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Choices

Me: We cannot continue like this. The feelings will get stronger and then it will be difficult to forget each other. This must stop.

I speak in a controlled voice despite my tears. He stares into space as he brushes them away.

He: Yes.

We sit in silence. The clock strikes 11. We exchange a look. He gets up, puts on his clothes and with a final hug, leaves.

***

At work, we are professional as usual. No one is aware of the changes that have taken place. Women still ogle at him, men still hit on me. I spend the day trying hard not to hate myself for doing the right thing. I start questioning the definition of “right”. I try to conquer the pain, the sense of loss. I dread the advent of twilight. It is inevitable. I gather up my things, steeling myself for a lonely evening, for a lonely life. I reach my room; straighten a few things on my table. On an impulse, I sweep the floor and clean up the cupboard. Numb. Robotic. I peel off my clothes, toss them into the laundry basket. I take a long shower, pampering myself, washing off the memories of his touch, his stubble, his naughty tongue, his reassuring whispers, the sweet tang of his body. Later, I make a cup of strong coffee and open the door of my book rack. I choose the metaphysical Franz Kafka. I quash all hope and longing that he will come back. I will not all myself to be hurt any further. Few minutes pass by. There is a knock on the door. I open it, expecting the washer man. I am wrong. He walks in. the nerves in my head are threatening to burst.

***

As I lie ensconced in his warm embrace, looking at the now cold coffee and the abandoned Kafka, I realise that we make our own concepts of right and wrong. It is all about choices. I chose an ancient concept of morality and a broken heart. Then, I decided to opt for love instead. I may have offended some God in some distant corner of the universe, but, if I die tonight, I will die a happy person.

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