Ravi and Sarika were sitting on the either side of the clean white sheet; motionless, speechless but full of thoughts – thoughts which raced from one to the next, without giving any clue where they got lost in the whole scheme of things.
He was lying on the floor, resting his both hands back to support his body which would have otherwise fallen down. He scanned around the house looking at the walls and the roof and the floor and the door and the windows. They all look quieter. Quieter than what they all seemed a night before this day when they all were filled with the cacophony of their fights, echoing the hate they would spill off on each other. Could it be the suffocation of that hatred which is responsible for what happened – he wondered. He then fixed his eyes on one end of the white sheet, the end opposite to where she was staring at.
Her lower lip curled itself inside to get wet. Her eyes would have turned into stone if they were not blinked for some more time. She could hear her voices from the last night. She had almost shouted at Ravi, “I want to be free forever. And I want my son to be free… free from the clutches of your failures… free from your anger… your rage… your fucking, miserable life... for god’s sake! I want to take away my son to a life of hope and positivity and happiness…. forever and ever.”
It’s been two months. Their divorce was settled and now they were fighting for their son’s custody. If things would have gone as planned, they would have been sitting in the court room today to hear the verdict. Last night, both tried to argue, as their last chance, before the final verdict… just in case the other would change mind… or heart. No judge. No advocate. No legal hearing. Only their twelve year old son, to their ignorance, was standing behind the closed door, as motionless, speechless and full of random thoughts… as they were now.
She wondered now, what does forever mean?
Rishabh is dead… forever. And beyond death, what else is there… like forever? Feelings? People? Possessions? Life? …not even life. Only death is forever… naturally. Everything else is forced, constructed. If you decide not to talk with someone forever, you force yourself to not to. If you decide not to love someone forever, you force yourself to commit to it… and in our rage to hate each other forever, we went a little too far… so far that we lost our son forever. Was it all about him?
All this while she could hear her voice rise. From low pitch to high. Just like last night. Only that, it was in the head. It appeared as if her thoughts were talking to his, growing over in their heads, as loud as they could, strongly contrasting the silence outside. she felt him saying – No it was all about us. It was always about us. We had almost forgotten that he existed; existed as a person beyond flesh and blood. A person with a mind that might have had hundred questions for us and a heart that would be bleeding with thousand emotions, with what was going around him. But we never really cared.
She moved her eyes from one end towards another in a hope to see Rishabh’s face but got caught by Ravi’s, who had moved away from the face, in a hope to seek a momentary withdrawal from the reality of the moment. When they both met, they could not really decide what was more profound in each other’s – the guilt or the sadness? Hatred? Probably that was long gone, before they could even realize. Sometimes we engage ourselves in a desperate search of that “forever” thing… so intensely that we almost forget what we really wanted for ourselves, for ever.