She saw that little girl at the traffic light. She was nibbling into her bread, looking up occasionally for someone and then going back to eating. She couldn't help but look into her deep black eyes. The girl looked back at her. Droplets of sweat trickled down from that girl's forehead to her cheek and disappeared somewhere in her neck. She was in an ac car with him. A lady knocked at the car window once. He checked whether the doors were locked or not. She could make out that the woman said.. "Take one for the lady." He thought where will she keep that bunch of roses in the office hence shirked the woman away. She kept on looking at her constantly. She couldn't make up her mind if she wanted to take one to give it to him. Just like that. No occasion. Not a birthday. Not an anniversary. While she was making up her mind to get the roses, the silhouette of the woman was getting bleaker and bleaker in the rear view mirror. Finally , she decided to buy the roses to give to him, that she still loved him, that she forgives him and he was still her hero even after that incident, but it was too late. That woman had almost disappeared. She couldn't just go out at the red signal and find that woman and get the roses to give to him. That sounded too desperate. It was too late she knew. So instead she kept on looking at the girl who was taking care of the flowers and was probably that lady's daughter.
Daughter she was! And suddenly she felt so elated and so melancholy at the same time by just looking at that young girl's cherubic face with undaunting eyes. Abortion was not an easy decision she thought. She wanted her or him or it... whatever that was. But he said that she had to let it go. That being an unmarried mother would be the ultimate blasphemy on them in general and on her in particular. She wanted her/him/it though. No matter what. This is the closest she had come to life, how could she let it go! Born and brought up motherless, being a mother was her only solace. But he would not listen to any word of it. This was too much for him to live with. What would the society think? She had to give him/her/it up. That was the most painful day of her life. Literally and figuratively. Well it is never easy to say good bye to a part of you. Life does not remain the same without a hand or a leg or an eye. It was like they had taken her heart away and that she would not be able to feel anything anymore.
The girl at the signal kept staring at her, as if questioning her that why did she give up, why didn't she fight for the life that was inside her. It would have been that girl's age now, she thought. Was she reborn somewhere else? To a more loving mother who did anything in her might to protect her. Her, yes that's what it would have been. A girl. Her deepest instincts could tell her that it was a girl. A girl it had to be. That little girl did not leave the contact for even a single moment. This was intimidating now. But what the hell, the signal was not getting green. God what is wrong with that fucking signal she thought. She wanted to open the door and run away. Never to have to see that girl again. It took eternity before the signal turned green and the car rushed away. That girl's eyes following her until she got bleak in that rear view mirror. The air inside her was heavy, she felt a deep pain in the chest as if she was tied to a heavy rock and was drowning, same thing she had felt when she had to undergo that abortion. She opened the window to get some fresh air. She started taking short breaths as if she was drowning sometime back and she just remembered that she knows how to swim.
Car stopped outside her office. She gained her composure, closed the door with a quiet gesture, did not look back at him and walked away. His heart ached. She had not been the same even after four years and he could not forgive himself even now to make her go through a thing which is a woman's greatest pain. He thought he could have done something more. But he was too scared due to the position he holds in the society. On his way back, he crossed that signal. That little girl was gone and so was her mother. He thanked silently. He did not have the courage to face that little girl whose eyes were following him constantly while at the signal. He thought he would take the longer way next time, just to avoid this one. He reached office, dialed a number and kept the dial back before the phone on the other side would ring.
She went to the terrace of the office building to take a smoke. It was her momentary escape from the sea of memories that was creating crest and trough inside her heart. She stayed there for how long she couldn't remember and when she could gather enough courage she came back to her seat. There were roses at her seat. She opened the card, there was a message from him. And as she read it tears rolled down her eyes.
"I am sorry.