Love

“Am I right in doing this?” he wondered, as she walked toward him, radiantly beautiful, arm-in-arm with her proud father.

He realized that the small voice in his head was back again. He valiantly tried burying the nagging voice deep inside his brain, and spectacularly failed.

“Oh my God, I can’t do this, I can’t, I can’t… I am not meant to…” the voice that only he could hear started growing more and more loud. He started perspiring, and his crisp white shirt bore evidence of his discomfort. He was standing in a small platform in the middle of a swimming pool. He could sense a hundred eyes poring at the back of his neck.

She looked at him, and her brows knitted for a second. Of course, she knew something was wrong. But then she gave him a reassuring smile, and as always, she managed to take his breath away. Once he caught his breath, he smiled back, a little unsure, his inner voice now practically hollering “no, No, NO!”

He waited. Gary, his best friend, was standing next to him, dressed to perfection, holding the two tiny boxes that were going to change his life. He gritted his teeth. “I never should have agreed to this. This is not me…” Random thoughts again started whirling in his head. The shrill voice inside his brain didn’t help either. He mumbled an answer when an elderly man standing beside asked him a question.

On cue, Gary proceeded to the makeshift platform. And then it all seemed to happen in slow motion.

Gary, in his impeccable suit, tripped and fell on the elderly man standing in the middle, whose shoes caught the hem of her dress. All three tumbled headlong into the pool.

There was total silence. He was stunned and the small voice suddenly vanished, accentuating the silence around him.

She was a total mess. Her perfectly coiffured hair now hung in limp strands around her face. The wet dress bunched up about her, almost as an afterthought. He rushed to her side and lifted her up, hoping she would not get teary eyed at the humiliation. To his surprise, her eyes were twinkling as she resumed her position on the stage, in all wetness. What started as a small widening of her lips turned into uncontrollable giggles. Soon the swimming pool reverberated with sounds of hearty laughter. And then the realization hit him. He loved her.

As the elderly man repeated the question, he answered “I do.”

And this time it was loud and clear.

 

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