He knew that smile often. To him it had become a prize not only to seek but also to cherish. She was constantly bestowing upon him her silent affections as she did now. She was always more comfortable communicating with facial expressions because she could not do nearly as well with her voice.
“God, you’re beautiful,” he said.
Her eyes carefully watched his lips as they moved to form words. She smiled again. Slowly she said, “You are too,” and then she reached out for his hands and held them to her cheeks as she closed her eyes, the smile never leaving her face.
He wanted to say more but he did not want to make things difficult for her. He sat there for a slow, deliberate moment as she continued to hold his hands. Then he removed his right hand and lifted her chin with his finger so that she was looking at him again.
Slowly, he began to speak.
“Shreya… I… I hope that you can understand me. I love you more than I can ever hope to express. I find myself needing you more day by day. You have become a necessity in my life. I have to know… I have to ask; will you be my…”
Her eyes never left his lips.
They followed every movement, every change, and every subtle nuance. She understood the meaning of his words perfectly. She could comprehend what he meant by the feelings his face betrayed, the depth of emotion in his eyes. She felt as if she would cry. He had made her so very happy; so content.
A tear rolled slowly past her cheek. She mouthed a whisper “Yes.”
At first, he wasn’t sure if he had heard what she said, but her continuing smile and slowly ebbing tears quickly erased his doubts. The two seldom mixed, except at a special time as this. Her answer came from somewhere deep within her heart, and that was enough for him. He leaned toward her, kissing her gently.
They were together an eternity. Sometimes, it seemed that way to her. It was a long time before this moment – months of vicissitudes. All good things in her life kept her waiting unmercifully long. Nevertheless, she knew a good thing when she saw it, and Kshitij was the best thing that came her way in a lifetime. She had always wished it to continue and now she knew it would. Painful years of silent loneliness would be over soon. Someone had finally been able to reach inside her and understand her.
“Wait here,” she said in slow deliberate syllables.
She turned as she stood from her position on the couch and disappeared into another room, the summer dress leaving a faint trail of her perfume behind her.
His eyes could not help but follow until she was gone. He looked around the room as he waited for her. Small pictures of family groups and friends hung still from the panelled walls. A television sat in one corner of the room flashing pictures from an old black-and-white movie, neglected ever since his arrival. Subtitles crossed the screen without making a sound.
She returned, getting his attention by rapidly crossing her arms over his shoulders – the action surprising him. He looked over his shoulder deep into her smile.
“I had something for you,” she whispered to him. “I wasn’t sure if I should give it to you… till now.”
She measured the carefully spoken sentence for its effect. For her it had been a major conversation. As she handed him an envelope he stroked the hair that covered her temple. She smiled and closed her eyes.
He turned his attention to the envelope, carefully pealing it away from the precious piece of paper enclosed. As he unfolded it and began to read it, his eyes filled with emotions at the realization of how much he meant to her. He looked up at her, as if seeing her, no – understanding her – for the first time. He looked back to the paper and read it again….
I sat down and thought,
About what I might say to you;
Regarding all my feelings,
Though they’re very few.
How do I put into simple words,
Thing which is impossible to describe?
How do I fully express,
Thing which could change my life?
Should I say you saved me,
From my own fears and pain?
Should I say you were the sun,
In a life so full of rain?
Suddenly, it came to me,
So quickly and so clear;
I somehow said things so simply,
And yet the words had been so near.
In the fading hour,
I contentedly knew what to do;
I’d steal the age-old words of power,
And say a simple ‘I love you.’
I ask you not for commitment,
Although I’d like it if you could
I’ll not be selfish, but…
I prayed forever that you would.
I’ve always wanted to make you hear,
I’ve always needed for you to know;
That you took my world full of a moment of silence,
And caused my love to grow.
Image Source: [http://www.flickr.com/photos/araguim/5169894181/]