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Of All The Shades Of Love…

I. Her

Tonight, I am cracking my ribs open. I want to reach out into my chest and bring out that throbbing fuc*er that’s hardly beating to keep its home alive. I want to take that pounding bomb that ticks hard for and takes off running after the object of its passion, even as I am left breathless in keeping up, and look it in the eye. Tonight, I am chasing it yet another time, as it leads me unto you and attempting to understand just why it yearns for you so, loves you so. Just why we are meant to be.

Because this goddamn motherfuc*er convinces me we are.

We are meant to be.


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Every time I rip apart my being to let out the deep breaths I have been holding in or untie the knots in my smile to allow the lumps in my throat to blast off, I can feel it.

We are meant to be.

So what if the universe spews threats at our togetherness? So what if the world does not accept our love? So what if the stars remain transfixed, even as we wish upon them to grant us this one thing?

Love is enough, my heart hurls back at the cosmos.

Our love truly is.

I know because I have known the times when it just isn’t.

As I allow myself to fall into you, knowing you are all my wishes come true at once, I know I’m right.

As I lie spent in your arms, waiting for the morning sun to spill its golden kiss upon tangled sheets, I feel certain. I feel certain, because our fears are, often, the confirmation of our deepest, most honest desires. And YOU are mine.

Suggested read: You and I … in this beautiful world

II. Him

I know you’ve had your doubts. I know you’ve wondered, and often, if what we have isn’t a sort of madness. A madness so frightening it knocks the breath out of your lungs, a madness so wild it threatens to swallow you whole, a madness so intense it washes over you like life in its last moments.

But don’t you find yourself running towards it instead of far and away?

And doesn’t it feel like home?


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

I know I’d never write myself in stone on the door of your heart, or be the only knock it answers- but I will take of you what I can and make it mine and mine alone. I will bring alive the smiles you wished upon stars and candles and coins, if only to make you believe again.

Tonight, I have.

III. This Is THEIR Love Story


It was her sixth marriage anniversary. As she stared long and hard at herself smiling in her wedding pictures, she wondered where that smile had gone. Six years had passed since that day and this, and the memory of that happiness did nothing save rip the scab of her hollow marriage open, until she bled out all of her wedded life and showed his name as a scar. She sat up, as she heard the keys rattle and the doorknob turn.

“You’re waiting up again?” he shouted, making no discernible attempt to mask his annoyance.

“I made dinner,” she said, drawing her lips into a smile, “all your favorite things.”

“You don’t have to, we’ve got people drawing salaries for that,” he replied, feigning concern.

She knew better than to buy into his poorly-disguised indifference. “I just thought it’d be nice to break routine today,” she said and walked away. As the husband looked at his cell phone to check what ‘today’ really was, she ordered for her food to be brought in to her room.

The day would be routine, after all.

Suggested read: You are not meant to forget him


This was their second vacation this year. “Surefire way to get that zing back, man,” someone had told him at the office. What a fool he’d been to believe the fool! Thirty grand and a haggled-for leave down, he was standing in a foreign land, posing with his wife, yet feeling all alone. Of course, his heart reminded him that he loved her. That love should be enough! But deep in the hollow of places he didn’t want to explore, he knew it wasn’t.


It used to be, when his heart filled his soul with life just as the spring air brought the trees to a blossom. But the spring times in his heart stood defeated by the starkness of winter, ever since his wife had ceased to be the rain. His parched soul knew nothing of bringing back the star-laden skies, because his partner seemed content to be in the darkness.

If only she’d stop walking in the shadows, he knew he’d take her by the hand and lead her into the sun. For it was just a step away.


He looked up from his cup of coffee, like half a dozen other customers, as the door swung open heralded by a blast of cold wind. Unlike the outside, the interior of the café was warm and cheery with bright lights and colorful walls. While everyone else returned to their conversations as the door swung closed behind the new entrant, he kept looking at the woman who just entered. There was something about her eyes that carried remnants of the cold breeze. Her eyes had a glare that was freezing his bones, even as he wrapped his hands around his daily cup of oblivion. Only today, it wasn’t working. He couldn’t drown his marital troubles in that steaming swathe of cream, when this woman’s presence was cutting into his skin, like a chunk of ice would, if he were braving a hailstorm. He couldn’t quite place the reason, yet he felt like knowing it would, somehow, relieve him. As the woman ordered for a cup of extra strong to go, he headed to the counter and placed his own to-go order.

On his table, his daily cup remained, untouched.


woman traveling_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

He saw her again, the next day and the next. He observed her carefully- noticing every little detail about her, from her cold, unforgiving stare to her neat coiffure, and kept wondering why he felt so drawn towards her. After all, he was married. He loved his wife and even though they hadn’t shared a loving moment in ages, he couldn’t just pursue a strange woman because he felt a mysterious connection with her, deep within his soul.

He decided to take the day off and walk home. He stopped by the departmental store and bought his wife’s favorite candy. He took the old route on the walk back home, allowing a long-standing wall crumbling with age to greet him. He traced the cracks and pits made by seasons of rain and hail with his right hand, as his left one tightened involuntarily around the packet of candy bars, making the wrappers crinkle. They had seemed like such a great idea at the store, something they’d eaten back when they were just two spotty teens floating paper boats in puddles. What if she didn’t want these now? What if the cracks in their relationship had turned dry like the sidewalk weed? What if she wasn’t the girl who loved these little things anymore?

His heart knew the answers. But he chose not to listen.

That night, he found the packet unwrapped in the freezer.


The next morning turned out to be anything but routine. He wasn’t looking for the mysterious coffee-woman anymore, when she plopped herself into one of the chairs on his table, excusing herself for the weekend rush. He gave her a polite smile and went back to staring at his cup.

“Anything I’m missing there?” she asked, attempting, clearly, to make small talk.

“Nah, nothing. Coffee and I go way back,” he said, forcing a chuckle at his own poor joke.

“In that case, I bet that humor stands dated too,” she laughed.

couple on a date_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pinterest

And in that one moment, the icy surface of her eyes melted over- and he saw something solemn swimming in there. The despairing chill that robbed them of their once-held warmth was heartbreaking and their blue held a truth that her smile couldn’t hide. He wanted to reach out, take her hand and ask her what vexed her so, but he knew he had to take his time.

Something inside him told him that the universe had conspired to bring two unhappy souls together- so they could fill their cups with a li’l compassion! Little did he know that their cups were about to overflow with so much more!


Coffee mornings slowly give way to planned lunches and shared rides back home. They were drawn to each other, and it was getting tough to fight back the lack in their own lives that this connection filled. Their bond was a heady mixture of alcohol and fire, yet came to them on rocks- just so it could take the keen edge off the hard liquor and lethal fire.

Of course, they had their weak moments. She even brought her husband to the café to break it to him. As their knees had touched under the narrow table, she wanted to tell him, gently. He deserved the truth, she had reasoned earlier in the day with her lover, and as she rehearsed her conversation another time in her head, she could tell he knew something was amiss. She could see the sadness well in his eyes, as she had so many times in the past few months, and waited for him to place the order. Even after so many years and countless missed opportunities to dine out, he knew exactly what she wanted. Perhaps, that’s why she should leave. And exactly why she should stay.

She knew she couldn’t undo the years she had shared with the man she took for her husband. She couldn’t just leave.

Somewhere in the distance, her lover learnt the same thing.

Suggested read: Why your love story may have reached the end, but your love is fated to BE


For months, they grappled between reason and feeling. The former always seemed to overrule emotion but the stubborn heart always found a way of disputing the verdict. The hearing stretched on, as the lovers found themselves leaning onto the side of emotion, hoping the final verdict to be in its favor. They knew that the messy, complicated trial would be worth it- if they could just rip apart the worlds they’d built to become each other’s homes. They knew that they were worth it, that their love was worth it. But they couldn’t just bring their hearts to break the ones they’d once made homes of.

They couldn’t quite reason what had happened between them, but counted on each other to tell them what it meant. They didn’t look for loud answers- just a whisper. A secret spilled on the lips, just enough so they knew it tasted like love. Pure, unadulterated love. A love that fluttered on the tongue and let butterflies loose in the cave of one’s throat. A love that was pure and tainted, both at once. A love that’d stop inducing guilt. A love that was pure and untainted, in a guilt-free way.

How many could say they’d found such a thing? How many can experience the pulsing delight of finding something they never went looking for, but really needed?

They had and they knew they weren’t going to let it slip away.

And the answers were right in front of them. They simply had to look harder.

They had each other to love- and they could use it to build on the love they had once lived, but lost on the way.


That night, as they kissed each other goodbye- they left a home to reach another. Sliding into the arms of their spouses, they knew that they didn’t need the edge of another universe to belong. They didn’t need another world to not have their souls questioned. Their souls are answered in the arms of those it loves- and they are blessed to have two such people.

Time changes everything. Situations. Places. Even people.

Maybe cooking someone their favorite meal doesn’t cut it anymore. Maybe candy doesn’t get the blood gushing to someone’s cheeks now.

But what time alters, time alone can repair.

couple talking_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pinterest

They swore to give their marriages as much time as they’d give one another- so they could see if their spouses felt the way they did. After all, remembering the little details about someone doesn’t count for naught. And they learnt that love remains where it once was, growing in the cracks and pits of crumbling walls- waiting to sprout a flower here and there, if only one dispelled the clouds and brought in sunshine.

Suggested read: How I am getting over you


Not all relationships outside of marriage have their corners rounded so well, but these two stumbled and fell headlong into each other- only to fall deeper and harder for the ones they’d already fallen for! And that’s exactly why it is meant to be!

And there, the heart rests its case!

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
Of All The Shades Of Love...
What happens when you chance upon love, in a place you weren't looking?
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."