The Doting

It was a new night with the old pain. Jack lay tossing on the bed. Memories that just won’t fade away tormented him in the sleepless hour. How he wished to go and tell Diane that he had at last reconciled. But, would Diane understand? The anticipation of her reaction shrouded over him like an unresolved shadow. The bed side lamp was still on, lighting up the night stand in a warm, yellow glow. The clock ticked away. With every tick, it was another era of reaching late; another negligence; another crash of the dream that Diane had dreamt of and had shared so trustingly with Jack.

Walking out to the balcony, Jack looked up at the moon that shone down. Even though he might have seemed to be engrossed observing the listless moon, I could tell that his mind was there, with Diane. He was wondering when he could call her next, and the thought frightened me to an unfathomable extent.

Over the past few weeks I have learnt to understand Jack so well, once again, that it felt like the old days when I could read his every thought with an enviable acumen. It was crushing to know what he was going through now. And the fact that I was not a part of it, made the feeling even more unbearable. How difficult is it to live with one you love and yet stay so far off in his thoughts; while another one, who is so far away invades that territory as if she has always belonged there – in my place. A wave of jealousy sank in. Why would he not talk to me about it, when things are so apparent? Of  course I will understand. However, I wanted Jack to come up to me and tell all about it. I would wait.

It had been seven long years since he had seen Diane, and, maybe so it haunted him so much. What would he tell her? He had been away from me for almost an equal length of time, but over the past few weeks destiny intervened as we met at a quaint little cafe while holidaying in Italy. Diane was not there. She is very young, unlike me. She is a mere student at the MIT and she usually never goes out with people of my age group. Though, she had always made an exception when it came to Jack. She loved to travel with Jack.

Nonetheless, as Jack stares out, my thoughts catapult back to the deli where I met Jack after so long. Deep down I knew that I was thankful that Diane was not there. Had she been there, I know, he and I would only exchange the usual pleasantries that two perfect strangers usually do. I know that all his attention would have been on Diane had she been there, and I cannot blame him. Diane is so very beautiful, and she charms every time she talks. I admit to have found myself to be quite enchanted by her presence sometimes. But, thankfully nothing of that sort happened and here I am, with Jack in his love nest, spending days with him and watching him drown further into the oblivion of his contemplation of guilt and pain. He had stopped staring at the moon. Has he procrastinated it further, I wonder? I want him to talk about what irks his beautiful mind, for I love him and I find everything about him charming once again; and just as a love sick swain I cannot bear the thought of him plummeting into a dark pit of sorrow, even though he chose to walk out on me seven years back, leaving our seven year old Diane without a second glance. He has redeemed himself, I can see that now; and at last he asks, “Hannah, should we call our little princess to tell her you are not returning from Italy alone?”

Ankita Ghosh