I was sitting in one of my favorite cafes. It was crowded today maybe because it is a Sunday evening and a lot of people must have plans. With friends and family but there are people like me as well, who stick to her choice of coming alone and writing. It has been days since I sipped my coffee alone. I see people. Talking. Telling stories.

What I have is just the coffee with myself. I closed my eyes to process the thoughts. The thought which I deal with every day. Every morning when I wake up and search for peace in this crowd. Every day when I come back home and try to run back to the crowd. I remember, your skin. Your breath. Your starved eyes, your lips mumbling to me when things were falling apart “it will be over soon. Just be patient.”. I remember, you. Kissing my lips. Listening to my words. Acknowledging my old wounds. Again kissing away my all doubts and telling me “It was my past.”

You, who made me ask questions. How it can be true? How someone can be good? How can someone love in a world where love just is not there? Where marriage is just a compromise and you were there. It has been six years of our marriage. Six years. To be very honest, I know we have dated for three years and then the whole marriage happened but was it really necessary? You know, I believed in loving someone forever and now I did not keep that promise. It took me six years to realize that we do not belong to each other. I can not make coffee for you every morning when you wake up. I can not even look into your eyes and tell you it is not over. I can not tell you that it took me six years to realize that it was all a mistake!

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“Hey, Trishna!”- I heard a voice, and it was one of our neighbors.
” Hello, Shikha. How are you?”- Did I fake a smile?

“I am good! How are you? You are alone? It’s Sunday! Where is Raghav?”- She asked me in a manner from which I got one point that if we talk more or she intrigues more,my life is going to be a topic of next kitty party.

” Ah, you know. He is always working! Right now, he is in Delhi for some meeting.”- I flashed a smile again and after more talk, she finally left my table.

I sipped my coffee again and this time I got a call from my mother.
“Hello Maa. How are you?”- I smiled and asked her as soon as I picked up the call.

” I am a good beta… How have you been? Are you and Raghav coming for my and your father’s anniversary?”- She asked me. I felt that a bullet just hit me inside my chest. I never lied to my parents. Hell, I never lied to anyone!

“Oh, Of course, mom! Don’t you know your son in law? He is always up for the parties!”- I laughed. My mother was happy to see me smiling, laughing and being happy. That’s what parents only care about, isn’t it?

“You both have all my blessings, my children. I am so happy that you are with someone like Raghav.”- My mother said in her chirpy voice. But was I happy? What about if he used to make me happy but it doesn’t work anymore.

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“Yes mom, I am really happy with him. Now, I am in between some work.i will call you later.”- I lied. Again.

I sipped my coffee and it has been forty-five minutes. My mind was killing me and I was lost in my thoughts. How I am going to deal with this? What I have to do now? Is it easy to break a bond of years and so many memories? What will happen to my family? How his family will react? How society will react to my this decision. My mind was trapped and I was stuck. Do I have to leave him? Do we have to finish this? How I will survive? But there is no love!

It was almost tearing me apart when my phone buzzed again. It was, Raghav.
I was numb but I pull up myself. I smiled again and picked up his call.
“Hello?”- I said.

“Hey, love? Where are you? Are you again in Cafe, sipping your Irish Coffee?”-He said while smirking. I could feel his playful smirk.
He knows me… He really knows me! But how he did not understand that we are not same anymore? Or is it just me? I thought.
” Darn, you are so right Mr Husband! Yes, I am at the cafe. When you will be home?”-I asked him.
“Well, I am actually somewhere else.” – He said.
“Where?”- I said and raised an eyebrow.
” Behind you.”- He said and I turned. He was grinning. He hugged me like always, he never wants to leave me. Why can’t I hug him like that again?

“Wow, I thought you are working?”-I said with a confused look on my face.
” Well, I was.”- He said with his casual smile and sat on the chair which was right in front of me.
Should I tell him? What will I say though? I am done? I can not do this anymore? We are over! This marriage is nothing to me and I fell out of love? I want to be free? I don’t want to be stuck? How I will explain to him?
“Trishna?”- He said and the reality hit me. He is here. I have to do this. I can not lie anymore.
” Yes, I was just thinking about something. Actually, Raghav. I need to tell you something.”- I said looking into his eyes.
“Okay, but I have something for you. Please listen to me first?”- He smiled and started talking.
” You remember, Last week we went to check up as you have been ill? I have got the reports for the same. And I really think Trishna… Okay. Please, don’t freak out and listen to me?”- He said, in his serious voice. The one which he rarely uses. I got scared. What is going on?

“Yes?” – I said.

“We have got the reports and it says, that you are pregnant!”- He shouts in a joyful manner. I became numb. Pregnancy? What!? I was not ready for this. No! No! No! It should not happen! I can not be pregnant with his children.

” I am so excited. I will have a family now! You know, how much I wanted to be a father. You wanted a family and here we are! We will have our own family Trishna. Isn’t it so great?”- He said in his excited voice as if he has got something to cheer about. No, this should not have happened. Kids? No! But, he is so happy!
“What were you thinking by the way?”- He asked me.

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” Raghav… I can not do this. I can not be pregnant. I don’t love you Raghav. I am not in love with you anymore. I am not able to breathe without telling you this but I am sorry this is not what we should have done. I can not love you with a half heart and I am empty Raghav. I don’t want this kid. This is not what should I do. I am empty now and you can not complete me! God, I am ruined. Please Raghav, let’s get this done!”

“Trishna?”- Raghav asked me. And the words which I gathered now they are lost.. Just like my strength.
“Yes?” – I asked him.

“What happened? What you were going to tell me?”- He asks me.
My throat was dry and I felt I have lost all my strength. I looked at him with the thought that I will overcome this.
“Nothing, I was going to say that you are going to be a father.”- I flashed my fake smile. I sipped my coffee and I lied again.
I know, I have to live now.. With someone, I don’t love. All I have to do is now for the rest of my life is.. Pretend.

– Never, ever stay for something which kills you. Slowly.