That night, as I sat holding her hands in the massive room of a place, I never wanted to visit, with the only sound of the ceiling fan creaking above me, I felt something wet trickle down my eyes. Finding no escapade from the ill fate that had doomed over us, I closed my eyes to allow my emotions to rescue. They were once very precious for the one lying next to me, all unconscious. But now, since I had no wish to hold them back, I let them free to dribble from my red, swollen eyes.
“Why on Earth did I ask her to take an Auto that day? Why wasn’t I there to pick her up as usual?” I blamed myself for not being there for her when she told me she wasn’t in a good mood. It was easy to blame but it was hard to believe. Though I have a trillion times told her that I don’t need her in my life, but the underlying truth that I failed to mention was that without her, my life has always been incomplete. She gave me a reason to smile. But she would succumb to the first remark so easily, I never knew.
“Mr. Desai. It’s very late. You can go and have some sleep. We will take care of your wife.” Suddenly a comforting voice perturbed my thoughts. I looked back and found an old nurse, standing right behind.
“Thank you Sister. But I guess, we both require each other right now than anyone else.” I managed to fumble.
“It’s okay if you say so. But you seem too drained out. I suggest you go and have some rest, while we stay here.” The nurse offered.
“Rest? That is what I have been doing that day”. I remembered as I wiped my eyes, still holding on to her lifeless hands.
“No, thank you. I would like to stay behind.” I replied and watched as the nurse left, closing the door behind her. The silence in the room once again killed me from within. It had never been like this with my wife around. She had always been the backbone of my life but unfortunately, I had been too late to tell her all this. It had been ages since I told her that I loved her. Her cold, inert body lay there, right next to me and I could feel the pain that she went through when I stopped talking to her. She told me I was her life. I failed to tell her. I looked at her face, which was once full of love and life. The love still seemed intact but there was no trace of life.
It was 12 midnight when I dozed off, thinking about all the times that we shared. Her hands, held on to mine and my fingers clasping in between the fingers of her soft hands. Few years back, I had promised to take care of her while tying the auspicious knots. A little while later, a soft knock on the door woke me up. It was 4 am. My girl was shivering, like a trembling leaf she was holding me tight. I froze for a second and Rushed to call for the Doctor on the instructions of the staff nurse who had by then come up for a routine check up. All I could hear was a frantic QUICK.
It took quite a while to locate a doctor on duty. Room No. 402. I rushed in through the door behaving like a maniac. I begged the doctor to save her. There were still so many things left unsaid. I couldn’t just let her go like this. I badly wanted to tell her that I loved her, in spite of all the trivial fights between us. I wanted to tickle her once and see her laughing. I wanted to whisper “You are mad” in her ears and watch her whimpering. I so badly wanted to tell her that I am Incomplete without her. I don’t know how to manage my wardrobe without her. I don’t know how to clean up the room without her. I forget my wallet and socks every day, if she isn’t there around to tell me. In all these years of our marriage, I had learnt to be dependent on her. I had learnt to be a sensible chap. I had learned to love her. What I haven’t learned was to live life without her and I wanted to tell her all this. It was muteness that enwrapped me as I watched the doctors trying their best to provide her with the last breath. They pumped her chest to bring back life in a body that was making its way to heaven abode. I sat on my knees as her eyes turned towards me. I had never felt so helpless before. I was watching her leave. If only I could. I rushed to her and clenched her hands. They felt like ice. I frantically kissed her, begging her all the mercy for that day until I found people dragging me away. Away from her. Away from my life which was lifeless now. Her eyes still smiled at me. There was nothing left of her or in her. The people, they tried to calm me down as I watched rooted, her body being covered in white.
“Mr. Desai. Please control.” I heard the people say as I rushed to hug her. “I am sorry. Please come back. Please come back”
“Take him outside. We need to move the corpse.” The doctors said.
“No. She isn’t a corpse. She is still alive. She is there with me and she will be coming back for me. My wardrobe is all messed up, you know. She knows I can’t do it alone. She knows it.” Was the only thing that I could manage to fumble.
As tears rolled down my cheeks, I remembered her last words, the thing that she said to me just before rushing her to the hospital “Don’t ever cry if I am not there, you know I can’t see tears in your eyes”.
“You promised you won’t leave me alone. You broke it” I murmured, wiping off the trickling drops on my cheeks. “ But I will keep your words. No more will I cry but you forgot to teach me life without you.” The series of events on that fatal day flashed before me. A Monday morning, rush on road, I denied to pick her up and she went hiring an Auto, the accident, the frantic phone call..................and Her last wish.