As he held her in his arms, she felt herself disregard everything; the pain, the wait or even the anxiety of whether she had exceeded her tenets by a whisker. If only that one moment would last for eternity.
Her intestines cringed with anticipation of the likely outcome as seconds ticked past and nothing happened. They just stood looking at each other in a peaceful frigid land.
One hundred steps it was.
And now for the first time Nysa realised that she had been so absorbed in attaining the goal, so focused in getting to him, that the thought of what she may say when she met him never occurred to her at all. Somehow the feat itself had seemed so incredibly challenging that her imagination never chanced upon her course of action once it had been accomplished.
But the moment had arrived and she didn’t know what to say. What puzzled her though was the look on his face. Marquiz didn’t quite bear a questioning expression. It was rather a knowing gaze. How come?
He had seen her from the time she was a chirpy little girl with wide eyes that wondered at every little mystery of life, to the time she had grown into a demure young woman who lowered her gaze every time a piece of history about him was related. From the time she had looked at him; looked and looked with starry eyes, unaware that he had looked back.
He had known it all along. And he had yearned for her, just as she had for him.
It wasn’t meant to be, he had often thought;He was just another soul lost in space, he had often thought; His love was feeble and handicapped, he had often thought....but he hadn’t accounted for what her love could do for him.
If he was her prize, she was his pride.
As she stuttered to how she may open a sentence and what best to say, he placed his hand on her lips. He fretted what silence had spoken for so many years; words may under cast living up, to the same eloquence.
The feat having been completed, the spell broke and they found themselves in the same old cave. She had brought him back with her. The person she wanted to introduce to her father, the person she loved, the only person she had ever dreamt of a ‘happily ever after’ with.....
Marquiz couldn’t help but endear her restrained vulnerability; and held out her tiny slippers for her...... The ones she couldn’t have done without in the past, the ones she had forgotten all about now. To her soft smile, he melted feeling like the luckiest man ever to have lived.
And yet again, the same thought crossed his mind,
“Main to mar jaaoo agar sochne lag jaaoo usey
Aur woh kitni sahoolat se mujhe sochti hai
Kitni khush-fahem hai wo shakhs ke har mausam main
Ek naye rukh, nayi soorat se mujhe sochti hai
Main to mehdood se lamho main mila tha us-se
Phir bhi wo kitni wazahat se mujhe sochti hai!”*
*sahoolat- convenience, khush-fahem- optimistic, rukh- face, soorat- form, mehdood- constrained, lamho- moments, wazahat- in a detailed/ meticulous way.
Rinaya Jena for tagging me at ‘time travel’