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As I stepped out into the moonlit night, a cool breeze blew across my face. I was now in a different astral plane-far away from the din of the party that I had rocked just sometime ago.
“Hello C, mind if I come along,” she asked me.
She was the one I loved.
“The pleasure is all mine,” I replied.
As she walked beside me, she talked.
“You were amazing today C. Your foot- tapping was the best we have seen for years. They still can’t stop raving about your performance.”
I did not reply.
“Is something wrong C? Why are you so quiet?”
“Nothing Angel. I am feeling empty suddenly. It’s all over-school’s over. It’s time to say goodbye to all our friends, to every familiar thing…It’s time to charter a course into the unknown. I don’t know if I’ll be able to take it. The party’s over.”
“There’s something else.”
“Well something has been troubling me lately.”
“Talk about it. It’ll help.”
“A strange thought has caught my fancy-an innocent but disturbing thought. Would I die a happy man? God I’m only seventeen. How am I supposed to know?”
“It’s simple -you aren’t supposed to know. You are young. You’ve got a whole life ahead of you. You aren’t supposed to think about death. That’s something for the elders to think about.”
“What’s your ambition in life?” I suddenly asked.
She seemed a bit surprised but she talked.
“To graduate from a good college.”
I cut in between.
“I meant life as in the one ahead-the real one.”
“Well I hope to settle with a loving guy-one who understands my needs, my aspirations…”
Her voice trailed off.
“And I want to make my parents really proud… What’s yours?”
“I, I…,” I stammered, “Some things are much the same but my biggest ambition is to see some of my work in print. And would you believe it, I got a cheque from a reputed magazine which agreed to publish an entry I had sent in. It’s not much of an ambition now that it’s fulfilled.”
“Wow that’s great!”
“Wait there’s more,” I said.
“Don’t worry. I’m listening champ.”
“Another thing I wished for was to have a blast with all my friends. I guess I did it today.”
“And I wanted to make my parents proud. Their faces lit up when I gave them my very first pay-cheque yesterday.”
“But now that I think of it-most of all I want to die a happy man,” I said looking directly into her eyes.
Maybe it was just the moonlight or maybe it was some unexplained joy but her face glowed radiantly. I loved her all the more at that moment.
I was so lost that I did not notice that incoming car around that corner and in a single crash my whole world was shattered. Agony clawed my mind. I was lying in my blood-with the realization that I was going to die. Then I felt her beside me, unhurt-rightly so. She was holding my hand and tears were streaming down her eyes. Through my lidded eyes, in the faint moonlight she looked like what she truly was-an angel. Her tears glistened like pearls.
“You are going to make it,” she was saying.
I squeezed her hand.
“There’s something else I did not tell you,” I said calmly even as my vital organs began to shut down.
“Don’t strain yourself. Hold on. I am going to call for help.”
“You know it’s too late. But please listen to me one last time. I had another hope deep inside my heart,” I said haltingly.
“Tell me,” she said soothingly, her tears never stopping.
“I wanted to tell you I love you-ever since I met you and hoped that one day you’d kiss me.”
The last thing I saw before I closed my eyes was her smile. Then I felt her lips on mine. For a fleeting moment -one that seemed like eternity, I felt one with her.
Then I heard her say, “I love you.”
I was in seventh heaven.
“And you are going to make it. I’ll go get help.”
And she left.
As I lay there dying, the thought popped up yet again. I thought about it. My work would be in print, I had bid a great farewell to my friends. I had even told her that I loved her and she had even kissed me. I had made my parents proud and I was a happy man that I had done it all. It was a perfect five.
She held my hand yet again and her tears fell on my cheek. There was commotion but I could not hear it. Would I die a happy man? I was ready to answer this question that had perplexed me. Yes I was ready…
I would die a happy man and by Her grace I did.