The door is shut as it has always been. She turns the handle and opens the door. She steps in the room and closes it slowly. She stands by the light switch in her pinkish valentine’s day dress. “Have you ever noticed Saad, how the part of wall around the light switch is always so smooth due to over touching?”
Saad turns and looks at her, “How have you been Zona? You have always been noticing these intelligent small things”
“Good!” she says.
Saad motions her to sit down on his matress.
“I think I’m in love with you”, she says finally.
He looks up at her, “I know!”.
“How could you know?” She asks.
“From the way you have always looked at me, the way you looked for reasons to be around me, the way you lingered on a little while before leaving, remembered the things I said, the way you found reasons to say my name… I knew it from the start” , he said.
“Its funny how we take words to be the only confirmation. But it’s quite opposite. Telling lies is really easy but you cannot fake the way you look at a person or the things you remember, can you?” She said joyfully.
She lets out a breath of relief.
“And me Zona… what do you see when you look at me?” His question goes like a stake through her heart.
She looks upon him ,’It seems to me that you don’t love me.”
Saad gets up from the chair and sits beside her on the mattress. He touches her bare arm and she feel tingles at the touch, ‘I am sorry, Zona”
She, with a pallid smile, is beaten. She pats his arm. “It’s alright, Saad” , but She doesn’t mean what she said because she wanted him to feel bad. She gets up to leave and without turning back, she asks, “Is there anybody else?”
“No.” A pause, “Yes”. She already knew he was a good liar.
There is a slight pause and they were both quite, looking away, thinking in their own worlds.
Saad says,” Everything in life becomes a habit. The things we do, the people, the games, are all out of habit.”
She is offended. “My love for you is true Saad, it’s not a habit but you won’t understand” , she says in sheer helplessness.
Saad says, “Perhaps I wouldn’t. But then you know what, love has become an obligation. Society screams, if you’re not in love even in your twenties then you’re… well … a loser.”
“You are trying to explain an expression which cannot be explained and how can you, when you have not ever felt it.” She gets angry.
“Oh but I have, Zona”, he said.
There is a heavy pause. “Are you saying that I don’t love you?” She asks him.
“But you said that you knew that I loved you…”
“No, I knew that you thought you love me… there is a huge difference” , he said.
“Saad, do not do this to me” , and she tries to get closer to him… still having his hand grabbed in hers.
There is nothing to say. He has no sensation and she… has nothing.
One question is left. “Does she love you?” She asks.
“I’m not sure”, he smiles at her.
She becomes angry and shouts, “What do you know about love Saad? Nothing, I think!!”
He stands up, “And what do you know about it except expressing it? Confession is not the measure of purity.”
“I think I better go”, she says as she rushes out.
He nods his approval and she is out of the door, out of his life and they both knew it.
She thinks back at what he said as she was leaving, “And what do you know Zona about love except expressing it? Confession is not the measure of purity”.
She drives off and that moment, she shuts the door to his house, she shuts the door to him, from herself…