The Night Train.
bgm- champagne problems by taylor swift
This was it . He was leaving his family, friends, and most importantly her, all behind. In a rush as he walked across the living room to finally walk out of the door, he heard a crash behind him- the bottle of Dom Perignon now stained the carpet. He did not turn back once as he left for the station.
As he stood in line at the ticket station with the agonizing pain of his broken heart, he processed her words from today’s dance. The words -“You’ll find a girl so much better than me. Someone who deserves you. ”- rang in his head and he could feel his heart burn up. Better than her? How could she say that when she was the best thing that ever happened to him? His eyes slowly turned red, like the colour of the walls of their dorm room. She was his forever, and now he was left with a vast infinity of emptiness.
As someone nudged his shoulder, he mechanically moved ahead and bought a ticket on the first train out of the place that now seemed to close in on him. Sitting on the bench, his mind went back to the day they first met; two scrawny kids at a party they so did not belong at. That night he realized that talking to her came as naturally to him as flying came to a sparrow. She was chirpy and a chatterbox and he did not mind one bit as he quietly listened to her till the sun rose behind them.
Their first date had been quite unconventional as they had spent the evening trying to find that one book (in that one specific edition) she wanted in all the bookshops around town. Heck, as he recalled, it wasn’t even a date. People are supposed to be awkward on their first dates right? But this day felt right. The silence as they sat by the sea felt right. He was brought back to his grim reality when the train whistle was sounded in the background.
Taking a seat by the window, he looked back at the town that held the memories of his whole life for one last time. He wasn’t sure when he’d be able to come back to this place without feeling the ghost of his loss forever on his back. As he sat there, he was hit with so many overwhelming thoughts, but they were all about her. Will she be okay? Will she be able to deal with the people? The comments? The judgemental eyes as they dug up the past she was so afraid of? Will they find out about her delicate heart and the way she rubbed her fingers when she was anxious? And most importantly, will she forget about him?
When he looked up, he realised that the man across his seat was looking at him and soon he realised why. He didn’t even feel the tears streaming down his cheeks as he thought about her. That’s what she did, wasn’t it? She made him forget his misery. She made everything better. But all that he was left with now was cold glances from judgemental faces.
Almost symbolically, when he pulled a handkerchief from his pocket, her ring fell to the ground. It felt like a punch to his gut, because he could remember the events from today evening clearly and vividly. He was the happiest man on the planet. He had everything he ever wanted walking right towards him and then in a moment, he was a soulless skeleton, walking around with no light in his eyes.
He wondered if she would regret her decision if she would ever try to find him. Picking up the ring, his mind went back to the day he asked his mother for her blessing. She had given him her ring saying that it was their family heirloom. His father had asked his mother to marry him with that same ring and so had his father before him. And here he was. Holding this ring is his hand because the hand it belonged to had slipped away from him.
What was he going to do now? Who was he going to go home to? How was he going to forget the last seven years and the thousand “ I love yous”? He broke down once again as he thought about his future because till now it had her in it. She had engraved her name on every pillar of his life. What would Diwali look like now? What about Christmas? Who was going to laugh at every joke of his – no matter how bad it was? Who was going to make him laugh?
With a screeching halt and no warning, the train stopped at the station. The journey had come to an end. It was time to go. When he got off the train, he realised that she had walked away from him with more than just his heart. She had left with his old self. The hurt was going to stay and it was going to sting every day and with every memory. It was going to come back in waves when he’d never expected it to but eventually, that tide would ebb. She would never really leave him. How could she? How do you leave someone in its entirety after so many years? She was going to be there every time he’d watch Scarface and she’d be there every time he heard their song on the radio. But slowly, she was going to become less of an actual human and more of an entity of his past life and he’d live on. He was going to have a future no matter how bleak it seemed right now and he was going to put his heart back together even if it took him an eternity. With this realization, he slowly threw her photo from his wallet into the trashcan and he walked out of the station towards an unknown town.