It was in January 2014 when Ajay had proposed to the love of his life. “Will you marry me?” he asked Sameera. Even though he knew the answer, his heart was beating out of his chest.
“On one condition,” Sameera said, her eyes twinkling, “You will always be by my side, till the day I die.” Ajay made his promise, and the couple tied the knot. After the ceremony, they danced the night away to their favourite song.
The year was 2024. Ajay had a receding hairline, while Sameera had gained a few pounds. A lot had changed since their marriage, but their love was still warm and beautiful like the summer rain.
By 2044, the world had become quite different than it was three decades ago. With time, Ajay and Sameera’s relationship had changed too. They now argued and yelled at each other all the time, more like opponents, and not partners.
Most nights they slept in different rooms, cursing and swearing under their breath. The memories of love and togetherness became blurred by their resentment and bitterness for each other. “Why did I marry her?” Ajay would wonder. “I wish he goes somewhere and never returns,” Sameera often prayed.
In the end, it was Sameera’s prayer that got answered. The following year, Ajay was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Despite their differences, the news shattered Sameera. She blamed herself every day for wishing it upon him. The burden of guilt and pain was too heavy for her to carry. And just like that, in a matter of months, Ajay was gone.
One night, while Sameera was lost in thoughts, she heard Ajay’s voice. At first, she thought it was her imagination, but the voice called out to her again.
It was from an audio note on her laptop.
Knowing that his time had come, Ajay had recorded a message for his wife, scheduled to be mailed a month after his demise. He wanted to share something with her that he couldn’t when he was still alive. In the audio, he apologised for not being there for her, but most of all, for breaking his promise of always being by her side. The message ended with the same song to which they had danced on their wedding night.
As the song played, all the loving memories of Ajay rushed back to Sameera’s mind. Sitting on the corner of her bed, she felt as if Ajay was sitting right next to her. And from that night onwards, she always felt his presence till the end of her days.