” I won’t dunk out on you”, he had said; but like everyone else, he did too. She was left alone, yet again. Even though she had gone numb inside, there still was this little thing in there, called heart, that hurt with every single beat.
Like every other time, she had gone into a two-day dead period, followed by weeks of blankness, but only this time the weeks stretched into years.
The chores were performed with perfection credible to machines. The plastic smile executed with poster perfection. Everything was perfect on the outside, however; on the inside, the atmosphere of Jupiter seemed placid in comparison.
Days were seethed with old painful memories that kept ramming her cranium to surface, and nights…
There were no nights. The evenings just melted into mornings. She would watch the lights change on her ceiling. The neon of street lights mixing with the glow of sunshine, interlaced with passing headlights and the neighbors’ moody porch lights.
Her alarm clock would ring to tell her that it was time to get dressed, fill in the fuel tank and head for work.
There were times when she had worked so blankly that her worried secretary would bring her food to remind her that she hadn’t had lunch for a few days now. Coffee no longer seemed to be relaxing. It was needed to make her system function normally. The prevalent conditions could not be termed normal; nevertheless, coffee was still an admitted addiction. The only thing that brought momentary chaos and insanity in her mundane mess of a life filled with stillness and sanity.
Of such days, all she could recall was the rustling of papers and the frantic scribbling of her pen, but not the words, not the work; the sound of the phone ringing, but not the conversations.
Just the sounds and motions her brain knew to be remnants of a happy time trickled into everyday life.
From those ruins came a blast from the past. Promising her all the dreams and wishes. After years, heart-breaks and random drunk nights; he of all the people in the world, was sitting in front of her.
He had walked in unannounced and sat across her desk, and when she did not notice his presence even after a while, sitting right across her, he quietly pushed the ring in front of her without saying a word.
The ring, that stupid hideous vulgar old junk of a ring had said more than any string of words could have.
She looked at the ring with a frown and stared at him blank-faced, but with eyes over-flowing with questions. Bemused, he still didn’t say a word, but just pushed the ring a little further, with a twinkle in his eyes. Her eyes shone with a sparkle that was not a reflection of that darned solitaire.
Forty years later, she sat in the warm glow of the last rays of the sun. The solitaire shone bright as it caught the last rays of the sun. She sat alone because he had finally dunked out on her. Even though the ending of that beautiful relationship was sad, it was not unhappy. It did not leave behind painful memories but joyous and cherished ones. Their two children being their most beloved accomplishments.
She sat wondering what had made her linger on in all those years of loneliness, what had driven her into those dreadful morose days and kept her trudging along till that day when he had sat across her desk and pushed that ring in front of her. The answer came easily to her now, unlike those days, her belief that she too would have her own happy ending, her ever after. That despite all odds, there still burned a small beacon of hope in one corner that made her heart beat.