The Illusion

The sun was setting leaving the sky full with a plethora of colors. She was returning to her home from a nearby park when she saw his silhouette figure on the bridge. She hesitated for a second but then started walking towards him. He was sitting on his bike like he often did. He liked watching the setting sun. She knew he used to come here when he was stressed and wanted to clear his mind. She tapped on his shoulder and asked,”Faiz, why weren’t you replying to my texts yesterday?”. He didn’t say anything. Instead, with a pitiful smile he just looked at her like he was trying to make a sketch of her face in his mind. She knew he wouldn’t tell her what he was worried about this easily.”I know you’re not gonna tell me what’s wrong but if you’ll tell me then maybe I can help you”,she suggested. He just kept watching the setting sun without saying a word.” Ok you don’t have to tell me anything right now. Meet me at the Ice cream parlor tomorrow, we’ll talk there”. She then, left.

The next morning, Esha was ecstatic to meet Faiz. Its been a long time since they went for an Ice cream together. Her college timings didn’t help either. She wore his favorite outfit even though she hated it but it was a gift from him so she didn’t care. It was a red top with golden lace fitted on both the sleeves. “ If you ever got stranded on an Island and you wore this dress then you’ll be rescued in no time as even the NASA’s satellite will be able to locate you from the outer space” he often joked. She chuckled but also felt sad at the same time. They used to hang out a lot but now they only met on the weekends.

Esha reached the parlor a little early. Faiz was already there. He was wearing the same outfit as the day before, a red t-shirt with a denim jacket, and a pair of blue jeans. Esha knew that he didn’t cared about how he looked as long as it was okay with her. She went to the table and stood in front of him. He looked at her from top to bottom and smiled. “I was expecting something more like a hug but that’ll do”,she said sarcastically. People in the parlor were staring at her but she couldn’t care less. She sat and spoke for hours. Not able to get anything out of him, at last she accepted her defeat and went home.

She reached home and knocked on the door. Her mother opened the door and immediately knew that something was wrong. “Whats wrong baccha?”,she asked. “Faiz is acting strange Maa, i am worried about him”, she answered. “Enough!”, her mother screamed. “You gotta let him go Esha. Your father and I can’t go through this again”.Esha was shocked and scared at the same time.”What happened maa? Why are you so angry?”. Esha’s mother grabbed her arm and started dragging her towards the gate.”Maa you are hurting me, let go of my arm”. Her mother dragged her to the car and shoved her inside. “Where are we going maa?”, Esha said with a trembling voice. Her mother didn’t answer. Esha had never been this scared in her life. It was the first time she saw her mother so angry. After what seemed like a lifetime, her mother stopped the car. As Esha stepped out of the vehicle her eyes widened. She gasped for breath. Her mother helped her to stay on her feet. In front of Esha was a graveyard. Her mother took her to one of the graves. As she reached the grave her words got stuck in her throat. She was speechless. Faiz Alam, the engraving on the tombstone read. “Its been six months Esha”, her mother said as she engulfed her daughter into her arms. Esha cried till her eyes dried out.