I hold the box in my hand and walk towards the balcony. People were yelling around me and there was chaos all around but my mind had just gone numb. The packers and movers' employees were packing all the things in big cardboard boxes and securing them with brown tape. We were moving to our own house tomorrow. A house that we had worked so hard for. The house which was built in front of my eyes and was soon going to house my family of four. My husband and kids were supervising the last minute cleaning of the new house, while it was my task to empty the things of this house so that it can be moved into the new house. I hear a crash behind me and turn to look only to see a glass broken. The guy apologizes but I do not hear anything. I reach the balcony clutching the box tightly. This box was my best kept secret in my marriage of over ten years.
There was nothing special about this box. It was an ordinary teak wood box with carvings on it. The bronze latch was still shiny. I had wrapped it in a silk scarf and hidden it under my set of old sarees that I would never wear. It had remained there all these years, until I had to pack all my things today. I run my hand across the surface of the box and smile. It was ten years since I had seen this box and the thought of it gave me a chill inside. I knew exactly what was inside this box. I had forgotten the existence of this box until now, but looking at it now I knew what it had meant to me then. Slowly I open the latch and lift the lid. It was all there. In varied shades of blue, pink and purple. The papers were still folded neatly and the ink had remained solid all these years. The gentle breeze around stirred them as they tried to leap from the box, waiting to be read. Finally.
I cannot believe that this is what we have come to. I wish you could understand that no matter what happens, I shall be happy only with you. Why are you doing this to me? You are my first love and the love of my life. There is no way that I could forget you. If that is what you are wishing for, then please let that thought off your mind. You are embedded deep into my soul. I can lose myself but not you. You are with me in every step. You are the air I breathe and the colors I wear. You are the rays of the sun and the curve of my smile. I cannot live without you. Do not do this to me. Please.
The pink paper remained in my hand for a while as I was lost in the weight of those words. After a minute I fold it and return it back to the box, only to pick the blue one.
I can't believe that you just left me and vanished. It has been three months since I heard from you. Was I that easy to forget? I know that you wanted to move away and become something. You dreamt of the riches, while I dreamt about you. Your ambitions overshadowed my love. I guess that is why it was easy for you to let go off so soon. Was it? Or do you still ache for me the way I do? Do you still think about me when you check for the morning messages on your phone? Or is the thought lost behind the crowd of your dreams of which I clearly am not a part of. I hate you for what you did to me. But fortunately for you, my love is so strong that it envelopes and erases the hate. How am I expected to forget you? How am I expected to stop loving you? I cannot. I'd rather die, than do that. Help me. Atleast do that.
My hands shivered as I felt a tear drop down my cheek. Its scary what memories can do to you. Love always leaves something behind. No matter what. The sun shone bright and the pink sparkled in my hand. I fold it and sit down on the lone plastic chair that was left on the balcony. The sky looks clear and pleasant. The perfect weather to move to a house with a garden. A garden to make new memories. A garden to plant new seeds of thought and desires. A garden that has no room for the old. I take a deep breath and take purple page and unfold it.
I'm in pain, my dear. My heart is bleeding as I write this. Tomorrow is the beginning of the end for me. I'm going to marry another man. Exactly the way you wanted it to be. But remember one thing, I'm sacrificing my life for you. I shall never love my husband as that place in my heart is reserved for only you. Life shouldn't have been this cruel to me, but I know that there is little that I can do now. My parents are happy and are busy preparing for the wedding. You should see the gold jewellery that they have bought for me. Some of it are embellished with rubies and emeralds. Its beautiful and I know that it will look good on me. I wish that you could see me all dressed up. But sadly it is too much to ask. I shall always love you my dear, always.
The honking of a car brings me back from my reverie. I hear squeals of laughter and endless giggles. I look down to see my husband and my twin girls jumping around in joy. The twins are very excited about having separate rooms of their own. My husband wants us to try for a third child. The new house was the perfect start for a lot of new beginnings. They find me on the balcony and wave excitedly. I slowly wave back as they rush to make their way upstairs into my arms. I look at the letter in my hand and realize how little it means to me now. I expected to be carried away by the wind of thought into some memories that I had let go off long ago. But nothing of that sort happened. Yes, I do remember the feelings behind those letters as well as the face of the recipient. But that is all there is to it. It is just a face of somebody that I once was in love with. With time, the love was gone and so was the memory.
I place the letter back in the box and wrap it with the same peacock blue silk scarf. I walk inside and place it in the box that reads clothes. I then cover the box and assist the guy to secure it with tape. Of course I would carry this to my new house. Not because it means something to me. But because one day when my girls are ready, I shall show this to them. To make them realize that the end of one love story is not the end of the world. I want my girls to experience love and enjoy it. I do not want them to mope over heartbreaks and get cynical about love. I want them to move on, just the way I did. I want them to know that one fine day, every love story feels like the first love. Just like the love that I feel for my husband. I walk downstairs to meet my family halfway with just one thought in my mind. I'm glad that those letters were left unsent.