He lay there on his back, waiting for her to arrive, as he did on every Sunday, staring into nothingness, waiting for her to look down at him and say those words…..those words, which made him feel the most loved person in the world.
The park used to be a deserted piece of land, with a well in the middle of it, a bit on the outskirts of the small but rapidly developing industrious village.
The people from the village used to draw water from that well till the village started getting a pipeline water supply.
Over the years, he had watched the village grow into a town and then develop into a midsize city. A few years back someone had built a park at this place and since having an open well in the middle of the park would be dangerous, they had closed it with an iron mesh so nobody would fall in by mistake.
He ran his fingers through his hair looking up in the sky, at the sun, far far away. She would be here soon.
It had been almost five years now and she had never missed their date.
Every week, without fail, she would come there on Sunday. She would spend atleast a few hours there with him. They would just stand there looking at each other. Then she give him a rose….from her own garden…. and go back. Every Sunday…..Without Fail.
Infact this was where they had first seen each other.
They both were from the same village, but his parents had taken him, as a boy, and moved to a close by city in search of better prospects.
He grew up in the city and came back to the village only to see if he could sell off his parent’s small house in the village, after they had passed away in an unfortunate accident.
It wasnt as if he needed the money. He had gotten himself a good education and had a stable well paying job. But he didnt see any sense in keeping the village house.
He had decided to camp in the village till he managed to make a deal on the house, though in those days, this wasnt such an easy thing to do.
His house was not very far from here, so he used to come often to the well and sit besides it in the shade of the one lone tree that stood there.
That was when he first saw her.
She had come to the well with some of her friends. It was her giggle that had made him look up towards them and thats when he had noticed her and there he sat mesmerized by her face.
He just sat there and watched her as she laughed, smiled, talked, whispered conspiratorily with her friends. His eyes never leaving her, taking in every bit of her.
Her pearl shaped eyes which sparkled whenever she laughed, her long sleek fingers as they brushed the hair away from her shapely neck.
She caught him staring at her and their eyes met for one brief moment as she hastily looked away, furtively sneaking another glance at him.
He smiled at her as she looked at him again. She quickly looked away but he could have sworn she blushed. Her cheeks went pink and he couldnt help but grin.
He stood staring at her even as she walked away with her friends, his eyes on her back, watching the alluring sway of her hips.
That was when she turned back to look at him and smiled.
He felt he had died and gone to heaven. He had fallen head over heels in love with her at first sight.
He stood floored to the spot as she disappeared from his sight and he suddenly realised that he had no clue about who she was.
He had to find her…..
He spent the next few days enquiring about her discretely in the village.
He found out that she was the daughter of one of the richest landlords in the village. A large family with lots of siblings and uncles and aunts. They owned more than half the fields around the village. Her brother was the village Sarpanch and they were responsible for everything that happened in the village. A very well respectable and affluent family.
She was way out of his league….. but he was not going to go down without a try.
He had pursued her, followed her, almost stalked her, wherever she went. To the temple, to the market, to the shops where she tried on bangles of different colors on her slim wrists.
Usually she was accompanied by someone from her family and she carefully ignored him. But when she was with her friends, she gave him a smile. That same smile which made him feel like he was in heaven.
He had planned to go back to the city in a few weeks, but he stayed back, for weeks, for months….before he gathered up the courage to talk to her.
It was almost as if she was eagerly waiting for him to make the first move. She coyly agreed to meet him….alone. And meet they did. Whenever possible, however possible. Hiding away from her family.
Meeting in the fields, spending hours sitting on the “machaan” talking about sweet nothings.
Holding hands as they walked down the small stream flowing besides their village.
The pipeline water had come in the village by now, and the well now remained unvisited by the villagers. That became their favorite meeting spot, from then onwards.
He would usually arrive there beforehand and then wait for her. She would arrive just a few minutes later with a rose in her hand from her garden.
They would spend hours sitting under the tree besides the well, carving each other’s initials in the bark of the tree. Sometimes they would just sit linking their hands, her head on his shoulder, the wind blowing her hair in his face, caressing it as he spent ages looking at her calm face, her eyes closed, their hearts thumping together.
Sometimes he would lazily run the soft petals of the rose on her equally soft skin.
Till the day when they were spotted by one of the villagers.
It wasnt as if they hadnt expected it to happen.
It was a small village where everyone knew everyone, this had to happen some day, but even then there was a certain feeling of mixed fear and apprehension as he was summoned to her house by her father.
The drilling went on for hours, before the Father suddenly smiled and got up from his chair, a smile of satisfaction on his face, embracing him, welcoming him to the family.
This was not expected by either of him or her. They had never thought that her father would actually welcome a man much lower in stature than them into their family. But love has a strange way of conquering all the odds.
From that day onwards, they met more often. More openly….. they had no one to hide from. They didnt have a cause to worry anymore. They had no obstacles.
Their favorite place still remained the tree besides the well, though and that’s where they met every Sunday.
It was a lazy Sunday afternoon when there was an urgent banging on his door. He was shaken out of his slumber as the insistent banging continued. He checked his watch. There were a good few hours still left for his rendezvous with her, near the well.
He rubbed his eyes as he went to open his door.
Her brothers were standing by the door, looking anxious and flustered.
“We cant find her, is she with you by any chance. She has been gone since the morning. She never does that”, he was asked frantically.
He was confused as he let her brothers inside the house as they looked around. He told them he didnt know where she was.
He hastily put on his shirt as he set out with her brothers to look for her.
They looked for her all through the village. But she was nowhere to be found.
What could have happened to her, they wondered. He feared for the worst. He checked his watch again. It was almost time for her to meet him at the well.
She had never missed that till date. He knew she would not miss it for anything.
He told her brothers about their meeting, that they should all go and wait for her there. They agreed as they made their way to his favorite spot.
He stood besides the well, his back resting on edge of the well as her brothers stood under the tree. His eyes kept shuttling between the way from where she would arrive and the worried almost tearful faces of her brothers. He tried to comfort then, ease their worry, “She will come”, he told them, trying to stay as calm and sound as confident as he possibly could.
He checked his watch again …. just a few more minutes to go before he could see her walking down the rough path that led towards where he was standing. He stood with his hands on his hips, his eyes searching for her, waiting for her to come within his sight, he just wanted to see her so he could tell her brothers to stop worrying.
He never heard the axe swish behind him as it fell squarely on his neck……..
Darkness suddenly descended in the front of his eyes, as if the sun had set on his life, though his eyes remained open, still looking in the direction of the rough path, still waiting for that one look of her walking towards him, lighting up his life with her smile as she always did…..
His legs gave way as he sunk to his knees falling flat on his face. He could still feel the soft mud touch against his cheeks, like her hand would touch him there.
He felt himself being lifted up roughly by strong hands…and thrown into a deep dark almost bottomless pit…..
He lay there unable to move, his eyes still awaiting her arrival…..as he did even now, every Sunday……..
Ah, there she was…..finally, walking towards him.
He knew she would come. She had never missed a Sunday since that day.
Like everyday she came and stood besides the well, her hands resting on the edge of the well as she stared down into the dark bottomless pit through the newly installed iron mesh.
She stood there motionless for a long time staring down into the nothingness finally reaching under her dupatta and bringing out a single long stemmed rose from her own garden.
She slowly placed the rose on the top of the mesh as it toppled through the gap in the mesh and tumbled down into the well below.
She wiped a small tear from the corner of the eyes starting to turn back and leave, before she quietly whispered, “I Love You….I will always love you…..Forever”
Those words…….those words that made him feel the most loved person in the world….
He smiled as he saw her about to leave, readying himself to wait for another week, till he saw her again……
“I Love You…… I will always love you ….. Forever”, he whispered back as she walked away from where he lay…………
Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction and is not meant to hurt the sentiments of any community or religion. Even in the 21st Century, honor killing remains a fact in India, where young boys and/or girls are killed by their own parents and family just because they made the “mistake” of falling in love with someone from a different caste or religion or social status. It is time the Parents realise that there is NO HONOR IN KILLING and though you may be able to murder the Young Lovers, but you will never be able to murder their Love.