I grabbed the railing one last time and steadied myself. I raised my hands above my head, joined them together and whispered, “Forgive me Ma-Baba. You don’t deserve such a daughter.” I shut my eyes in a bid to wipe out the face of my parents and my baby sister. And then I let go of myself.
A sharp tug and something pulled me back. A pair of strong, muscular arms hoisted me back on the railing. I fought back. He held me tightly. I gave up and started sobbing. He let go of one of my hands, wiped away the tears with a handkerchief and held my chin.
“Look at me, NOW.” The sharp tone made me look up into a pair of green eyes.
“Now that you are alive, can we sit somewhere and have a long chat? You know you can tell me your story and then jump off. Also, let me tell you I am a writer. I might get some inspiration to write a story.” He raised one of his eyebrows and winked.
I realized I was not crying anymore. I was actually trying to smile. He helped me get down from the railing. I looked back and wondered, “Man….how did I climb that railing? And that river below….!” I shuddered and turned around.
The tea stall was still open and serving. “A cup of strong coffee for us,” ordered the man. He sat down, took out his notebook and scribbled something on it. “Okay, tell me what happened. Let’s do it fast…not enough time…you see…”
I poured it out. I told him about my family, my friends, my pet- my little Khushi, a squirrel. I gushed about my love – my college mate. He came to know about my plans ahead; my dreams of becoming a designer. And then, “Madam your coffee.”
“Yeah, finish it first and fast,” ordered my new friend. I gulped it down and thought about the mess I was in. “Okay writer, I am pregnant. The baby is his…”
“Hmm. So abort it.”He stated without looking up.
“Aren’t you shocked? I am pregnant. I am unmarried,” I screamed in exasperation.
“Hmm…Have it or abort it.”
I sat dazed. I ordered another round of coffee and some extra sugar to sweeten it. I thought about it. We argued that night, “to deliver or to abort.” The stall owner kept serving us a coffee. When the sun rose the next morning, I was curled up into a ball on that bench. His jacket covered me.
This was a decade ago. Every year on this day we visit the railing to renew our faith in life, have endless cups of coffee and spend the night in each other’s arms. Yes, we are married. He is the author of the current bestseller. We have named our girl, “Aksha’, our little blessing. And did I tell you that I am a counsellor for suicide survivors?
Remember, Love is strength. Love is hope. Keep hoping.
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