He sat by the coffee table, wearing his best shirt and her favorite cologne, he had ensured that every crease was ironed perfectly, singing their song while he was at it and thinking of the last time he had seen her before he left for unknown soil.. She had gifted him this shirt and cried in his arms, and he, in a moment of weakness had reconsidered the decision to leave… but today, so many years later, he was a proud man!
I had everything but this, he thought to himself. This was the purpose he burned the night lamp and studied, this was the reason he cut down on expenses and risked being called a miser by his university mates, this was why he researched night and day for the best job and used all possible networks to get through… many said he was wrong, but he saw the day beyond all this, and that day was today, albeit with a shadow of darkness..
He looked down at the gold watch he got her as a gift and imagined all her possible reactions.. “Oh my god! This is so expensive!!”, “I really didn’t need this”, “Please return it…”.. he smiled silently as he closed his eyes against the welling tears, the overwhelming emotions getting hold of him as he tried to fight them back, along with the guilt of not being with her on that tiring flight, not reading into her words and the well kept secret earlier and leaving everything and going back, stabbing him in the heart.
The announcement for the flight arrival broke him out of his thoughts and he ran, camera in tow, not wanting to miss a single moment as his mother arrived. She was weaker, with a thin cloth tied over her head to hide the damage done by chemotherapy, nurse in tow.. he remembered her strong voice over the phone telling him she would manage the travel alone with the nurse as she now timidly looked around for him. She wanted to see the life he was living, and he wanted to make this the best trip of her life.