying away from him was a punishment for her.
 And all of a sudden he disappeared from her life. No phone calls, no messages, again. And when she went to visit him in his apartment, she found that he had vacated and gone. He hadn’t cared even to leave a message. She would surely scold him the next time she met him.
For three years she waited for his message, a letter, a phone call, anything. But it looked as if he had simply disappeared from the face of earth. Maybe he was happy with the Professor’s daughter. She had completed her Masters and was looking forward to joining a PhD course. Her father was pressing her for marriage.
“I am dying daughter. Free this old man of his social responsibility to his daughter. Or I can never die in peace.”
“Dad. I told you, I ain’t marrying anyone but him. He will come with a cure.”
“Listen daughter, he won’t come. I assure you. He has fallen in love with someone else or Heaven forbid, he is no more. It is useless waiting for him. If he had loved you, he could have messaged you at least once in all these years.”
“I don’t know dad. I am not feeling well.”
“He moved on. You must also move on. I can’t see you grieved. Your sad state kills me more than my arthritis. My friend is coming next month with his son. I hope you build some intimacy.”
She kept quiet when her father brought up the subject of marriage. And now, this new guy would come and woo her. She felt guilty towards her love, and she was angry too. He had cheated her by disappearing without telling her. She sought to seek him on the Facebook like she had found him as a random chance the first time. But his profile had been deactivated. She talked to random strangers on the social media.  But there was none like him.
Until she found her father’s friend son, Vicky. It was actually Vicky who found her and had sent her a friend request. She accepted the friend request and chatted with him. They talked about politics, religion and weather and Vicky told how much he was looking forward to seeing her. Gradually, their talk grew more personal to likes and dislikes. Irene felt that Vicky was tolerable. She could enjoy his company. Vicky asked for her phone number, to which she replied she would give him after they met.
The next month when they met, her parents were very happy. Vicky was a nice chap, and her parents liked him. It wouldn’t be long (their parents talked among themselves) that they would be betrothed.
Later that night, Vicky messaged Irene on messenger.
“You looked beautiful today. Can I now have your phone number, or should I call you on Messenger?”
“You can call on messenger if you want to.” She typed her phone number.
And instantly, there was a ring on her cell phone. She picked it up. It was from Vicky.
After the initial formal talks, she asked him, if he could write letters to her.
“Oh God!” he said. “Who do you think has the time to write a letter in this modern world? And if it had to do with letters, chatting on the Facebook Messenger wasn’t enough? Imagine, what would be the use of the cell phone!”
She kept quiet. Deep in her heart she knew, nobody could replace him. He had given her his entire time, whatever was left from his moral duty. And his letters were more precious to her than all the gold on earth.
“Hello what happened? Okay, baby. If you want, I will write a letter to you.”
“Nothing. I was just thinking something. No need to take the trouble of writing a letter. Who really has time for reading and writing letters in this busy world?”
And they talked about the weather, politics and religion.
Her marriage was fixed to Vicky.
On her marriage day, she looked like a Princess. She however hoped, maybe by some miracle he would come out of nowhere hearing of her marriage. And then a miracle did happen. She got a letter from the postman. She hastily tore open the envelope, and read the content. It was from him.
Dear Irene,
I am sorry to be messing up on your marriage day. But I hope you are happy. I had promised your father I wouldn’t contact you or write to you as long as I am alive. And I hope when this letter reaches you, I will be no more in this world, and hence will still keep my promise. I want to see you happy forever, and so it is better you forget me entirely.
Remember the last time we met. I lied to you so much. Please forgive me. It has been more of a burden on my chest and I want to relieve it off before I die, and yet keep my promise. I had never lied to you about anything before. There never existed any Professor or his daughter. I was working on the aging factor by myself. And unfortunately I haven’t succeeded.
My name meant mountain, and I stood tall like a mountain all my life defying social stigma of my weirdness. But it is love that has shattered me like grains of sand. Imagining you in someone else arm is worse than dying a thousand deaths. Every time I imagine you as someone else, it kills my soul. My existence has become meaningless.
I wish you a happy and bright future.
Always and forever yours,
Aron.
She read the letter again with trembling hands. She looked for his address. He hadn’t written it. But then she saw the post office stamp mark, and recognised it was where he used to write and post the letters he had written to her earlier. So he must have returned to his apartment, and she couldn’t lose a moment.
She got out her scooty, as everyone looked at her in surprise. Her father tried to stop her. She looked accusingly, and was furious at him.
“You cheated me, dad!” She shouted. “Don’t stop me now.”
She raced her scooty, while her father looked perplexed. Then he told his driver to get the car and follow her.
She stopped at his apartment and knocked the door. It was locked from within. She knew how to open the door of his apartment from the outside in such cases. When she had forced open the door, she saw his frail body lying on the bed in a pool of dried blood. She looked tenderly at his cute old face and closed her eyes. For a moment, the Universe didn’t exist for her. She looked around. There were bottles of chemicals. She opened his cupboard. It was filled with letters. All addressed to her. Apparently he had written to her every day since the day he had disappeared. And out of promise hadn’t ever posted her the letters. She read some, from the beginning and it all contained one message – how much he loved her. His letter to God filled her with remorse.
She went near him and looked longingly at her old lover. His body was lying lifeless. She held his cold hands, and ran her fingers on the loose bit of hair. She didn’t care for the blood, or anything. Finally she was with him, and she couldn’t let him go again.
“Life tried to part us. But death won’t!” she said dreamily. She had grown possessive of him. “Let not death keep us apart, but wed us together for it is my wedding day.”
She heard her father’s and Vicky’s voice. As they stormed into the apartment, she held his frail body close to her bosom, and jumped out of the window, into the vast space below….



The Last Letter - II Reviewed by Polymath on 8:04 pm Rating: 5

4 comments:

  1. ... it is unfortunate that we find our soulmate, our true love and all we want is to spend our whole life with that one person... but stars are at the fault...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe... Let's see, something good in all tragedies. Like the selfless love the girl had in this case.

      Delete
  2. Now, the soulmates.. roam free, for soul has no shape, age, gender..
    In the fairy land, they play with the rainbow.. and the union was divine like no else's.


    Speechless.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. As usual, you give the best ending to my tragedies. Thank you, princess.

    ReplyDelete

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