Kevin was back from London. He had taken the British airlines, travelled from Heathro and landed at Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore. He was tired, yet his fingers fiddled with his phone. He couldn’t stop checking the snaps of his one month old daughter. Liza had named her Destiny.
‘A strange name’ Kevin had first remarked. But in this one month, reiterating the name made him feel that she could be called nothing but ‘Destiny’. He had been on a long leave. His manager Arjun was managing his office at Bangaluru. While taking the return flight, he was almost in tears. Taking Destiny in his arms he had realized the bliss of fatherhood and could apprehend his pangs of separation. Life had suddenly moved at a frenzy speed in the last few years.
His wife Zara had left him. He was repentant. He knew he was wrong.
“Please Zara, for God sake, give me a chance. it won’t happen again. Zara let’s try.”
Zara had agreed. But it wasn’t easy for her. She had caught him cheating on her. It’s so true that it takes years to earn trust, but just minutes to lose it. Zara had loved Kevin since her high school days and it was a big jolt. She denied to accept the betrayal. But just then, Kevin’s father met with a terrible accident and Zara knew that she couldn’t leave Kevin during this crisis. She did return.
In spite of staying together and trying her best to evade the past, it was gnawing on her. She couldn’t trust him. She began checking his call lists, his messages; her anxiety accelerated beyond her grip when she got those staccato beeps on his phone. At times Kevin got irritated; it was difficult to explain her. Moreover deep down her own self she knew that she was losing her original self. She had become a doubting, nagging hag. She was beginning to hate herself. Staying together wasn’t doing any good.
Kevin’s father was still at the hospital and finally he succumbed to his injuries. The family was in mourning. It was on the eleventh day, when suddenly her eyes fell on Kevin’s mobile and its vibrations that said ‘messages’ were pouring in. Going against all her resolutions, she pounced to check them as he was in shower. Mutually they had decided not to keep phone locks. Her eyes welled and the gashes she had been trying to mend were once again bleeding.
Her legs moved by herself and she took out her bags and packed them. She knew what she had to do. She knew she should have given Kevin more time. Call center job had taken her night hours and they hardly had spent time after marriage. Wasn’t it what they had planned? But after marriage there were several arguments. For Zara. whatever she was doing was for both. She was sure that they would have a family but after three years. Zara was pragmatic. She felt that everything she was doing was for their family, for Kevin and her. She never took their disagreements to heart. She couldn’t even ever think that Kevin could cheat on her. Her tears were rolling down. She packed and left the house, never to return again.
Life went on. Five autumns passed. Kevin too moved on. He had finally come out of that fling. He immersed himself in his work. He did get success and his software consultation spread wide.
It was through a social site that Kevin met Liza. He felt his heart skipping beats just by chatting with her. Though he was in his forties, the cupid had struck him and he just didn’t want to lose the chance. After a brief courtship, both of them married. Liza was a British national and it would take her some time to wrap her life at London and come for ever to India.
Kevin and Liza were already late in their lives to get together and both of them were eager to have a baby. God was kind to them. Kevin had been to London to be by Liza through her labour. It was all good but he had to return. In all this, he had never remembered Zara. He was too sure that she must have progressed in her life.
But sadly Zara couldn’t move on. For some, love becomes an obsession and a past, too clinging, like a ghost conjuring and conniving to keep one in its grip.
It was 11th September, the phone call had come from a common friend of theirs. The news was shocking. “Kevin, sorry to let you know..Zara is no more. I wanted to tell you before but I thought ….since you were in London… and…”. Kevin had lost sense of time and place for some time. This was the last thing he ever expected. He hadn’t realized how time can separate people.
Though it was two months that she had passed away, he requested Ashutosh to accompany him to Indiranagar, Kallahalli Cemetery. He wanted to pay her a visit. The journey from Ulsoor to Kallahalli was not very long but was draining. His conscience was pricking, the past resurrecting. With heavy steps he paced through the gates and to the left Zara laid to rest for ever. Even after a decade of their separation the epitaph still read :
Zara Kevin DeCosta (1982-2019).