One Last Time…

Lights were illuminating the city. Cold windy shimmering evening sky.

Last day of the year, was about to say goodbye.

A New Year of new hopes; dreams of better days and togetherness Riya and Arjun had wished for.

This new year, they took a resolution – not to fight on silly things, like they always do. Last year, they had this same resolution but it didn’t work. So, Riya suggested giving a shot again. Well, Arjun is sure – It is not gonna work this time, too.

But, Riya said they are a year older now, much mature. On which Arjun said, “If they are so mature, why shouldn’t they get married or at least have their ‘First Kiss’.”

Riya dismisses his proposal with a serious face and a concealed smile.


Building and Roads, Shops with decorated doors;

Adorned with colours and playful sounds,

People with big smiles walking around.

Last eve of the year was bidding farewell.

Songs of cheer on New Years Bell.

Land, Air, Soil and December breeze,

All sang together ” A Very Happy New Year.”


A man in a white tuxedo and white beard was standing. He looked neat. Gentle. Greeting everyone with a smile on his face.

Riya cluelessly was looking around. Lines of worry was on her face; her eyes looked moist – she was tired of waiting for Arjun.

The Man with a white beard waved at her. He had Balloons Red, Yellow, Orange and Green.

Her eyes questioned Man and he consoled her with a smile and said: “Arjun is here, Don’t worry!”

He handed balloons in his hand to Riya and wished her “Happy New Year!”

She smiled looking at balloons.

She loves balloons. Arjun always teased her how she is obsessed with balloons.

Her face, now, looked relaxed.

She waited a few more minutes sitting on the ground. Balloons were dancing with winds, up in the air in tunes of an ending year.

Dew drops on ground, twinkling lights around,

Beautiful night sky and her beautiful black eyes.

All danced with joy and chuckled

On seeing Arjun.

She sai Ahh… There you are.

“Where have you been?”I was looking for you, said Arjun. Holding her hands close to his heart.

Don’t you dare to do this again? I was scared, he complained.

Then, how did you find me, Arjun?

A man wearing a white suit told me.

Riya, Where you parked the car?

I can’t find it!

Riya… Are you even listening?

Ohh, Arjun…My baby. Forget about the car.

Look, what I brought for you?

This… Ballons! He laughed.

She laughed with him, handing him all the balloons.

What??? Riya…

She could not stop giggling.

I’m not a kid…

Yes, you are my kid Arjun.

Please. I am not.

“Yes…yes.. you are!” she said teasingly and ran away pinching his cheeks.

He chased her.

They can’t stop smiling.

He held her hands. She giggled and giggled.

They looked so happy, even tree branch danced on the tunes of their laughter.

He hugged her from back, holding her hands, curling his arms around her.

The looked at the Black-Blue sky. It looked mesmerizing.

Riya said, “Promise me you will do whatever I say.”

Yes, Ma’am. Promise!

So, you accept these balloons as a New year gift.

Yes, Mam!! As you Say.

Okay. where is my gift Arjun?

What do you want?

Surprise me!

Okay, then.

Close your eyes…Don’t open it.

Do as I say, Riya.

Okay!

Arjun held Riya’s hand as they walk on the streets.

Arjun eyes shined with joy.

Riya whispered, “where are we going?”

Where no one can find us.

I have thought about it. And I collected all my courage.

It is the time.

He tied the balloons on a bench nearby.

Open your eyes, Riya.

Arjun bends on his knees, a red velvet box was in his hands.

It had a beautiful ring.

And he said:

“My day became, night as I dreamt about you all day.

And Nights became day as you shine in my thoughts all Night.

Voice became a melody, and smile became my friend.

Seven colours of the rainbow I see in your name.

Smile, laugh, the warmth of hugs

and Kisses I dream.

MY Life will be this bliss if you say- ‘Yes, My Queen.’

She smiled. This is beautiful.

I wrote it with Pen on my hand so I don’t forget lines.

Aww…My sweet cheater. That is so sweet, Arjun.

A small stone embedded on the ring shined bright but the glow on her face was brighter.

Will you, Marry me, Riya?

She nodded her head with a big smile.

Tears rolled as a pearls of happiness.

The ring shined gorgeously as their love shined that night under the bright blue sky.

She embraced him tight.

He felt her close.

It was the warmth of love tied them with each other.

She sobbed like a child. He smiled at her.

All the fear, shiver and cold disappeared in his arms.

The warmest place was Arjun’s arms for Riya.

She wept like a little girl holding him close.

I love you Arjun. I really do.

I love you too.

They looked in each other’s eyes and the moment stopped.

Love in his heart he holds for years was for this girl His heart said.

His lips smiled catching the glimpse of her beautiful face.

A spell was done on him by her charm, was hard to resist.

Their lips mingled and beats of heart synchronized.

His lips gently embraced hers.

And a spell of Love was all over them.

Her fingers gently brushed his hairs.

And his hands moved in rhythm, caressing her shape.

Slowly…deeply..utterly they were lost in the magic, two lips can create.

Their soul wandered in a different land that felt warm and comfortable.

Loved and blesses were they, holding each other so close.

I kissed my bride. Arjun said.

Riya smirked with tears in her eyes.

Arjun untied the balloon and it freely floated in the sky.

I have to go, Arjun.

Where?

I will drop you…

No no, you stay. I have to walk.

Let me go, please.

I have promised someone, I won’t be late.

I will come with you.

No, you stay here.

Remember no silly fights, Arjun. Do as I say.

Can I go now Arjun? Please.

C’mon. Say Yes with a big smile.

Yes! you can.

Riya looked like a charm, Arjun waved his hand and looked at her walking.

She slowly disappeared from his sight.


His hands are moving.

‘He is responding’ a nurse shouted…

A lady with big round glasses rushed to Arjun’s room.

Arjun. Son, do you hear me?

His eyes were tight shut but he was waving someone.

The right hand was plastered. several bruises were on his face.

Several pictures rolled in his brain in a second.

An evening, balloons floating in the sky, A man with a white beard, Lights decorated around, a girl sitting on the floor holding a bunch of balloons, a ring, a proposal a poem sounds of laughter and a kiss.

At last, he heard a voice saying.

Let me go. I made a promise. I will be late.

His heart paced every memory rolled around.

And he woke up suddenly shouting, “Riya…Riya.

Stop, don’t go…”

Don’t please.

His mom hugged him tight and he started crying. It was hard to control him.

Two nurses and a doctor entered the room.

It was hard to hold him.

He started crying like a child. Mom Riya. She is leaving me.

I just proposed her, and she is leaving me…

I gave her the ring. mom stop her.

His pain and loud cries surrounded the room…

She wore that ring. Mom, she said she will marry me.

This Ring?

Yesss! How do you have this…

It was in your pocket. The nurse gave it to me. The velvet box was crushed during but the tiny stone on the ring was still shining.

He tried to recollect his memories. His head was constantly spinning as he tried to remember.

And he remembered a big lorry hitting their car when they were going to that place where he had planned to propose her for marriage.

Riya was driving mom, where is she?

Where is Riya?? Mom. Mom.

She cried in pain, her mouth didn’t utter a word but tears said it all.

All memories rushed into his head at once- they are walking on a road, holding hands, balloons, his proposal, her smile, and their kiss…

He did not understand.. if the truck hit them before the proposal.

How he proposed?

Was it real or he was dreaming.

He remembered Riya’s face when she wore that ring.

He looked at the ring. The box was damaged…And the stone on the ring looked blurred as tears made his vision unclear.

It was chaos in his mind. He was unsure of everything happening around.

Only one thing was sure and seemed true.

‘ The pain in his heart’

Arjun cried loudly shouting Riya’s name.

His mother and two nurses tried to hold. He sat on the floor just like Riya was sitting waiting for him. He hit his head on the wall. And cried like a child…Mom hugged him. And he shouted in pain.

Take me with you. I will never tease you. I will buy you as many balloons as you want.

I should not have said, yes, when you asked me you are leaving.

Riya take me with you. I will Die…

His mom hugged him tight, her saree drenched with his son’s tear.

The two nurses standing there too console him, looking at his pain…

One said to another, ‘The girl was so pretty a child like a face. I saw her. She died this morning…The nurse had a tear in her eyes…

He was crying like a five-year-old…Saying his mom to bring Riya back and he won’t ask for anything again.

His mother’s helpless face made him more miserable.

He saw a transparent image near the door, looking at him.

It was Riya. She looked white and her image was shining as white glitter.

She smiled looking at Arjun.

She showed him her fingers, an exact image of the ring he was holding, was on her fingers.

She kissed the ring and smiled with innocence at him, for the very last time.

Slowly, that transparent image started fading and soon it disappeared.

Arjun ran to the door, to touch her. It was late, too late.

As he ran close to the door, his hands touched a white glitter, looked like small butterflies with silver wings.

A cold breeze, a fragrance that smelled familiar.

And for the last time, he felt her. He sensed the presence of the girl, whom he always loved, with all his heart.

His Riya around her Arjun.

The last time, the only time.


~Sahil Lakhmani ❤️