It was a beautiful night. The moon's reflections on the water made it seem as though strands of silver were floating in an invisible dark time warp. The fish jumped up occasionally and the moonlight made them look silver too.
The trees in the distance swayed in the midnight breeze adding to the comfortable chill in the air. They looked like dark dancers dancing to an unknown rhythm of the nature, the occasional leaf falling off down to settle down on the silvery threads of the river flowing to an unknown destination.
The silvery full moon played hide and seek with the stars, darting behind clouds randomly, leaving the two in alternate flashes of moonlight and darkness.
They sat together at the banks of the river, her legs playing in the water .... causing silvery ripples in the night. The sound of her anklets mingling with the gushing sound of the river, making it seem as though it wasn't her, but the river who wore anklets and walked in the night.
He sat next to her. In a distance that could be covered by a mere stretch of the hand. His trousers were folded up carefully, so as to avoid the dampness. His shirt was unbuttoned, lending to the ruggedness he already possessed.
Such was a scene, you could paint the scene and it would be picture perfect, two lovers sitting on the banks of the river on a full moon night. Calm, serene and lovely.
Not all stories that begin with sceneries, a him and a her are love stories though.
Not all outward signs of serenity are calm deep down.
The arm never stretched out to touch him, he never turned to look at her.
The calm surroundings posed a fine paradox with the turmoil within. Tear drops fell from her eyes unto the river, or wait ... was the river a result of her tears? One could never know.
They sat next to each other, each lost in their own thoughts. Neither knowing what the other was thinking.
She broke the silence. She had to. The night, the calm, the silence, the sounds of the river was getting to be too much.
"I love you"
It was barely heard in the sounds of the river and her anklets. It was barely heard above the shouting thoughts that filled their minds.
He turned towards her direction, not entirely looking at her.
This was not the conversation he wanted it to be. He wanted to say something entirely different.
She could never understand what he was about to say. She would never understand.
"I need your permission. I need to leave for the monastery"
She started. How could he? He was supposed to be here, with her. He had to take care of her. Did he not understand, she was now his responsibility? He had to fend for her, protect her from the evil that was this world. How could he go to the monastery?
Words failed her. Tears flowed down the cheeks unchecked.
There was a day when he would wipe away the tear and kiss them. Today was not going to be one of those days.
She found herself speaking. It seemed so detached, this voice of hers, almost as though it wasn't her talking.
" Why do you need my permission?"
" Because, I need to allow the people in this life to sever myself from them, if I have to move to that life."
"Oh, not because you love me?"
His eyes blurred. The sense of longing held him in its grip. Clearly lost between his love and his sense of duty, he had to steel himself before he could reply.
The moon hid himself in the clouds again, the water rippled, angry at having lost the chance to flirt with the moonlight.
"Love has no place now. I have had enough. I want to seek my solace with my divine mother."
"So you don't want me anymore?"
"Ive got initiated by my Master already."
" You did not think of asking me?"
" I will need to leave in a couple of days"
Suddenly anger seeped into her. Mindless anger driven by utmost inexplicable grief. She wanted to lash out at him, maybe throw him into the deep waters there, jump into the waters herself.
Numb with anger, she felt the need to hurt him as he was hurting her now. Her eyes flashed and the intensity with which she banged her hand on the granite at the river bank made her bangles break and cut her wrists.
He did not as much turn towards her. She had loved him like no other, trusted him with herself and her heart, now how dare he throw everything to winds? Anger, and more anger.
"I have got a job in Australia"
Now, she had played her trump card.
Now, he jerked her head towards her. The tables had turned. Now it would not be her who would be pleading him to stay, she was leaving.
"I'd applied. I'm leaving in a week."
"You did not inform me?"
"My visa is done. Ive gone through the formalities already. They are offering me a good career opportunity"
"You thought I was not fit enough to know?"
Questions and answers unrelated to each other.
Anger and sorrow.
Love and Grief.
Moonlight night and flaming hearts.
Teary eyes and dried up emotions.
Taut with rippling emotions, each held the other in their arms, feeling nothing but a mass of flesh as stiff as cardboard.
Resolutely walked back whence they'd come.
The girl resolving to never love again.
The boy resolving never to return to "this" world from his monastery again.
The river continued its coy flirting with the moon, the stars continued to play hide and seek amongst the clouds, the wind continued to ruffle the leaves of the playful trees, it was time yet before dawn broke.
Not every story ends up fine. Not every story leaves behind a moral. Not every story's lessons are learnt. Not every insights gained from the story is acted upon. Not every moment is love.