The Reunion

Three months gone and finally the day of reunion arrived. It did seem like a lifetime. Wasn’t it really? I would be seeing her after twenty long years.

My High School Sweet Heart!

Will she remember me? Of course she would, I was her first love and nobody forgets their first love. I still remember her the way she was, different from the other girls. She was beautiful and intelligent. All the boys in the class tried their luck with her but I was finally the one she chose.

We were an odd pair; I was fit but not exactly handsome while she was beautiful beyond comparison. I almost feel I am in love with her again.

I remember her well, because of our last day together. Her father had got a job in another city and her family was leaving our sultry small town for good. She had come to say good bye, I was alone at home. The goodbye started with a hug, drifted to a peck and we ended up on the bed. It was the best thing that I did. Who am I kidding? It was the best thing that happened to me. She guided my hand to places I had only visited in a teenager’s imagination. I did not have the guts to ever do it myself.

My wife of seven years left me because I was just a provider and not a performer. I am mediocre in everything. The only time I experienced passion was my teenage escapade with her and I guess that day she left me scarred for life. I could never enjoy another woman ever again.

I gathered my thoughts and pushed them to the back of my mind. I should not pin too much hope. Moreover I should not behave like a sex starved maniac before her. She is married; she may not even remember our doing after all these years.

I checked myself once again in the mirror; I did look a bit curvy on the edges but still fit for my age. (Thanks to my genes).

I started the car.

I should have taken a cab, what would she think after all these years; all I have is a rundown hatchback. But it was too late.

It was the longest drive back to school. Finally I reached. There was a crowd of unfamiliar faces – some glowing with the power of money, some worn out with life. Small pockets of people were clinging to their own kind. I did not know where to fit.

She was not around.

I tried looking for someone familiar. I saw a hand wave, the class dunce – What was his name? It seemed like he had done really well for himself. I smiled and walked towards him.

“How are you, buddy?” he blurted out loud.

He too could not remember my name.

“I am fine, buddy!” I replied.

“So how is life?” he asked,

“Good,” I replied.

“How is yours?” I asked.

“Good,” he replied.

This was getting awkward when she came to the rescue.

“How are you?” she asked.

“Does she not remember my name?”I thought

“I am fine.” I replied.

“What should I call you now, your pet name Bunny or …?” she smiled.

“Bunny is fine.” I replied. The Dunce had walked away.

I was looking at her face. She was not the one I was waiting for. Beautiful, yes she still was, but her spirit looked dreary. Her lips were parched dry, the cracks broke through her lipstick, and her left eye had a tinge of blue around it, not so cleverly hidden by make-up. She wore a designer dress but it sagged over her body.

She looked at me in the eyes as if telling me not to probe. I realised she was with no one.

I offered my arm for her to hold as we moved around the school grounds. Somehow no one bothered us. We took a glass of wine each and moved to the bench.

“This is where we used to sit, remember.” I remarked.

“Yes, nothing has changed here.” she said and smiled.

I felt more confident than I thought I would. Maybe the fact that she looked so weak and victimised gave my male ego a boost. I admit had she been the way I remembered her, I would have struggled to communicate. The wine had its effect too.

I held her hand knowing she would not let it go. She did not; rather she kept her head on my shoulder. It was like the old days. I could smell her perfume, her hands seemed cold but her breath was warm and intoxicating. I looked around to see if anyone was watching. But everybody was busy weaving their lies of leading the best life of all. Even the dunce had found two lady companions.

I seized the opportunity and kissed her. She did not respond but she did not repel. I was confused.

“Not here.” she said.

“He will kill me if he comes to know.” she said.

And then like magic we drifted away from the reunion to have a union of ours in the car. I knew it was small but she did not complain. She was like a tigress unleashed. By the end of it I was exhausted. Before I realised what happened, I felt a tear drop on my bare chest. I looked at her, she was crying.

“I … I am sorry if I hurt you.” I stammered.

She shook her head. “I haven’t felt so happy in all these years. He hits me so hard … just for pleasure. He is a narcissist.”

She poured out her story of a love gone sour. He was her employer when they started dating and young and naive that she was, they plunged into marriage soon. But all the honey sweet talk and gifts were a lie. Her husband was abusive. He beat her for small mistakes and then for no mistakes and gradually for pleasure.

“Why are you still married to him? Why don’t you leave him?”

“Don’t you understand, he will kill me if he even comes to know I am thinking of leaving him.” she said with a fear in her eyes. I held her, she was shivering with fear. I touched her left eye as if to ask if the bruise was given by him. She nodded.

“Can’t we run away to some other city?” I asked.

“No, he is very powerful. He will hunt us down and kill us. I cannot involve you in my mess.” she shook her head.

“There must be some way I can help you.” I asked.

“No,” she replied bluntly.

“I want to. I still love you.”

I kissed her once again. I felt her body shiver as our naked bodies touched. I had to do something; I just had to do it.

After a lot of convincing, she agreed.

“He goes for a jog early in the morning around 4:30 a.m. It is still dark and no one is in the park except one guard who is always fast asleep at the gate.” she said.

But the next moment she shook her head, “No, forget it. He will kill us both.”

I calmed her, “Don’t worry darling, you will be free from him before you know it.”

I left her at the school grounds before the final dance.

And just like she had said, he was there running, all alone.

I had to do what I had to do. I had blood in my hands but it was for good.

The next day passed uneventful. We did not communicate for the fear of raising any sort of suspicion. I waited till the newspapers got the wind of it and then the theatrics started.

The next day morning the front page was full of details of the gruesome murder.

“Killer Re-union – Tycoon’s wife killed by Ex-Lover!”

A large picture of her in a wedding gown looking as beautiful as ever, with two pictures inset – one of her lying dead in a pool of blood and another of the dunce being arrested by the police. One more picture of the grim looking business tycoon standing in the Armani jogging suit followed at the bottom corner.

“So you have done it.” he had said when I reached the park.

“Yes Sir.” I had replied showing him my blood stained hands.

He was the owner of the firm where I worked. Three months had passed since he came to my desk and said, “I think you know my wife.”

“Yes.” I replied.

It did seem like a lifetime!

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