Her heart was broken, trust played with and dreams shattered. There was nothing left in her to give now as all that she had was brutally snatched away from her. They say a broken heart can yet survive but only if it has the medicine of hope. But as for her, that was taken too, and all that she was left with now was the fire they lit in her. Strong and powerful, which knew nothing but destruction, which did nothing but lead her to destruction.
The fire of vengeance which grew wilder and burnt her a little more by each day. It destroyed everything in its path, it even burnt the girl she used to be. Her innocence, her charm but the maximum damage was made to her heart which once knew nothing but love and faith, which now was filled with rage.
She chose hate over love, doubt over faith and most importantly darkness over light only so that no one could hurt her ever again.
Hence in satisfying the fire they lit in her she lost the most important thing. Her freedom. She wasn’t free anymore but trapped behind the walls she had constructed for herself. The walls she had remarked as necessary. Her lips barely smiled and her ears barely heard what her heart said.
That’s the difference between love and hate, love sets one free while hate only traps a person in a deep and dark pit from where even the eyes can’t reach the sky.
However, she thought that once she destroyed everything that had destroyed her then the fire breathing in her would stop, she would be free from everything so she decided to continue on her path of vengeance which she eventually achieved but what she didn’t achieve was peace. She only grew more and more restless and she didn’t know why. So she continued to live like that.
But the funny part was that the least expected things happen at the most unexpected moment in life. Just when she had given up on everything it happened. Little did she know about what was coming her way and thus it began. The winds of change blew making their way in her life.
He came knocking on the doors of her heart but what did he know they were closed long before but yet he kept trying. The more she pushed him away from her the closer he came. And hence their story began. She always told him that this and only this was the start and the end of their story. That some stories are meant to be incomplete. But all he said was that this wasn’t one of those.
He told her that how she had forgotten what love was and how being loved felt like, that once he showed her how magical it was then she would never run away from it. But she called this magic and illusion she had been a part of before. He tried and tried to break the walls she had surrounded herself in, to unlock the doors of her heart but his each attempt failed.
He couldn’t understand the true reason behind her bitterness, her hate and the room full of doubts in her mind so one day, hoping she would let out the pain the pain she had kept her for so long he went to her.
She tried running away from him but he held her tight forcing her to answer, then their eyes met and for a moment everything stopped, she didn’t try to escape anymore as if she had found some sort of comfort staying in his arms. But the pain she hid from all, lit up in her eyes and she backed herself, he couldn’t understand her behavior but he wished to know so that he could help her climb out of this pit. And then something happened which hadn’t happened in a long time, a tear rolled down her cheek and this time, she didn’t stop it. She let them flow and slowly walked to the shelf of books and pulled out an old novel, from which she took out an old paper which she took to him.
The fire was burning and so was her scars. The paper had four words but those four words had torn her world apart. Everything had changed since then, she had changed since then.
Is this the reason of your wounds? He asked.
Yes, she said.
She had with complete sincerity loved the man who with taking very little effort had broken her heart into pieces. It was the day of her wedding, she had written a letter to him about how much she loved him ever since and had sent it. Soon the time came for her to walk down the aisle but no one was waiting for her on the other end. Her friend with a heavy heart handed over her lover’s last words to her which said, “I am not coming.” She couldn’t believe that this was happening with her and still expected that he would show up any moment so she sat there until her father took her away forcefully. She hadn’t spoken for weeks or shed a drop of tear. She felt everything at one moment but nothing in the next. She never shared her heartache and distant herself. Slowly everyone she loved, everything she loved left her. But yet she didn’t shed a tear she carried her pain until now.
Since then she has been all alone and she likes it that way, it keeps her from pain and heart aches. Though she doesn’t say but she wanted to know that why the man she loved so deeply left her like that. That where she had gone wrong but she had no answers.
Finally, he knew what killed his beloved but he had no words to reduce her pain. That was the first time she ever spoke about it and for the first time, she let herself cry as he held her in her arms. She cried her heart out without thinking what she would do without the pain she had been carrying since so long. She cried as if for the first time she wanted to release herself, she cried till she finally fell asleep. He picked her up gently and tucked in her bed.
The next day James picked up some flowers on his way to meet Phillipa hoping that things between them would now be different. That since Phillipa had released herself from all the pain she had been carrying, she might accept his friendship if not love. He rang the doorbell and she stood right in front of him but instead of an expected smile, there was an unexpected frown on her face.
James gave her the flowers he had got for her but she threw them ferociously, for a moment James was shocked he couldn’t understand what had happened. So he looked her blankly hoping for an answer.
Phillipa understood the look on his face and with a firm voice said, “Yesterday changes nothing between us James. I don’t want your love neither your friendship, go away.”
He was heartbroken but understood Phillpa’s fear well and said calmly, “If yesterday’s’ nothing in today then the girl who once believed only in love wouldn’t be so stone-hearted now. I understand your fear but I shall wait for you.”
How long will you wait? The doors you’re knocking on were closed long before. She said.
Forever. I can wait forever and if the key doesn’t work then the door can be broken too. He said.
Nothing stays forever James, nothing.
It’s just an illusion which shall break soon.
It’s magic which shall cure all woes.
With having no more replies, she slammed the door leaving him alone. But he didn’t give up. He waited right there for her, all he wanted was for her to smile again. To believe again and the only way James could help Phillipa to break free from walls she had created. To let go of the past and walk towards the future was John. The man who had broken her heart in a way that she could never rebuild it again. The man who had left her with questions but no answers.
So he left to find some answers.
Meanwhile, when he was gone, Phillipa thought about him. She thought about how he persuaded her to love again and how he is gone now. He had left like all others who came to rescue her, but did she really needed any saving? No, I believe, she only needed to know that there is still some magic left in the world. That she could be loved, that she could love again, be happy again. But some people only saw her as a castle on which they could hoist their flag of victory.
Say how they saved her and take pride in their act heroism. What pity that none of those men could see her heart which though was hurt but yet was very beautiful, none but James. But it was too late now she thought to herself as he had gone. But little did she know that he had gone only to come back
Somehow, James managed to find John’s old address from where he got know about his current whereabouts. Out of all the other questions, the question that he wished to ask John was why would he leave a girl like Phillipa. That, why he would break her in a way that she never wished to rebuild herself. Taking all these questions in his mind he rang the doorbell. A woman of late-twenties opened the door whose struggles perhaps had caused to lose the charm of her youth.
First, she thought it was another creditor who had come for money until James assured her that he was here to meet John and wanted to know if she knew where he was. She cross-examined her visitor until she was completely satisfied to tell him anything. He lives five houses from here. I’ll walk you there.
That’s the door, the woman said before leaving.
James didn’t have to knock on the door, it was already open, so he called out John’s name but a woman answered. She was a beautiful fine lady of the suburbs, who greeted James after finishing her inquiries.
The house wasn’t one of the prettiest one, it had old furniture and some pictures hanging on the wall. As James was observing the house the same lady came outside with some fresh coffee and cookies.
What brings you here? She asked James.
I’m here to meet John D’Souza.
Oh! But he is not here now, he is at work.
I am sorry to disturb ma’am but it is urgent, can you please tell me where he works?
Before the lady could finish, a voice was heard from the door, “who works where.” The man said.
James took out the photo he had stolen of John from Phillipa’s old book and tried verify if it was the same man. Just when the lady spoke, “You wanted to see my husband, there he is. John D’Souza.”
James was amazed as the man he saw standing in front of him looked nothing like Phillipa’s John. But someone else. What time can do to people he thought!
This gentleman is here to meet you, said John’s wife, and went into the kitchen to do her daily chores. And then the men began talking.
With a firm face and strong voice, James said, I am here to talk to you about Phillipa. Hearing her name John’s expression immediately changed. As if he was reminded of a long forgotten mistake after which regret covered his face.
Phillipa, I haven’t heard this name in a long time now. Do you know her? John asked.
I am trying to. James replied. Suddenly he felt an uncontrollable rage moving from his heart and mind to his tongue. Without thinking, he said, “Why? Why would do you leave her, at the altar. Why would you do that to her? Your betrayal was so harsh for her that she never dared to love again, or even believe in love again.
I understand, your anger, but whatever I did, I did it for love.
For love?! Like Seriously, for love. But I don’t need any explanation from you someone else does, after which silence prevailed.
Phillipa’s doorbell rang again and she rushed to open the door hoping it would be James, though she wouldn’t accept but she had missed his presence. Before opening the door, she had thought and practiced words that she’d say to him. Which would prove her point. How certain her heart was of his arrival. Seemed like James had managed to penetrate through one of the walls.
She opened the door but it wasn’t James waiting for her, it was her deepest scar. Once again all her wounds turned fresh she didn’t know how to react.
She felt a heavy weight in her heart because of which it was sinking. She couldn’t feel any energy in her limbs and if it were a dream she wanted to wake up at once. But it wasn’t a dream, the man who had hurt her the most was actually right in front of her eyes. Moments after which James stood next to him.
John. She whispered and tears rolled down. It is you, John it is actually you. She said.
Yes, Phillipa. It’s me. I know I am late; I should’ve come long before but…
But instead, you just sent a letter. She interrupted him.
Before this conversation moves any further, at least let us in. James said.
James, why have you got him? I don’t believe this. Why would you do this to me? Why?
First, let us in Phillipa. James repeated.
She allowed them in their house and then began the story which was left incomplete long before.
Before you ask, I know what you are thinking Phillipa. That why am I here, why now? I know you have always had this question in your mind that why I left you at the altar, why I just sent a note instead of coming to you and explaining everything. I wasn’t there then, but I am here now. If you please allow me.
What possible explanation could you have for what you did! She said.
Just hear him out. Said James.
I was just a filthy coward and running away seemed the best option. Do you know Phillipa, there is a fine line of difference between being loved and loving. Do you know what is it? John asked.
I do. She replied. In being loved you are always at receiving end, may whatever come, but in loving you’re always at the giving end. That is the difference.
Exactly. And when I was with you, I was on the receiving end, you loved me so deeply but I never loved you. I just enjoyed being on the other end and I never had the courage to tell you. But then one day I actually fell in love, with Maria. I felt for her the way you felt for me. Suddenly it wasn’t gravity that was holding me to this earth, it was her. How could I let myself be your home forever when she was my home.
I found the same comfort with her which you always found in being with me. It just happened I had never planned it. No one really does. I just fell for her. I didn’t want to break your heart but things happened so suddenly and then the last thing I knew was that you and I are getting married tomorrow. I couldn’t understand anything. So…
So you ran away with her!
Yes. I did. Believe me, whatever I did, I did it for love.
John, you could have at least come and talked to me about it. You were never held at gunpoint. Were you? You know, before everything else, we had a very strong relationship of friendship between us. But you broke that too. Oh! I wish, If once, just once you had come and told me everything. Things would have been different today then, very different.
I lost everything that day. Everything that mattered. Friend, belief, the ability to trust or love but most importantly I had lost myself. I was so angry at life and at you. At being so weak and vulnerable. That I let go of everything to become something, I never was. I lost everything in that moment and I am afraid that your sorry cannot bring any of it back.
I lost a friend too, Phillipa. My best friend. I never wanted to do any of this but I got scared so I chose the easiest path in front of me. But when a few days before when James came looking for me, asking about you I felt so glad.
I have done everything wrong in life, the least I could do was come and apologize to you. Reduce my regret a little and maybe your pain. I am Sorry.
Saying that John left and so did James, thinking she may want a little time alone. She was angry and hurt but the moment she decided to forgive him and move on was the moment she had found the peace she looked for. She didn’t forgive him for him but for herself.
James had succeeded finally, she had broken all the walls she had constructed, all that she had trapped herself in. The next day, she bid goodbye to John and forgave him so that even he could let go of the guilt he had held for long.
They never thought it would have been so easy, but sometimes it is as simple as a sorry.
The next day the doorbell rang again, but it wasn’t Phillipa’s door, it was James’s and when he opened the door he couldn’t believe his eyes. It was as if he were still in a dream. It was a happy surprise for him.
So yesterday changes today? Huh. He said.
I don’t about the rest, but my yesterday did change my today. She replied. And then something happened which even James hadn’t imagined.
Phillipa went down on her knees saying, “James Parker, I don’t know about love but what I do know is that if ever I love which I will then it will be you and only you, but till then I could really use a friend. So what do you say, will you be my friend?
I have already given you my heart, friendship is a very little thing to ask for. He then gave her his hand and it was like a dream come true for him. If not love at least he had her friendship.
And in the end, what happens in every story, they lived happily ever after.
How simple it was, neither did John nor Phillipa thought that it would be as simple as a sorry, that all it would take was an apology from the heart so that they both could let go of things, which really never required to be held…