Being Women

Love I Could Never Redeem-Part2

Aakash met Maria during his college days. Serendipity. And with time they came close and became best friends. Love was in the air but something happened and they chose to separate their ways. But they met again like never before. Read the second and conclusive part of this beautiful love story.

Link for part1:

Our course ended the previous day and I was supposed to catch the evening bus back home. We planned to meet for lunch at one of the finest restaurants in the city. I noticed that Maria was less jovial than usual but assumed it to be due to our parting. We were halfway through the meals when Maria pressed my hand firmly and said: “I love you Aakash. Why don’t you meet with my parents today so that we can proceed further?”

The question took me by surprise. It was out of the blue. She was surely a great friend but I never knew she loved me more than I loved her but not in the same sense. Maria was smiling but her face fell when she saw the expression on my face.

“Look, Maria, you are my best friend ever! But I have never considered you as a lover! I’m sorry” I answered without looking at her.

She didn’t say a word further but I could see tears welling up in her eyes which descended her cheeks as she looked away. She excused herself and went to the restroom. My appetite had left me. Never had I expected a turning point like this in our relationship.

We didn’t talk much after this. She came to the bus depot to drop me off. I hugged her and she asked me if I would care to reconsider my decision. I explained to her that our backgrounds and religions were only some of the many factors that would come into play. I had to tell her directly that my decision might not change at all in the current circumstances and that maybe she was a bit unrealistic. I could see the effect of my words and how badly they shook her, but there was nothing much I could do. As I looked back, I saw her speeding back.

All through the journey, I could only think of our relationship. I asked myself quite several times if what I did was wrong but my conscience told me I was not. I tried to call Maria a few times but she didn’t pick up. I left her a message on Whatsapp. It got delivered but was not seen. I tried contacting her again after reaching Srivilliputhur but the phone was neither picked up nor the ‘last seen on her profile changed.

An array of horns brought me back to reality. I strained my eyes over the roadside noticeboards to read the location and to my surprise realized that I had almost reached my destination. The conductor kept saying in Malayalam that the next stop would be the city bus depot. I prepared to get up. I kept back the phone in my jeans pocket and tidied myself.

On alighting at the bus stand, I summoned an auto-rickshaw and instructed the driver to take me to Lourdes Forane Church. I was going to meet Maria after all this time. It took a little more than a quarter of an hour to reach my destination. I paid the fare and started walking towards the church. I clutched the object in my right hand firmly.

I was surprised when Maria didn’t return my calls even after a day. I tried calling her again in the morning. But the response was the same. I began to worry. I was contemplating what needed to be done. I spoke with my parents and as expected, they protested. I didn’t tell them the details to tell the truth. But somehow, I felt obliged to go to meet her. It was quite unlike her to be acting like this. I called my friend with whom I was staying at Kottayam and asked him for help. He assured me that he would do the needful.

My heart was racing. And I felt not at ease. I kept calling her again but to no avail.

Then, in the evening, my friend called. The Sun was shining in all its might by this time now. We (me and Maria) have had visited this church many times. Little change has happened to this place over the year. I kept walking. People were moving in groups of three or four and I carefully navigated between them. My eyes kept looking in the direction to see if I could get a glimpse of her. The scorching heat ensured that I had to strain my eyes even more.

And then we met our rendezvous after a year.

Tears started rolling down as I looked at her. I knelt before her. I was not aware whether my thoughts were vocalised as I spoke to her. “I’m sorry Maria. It’s just that I do not know if I’m worthy of your forgiveness. You are the most amazing person I have come across so far in my life. I treasured our friendship more than anything else. But I never intended our relationship to evolve into something more. So, I didn’t know what to say when you proclaimed your love for me. Maybe I was too blunt that day. Maybe I should have been softer in my reply. Maybe I should have considered before finally answering. For months, I kept asking myself if I should have said ‘Yes’. However, the truth is that I could never have such feelings for you. But you deserved much more than such an outright refusal, that too from me.

‘I should not have left you that day; not in that shape. I should have been there by your side. To listen to you. To talk to you. And to enable you to see things. But I didn’t do that. Instead, I went on my way. I might have been in a hurry to leave and that hurt you more than anything. You expected me to return when my calls were not replied to. But I failed you again. Today, I stand in front of you with my head bowed in shame.

‘I know I’m not worthy of it but forgive me, Maria, for not being a real friend in the face of a crisis. 

“Forgive me for not being there by your side when it mattered the most.”

“Forgive me since I haven’t been able to forgive myself even after all this time.”

“I beg you, please.”

I kept down the bouquet over the grave ledger. Maria’s name stared at me from the headstone. It felt as if she was gazing at me silently. It had started to drizzle all of a sudden. A light breeze that accompanied the shower blew the flowers of an adjacent champak treeonto the grave as though in silent acknowledgement.

By Dr. Joel Danie Mathew

Dr. Joel Danie Mathew is a Surgeon by profession, based in Kerala. Writing has been his passion besides being a voracious reader himself. He particularly focuses on short fictions and Book reviews as well as critical appraisals. He is currently working as Assistant Professor in General Surgery at Believers Church Medical College Hospital, Thiruvalla. He can be reached at

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