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Three decades of love

It was January 2014, when Ajay proposed to the love of his life. “Will you marry me?” he asked Sameera. Even though he knew the answer, his heartbeat like a drum. After all, that’s what happens when you’re in love.

“On one condition,” Sameera said, her eyes twinkling, “You will always be by my side, till the day I die.” Ajay promised her, and the young couple tied the knot. The rest of the night, they danced to the tune of Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight.

The year was 2024. Ajay had started losing his hair, and Sameera had gained a few pounds. A lot had changed since their marriage, but their love was still warm and beautiful like summer rain.

By 2044, the world had become quite different than it used to be three decades ago. And with time, Ajay and Sameera’s relationship had changed too. They now argued and yelled at each other all the time, more like opponents, not partners.

Most of the nights they slept in different rooms, cursing and swearing in whispers. The memories of love and togetherness were 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 got diagnosed with a terminal illness. Despite their differences, the news shattered Sameera. She cursed herself every day—she blamed herself for wishing it upon him. The burden of guilt and pain was too heavy to carry for her. And just like that, in a matter of months, Ajay was gone.

One night, while Sameera was lost in reverie, she heard Ajay’s voice. At first, she thought it was her imagination, but the voice called out to her again.

It was an audio note from her laptop.

Knowing 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 that he couldn’t while he was still alive. In the audio, he apologised for not being there for her, but most of all, for breaking his promise to always be by her side. The message ended with a song, the same song to which they had danced on their wedding night.

As the song played, all the loving memories rushed back to Sameera’s mind. Sitting on the corner of her bed, she felt as if Ajay was sitting next to her. And from that night onwards, she always felt his presence, till the end of her days.


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