I can see love dying.
I can hear its last ragged breaths, smell its rotting essence.
I can see love dying; these are my hands that strangle it.
It was premeditated. Each aspect had been carefully planned, there was no scope for errors. The suitcase packed, money withdrawn from the bank, the cab ordered. The escape route was in place.
Her hand shook as she picked up the pen to write the farewell note. She repeated the mantra, her friend and fellow conspirator had given her, "I will not throw away my life", over and over again. She hated herself for doing this; for running away from her husband of six years. But so much had changed over time.
They had been in college when they had met and gotten smitten with each other. A whirlwind courtship had been followed by the wedding two months after their graduation. In those initial days they had been so in love: they had seemed to live on sly glances and covert caresses until they made it to the privacy of their bedroom at the end of the day. Then they'd make exquisite love. These days they got back from work, ate in silence and moved to the bedroom. He watched the news, she read and then they both fell asleep.
It wasn't as if he was cruel. He never hurt her, not even a harsh word. It was the politeness bordering indifference that got to her. She did not want to spend the rest of her life stuck in this uneventful rut. And so she was leaving. It was all planned. She would stay a week with her friend, the co-conspirator, while she worked the last week of her notice period. She had put in her papers last week itself. And then she would take a long vacation, travel the world, catch up on some of the excitement missing in her life. If only she could get herself to write the farewell note.
The doorbell rang.
It was time, the cab had come. Freedom beckoned, but she stood transfixed, still clutching the pen. All she had to do was scribble a goodbye and walk away from this monotonous, mindless motion of life. She just stood still. She couldn't do this. She had loved and lived with a man for six years, she couldn't walk out on him and on their love. There had to be another way, one that didn't need their marriage offered at the sacrifice alter. She would talk to her husband. They would work it out, maybe take the vacation together. She had to give their love another chance. She sent the cab back and went inside to unpack. Her husband needn't know about the temporary lapse in her judgement.
She heard the front door open, her husband was back from home. She decided to greet him at the door. It was then that she heard the voice, unexpected and all too familiar.
"Thanks to me she would have left by now. We don't have to worry about any interruptions tonight"
She walked into the hallway to find the husband and the friend inextricably entwined.
I saw love die.
I heard its last ragged breaths, smelt its rotting essence.
I saw love die; they buried it next to me.