Vyshali and Sharan had completed five years of their marriage. They were just back home from their vacation. It was a Monday afternoon and Sharan had gone to work. After completing house chores, and unpacking the luggage, Vyshali wanted to get some rest. She was lying on the bed gazing at her ceiling. She abruptly woke up and walked towards her wardrobe. Vyshali pulled out her wedding album from the shelf.
She slowly flipped through the pages. The album was weighty. A lot was spent on it and new graphics and technology were used in photography. Every picture reminded her of the wedding day and it felt like she was reliving those moments afresh. It brought a smile to her face. Vyshali was happy to see her friends, ex-colleagues, and extended family members and the memories associated with them. Her eyes were damp. After her marriage, she was hardly in touch with anyone. Vyshali realised that time had just gone by so quickly. Suddenly, her eyes fell on a photograph that she hadn’t noticed earlier.
Vyshali muttered to herself “Tarun was at the wedding?.” She took out her cell phone and checked out for him on social media but could not find him. She tried all the permutations and combinations. But her search was futile. Vyshali called her friend Sherya.
” Hello Sherya, how are you doing?”
” I am fine darling. How about you? How have you been doing?
Saw your vacation pictures on social media. You both look great together.
How was the trip?
Ajay and I too have been planning on visiting Cambodia this year end.”
” It was great. You should plan a trip to Cambodia.
Sherya, I called to ask you about Tarun.”
“Tarun?? Tarun from the office? Suddenly today after so many years you are asking me about him?
What’s the matter?”
” I was looking at my marriage album and I noticed him in one of the photographs.
I fail to understand how I missed it earlier.
Today I was carefully looking at each of the photos and I happened to see him. I am surprised.
I called you because you are standing next to him in the picture.
He never met me at the wedding.”
Sherya paused for a few seconds.
” Yes, Vyshali. Tarun was at your wedding.
All of us requested him to come to the stage but he refused. ”
” Refused? Why did he refuse?”
” Tarun liked you, Vyshali. He wanted to express his feelings to you.
He had come to me once and told me about it. He was nervous.
Tarun wanted me to convey it to you.
I encouraged Tarun to express his feelings himself. After a lot of hesitation, he agreed.
You remember, once when we both were sitting in the canteen you came to us and said that you have something important to share?”
“Yes, I do remember. It was an evening tea break.
You and Tarun were having tea.”
“When we asked you what the important news was, you told us that you were going to get engaged shortly.
Before that, Tarun and I were discussing how he would go about telling you his feelings.
He was devastated when he heard about your engagement. He did not want to destroy it for you. Hence, he stepped behind.
Tarun was finding it difficult to work in the office and hence he had asked for a change in the department.”
” Why didn’t you tell me this earlier, Sherya?”
” Tarun had asked me not to. I had promised him.
You looked so happy and I too thought that it would be best not to tell you about it.
You never mentioned that you had any feelings for him.”
There was silence from both ends.
” Where is Tarun now? ”
” I have no clue about Tarun, Vyshali.
You quit your job after marriage and Tarun also resigned from the company. Since he was in a different department, I never got to meet him often.
On his last working day, he did come to meet me. After that, I have not heard from him.
I did call him but he has changed his number.
I don’t think he is on social media either.”
No one knows about his whereabouts.”
Vyshali and Sherya chatted for a while before they disconnected the call.
After Vyshali had finished her conversation, she looked at the photograph again and recalled the time she had spent with Tarun during the office tea breaks, lunch hours, meetings, and team outings. Vyshali was saddened. She did not have even the slightest inkling that Tarun had liked her. She stared at the photograph for some time. She wondered why she disconnected from him. As she was lost in her thoughts, she heard the doorbell. Vyshali closed the album and answered the door. It was her husband.
” What were you doing, honey?”
” Me? I was looking at our wedding album. ”
” By the way, a new employee has joined the company today. He says he knows you.”
“Who is that, Sharan?”
” Hmmm… His name is Tarun.”
” What? What did you just say?”
” Tarun. When he introduced himself, he also mentioned where he worked previously.
When I asked him if he knew you, he said yes.”
” Do you know him?”
Vyshali was shocked. P
“Yes, yes. She smiled in excitement.”
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