Free Chapter From Aavya Book
10 October 2005
I woke up today and decided to live, in spite of the sadness you have in store for me. I have decided that I will not let you defeat me before my time. I will not let your potential for sorrow destroy me before I have tasted its bitter sap. Instead, I will stand up, as much as I can, on these broken bones, and fight for what I know is right.
I am the only person who can control myself and give myself the strength I need for the battle to come. If I cannot stay happy in spite of what you have done, I have no chance of ever getting back to Aavya. So, I woke up this morning with a renewed sense of purpose. And I will do it again the next morning, and the next, until I am able to roll over and wake up in Aavya’s arms.
I will not dwell on the cruelty you possess any longer, even though you have been cruel. I have never gotten to wake up in my lover’s arms, outside of my fantasies. I do not know what that joy feels like. But my dream is to one day know it so intimately that I can take it for granted. One day, I know that I will. And each day I wake up alone is another day closer to the blessed day when she is mine again. Our time together was short, but intense, plagued all the while by fear and sorrow. I know that when I see her again, it will no longer be that way. We deserve happiness, after the hell we have been through. And I expect that you will give it to us.
I do not believe that you would have introduced me to such heaven if you did not mean to promise it to me for life. My reward for this suffering must be sweet. That is why I won’t waste away for want of Aavya. I have faith that I will see her again soon. Every other option you might have in store for me seems too cruel, and I don’t believe, in spite of all that you have shown me, that the world can really be so cruel.
After all that you have shown me, future, your Raj is still an optimist. Does that surprise you? Are you shocked at my tenacity? Does it shock you that even though I cannot stand on my own two feet, I have risen and will keep moving forward? If it’s war that you want, you might as well surrender. My spirit is uncrushable, for it is infused with Aavya’s love. I will heal, I will stand, and I will find her again. Knock me off the roof. Throw me off a building. Push me in front of a moving car. Do it a thousand times over. My life will end with my hand in hers, or by your hand. But it will not end by my own hand. There is no other way for me.
I will see her again. If it takes a day or fifty years. I take my physical therapy seriously now, because I know it means the difference between approaching her as a man, or as a crippled invalid. You would like to see me crippled, and you would like to see me fall. But I will rise and stand before my love, whole and happy, and I will ask for her hand, this time as a man who is scarred but, not broken. She will see my strength, and she will love me for it, just as she has loved me all along.
I can only imagine what my body would be able to do if I only saw Aavya once. I think I would break free from the constraints of my broken body and fly to her, that I would be strong enough to hold her in my arms once more, and I would scoop her up in my arms and escape through these hospital doors and out into the street. With her hand in mine, I am powerful. With her hand in mine, I can do what I need to do. I can do whatever it takes.
How foolish I feel now, letting our parents deny us moments of affection we should have relished freely. How I crave them now, though I would be satisfied even with another stolen kiss if I could just feel her lips on mine once more. I should have been upfront and brave from the beginning. Perhaps if I had, we would not currently be in this situation. Instead, I’d be waking up next to her, my wife, and it would have been any other morning. Instead, I wake up in a hospital bed, and all hope of the smell of her skin or the feeling of my fingers carding through her hair is simple fantasy. Bravery, future, can get you anywhere. And I will be brave the second her lips touch mine once more. Brave like I have never been before.
Her kiss is the thought I hold in my heart when the pain threatens to overtake my body. I deny myself pain medication I might take otherwise so that my mind is clear when I try to recall the unique timbre of her voice, the sweet sounds she would make when my mouth was on hers. I know that my love, even if it cannot unite with hers as I so wish to do right now, will keep me alive until I next see her. I have to believe that. Even if it’s just vain fantasy. Most of the good things in my life are fantasy now. Sometimes I have trouble remembering that once everything my fantasies are based on used to be a reality in my life. And one day, they will be real once more.
When Aavya is mine. When Aavya is mine. That is the mantra that guides me through my days now. Future, even though I despise you, I cannot stop thinking of you. I hope that you will understand my pain and have pity on me. That fantasy dominates my thoughts. I explained it to you in my last letter–that one kind person in one kind moment. No one is kind enough here. Not truly. The nurses with their fake sweetness will not deliver my letters. They are on the side of my parents who pay the bill, and not their patient who languishes day after day in a hospital bed. I have no one here but the memories of Aavya to comfort me. I hope, one day, that you are able to bring me such comfort too.
I count the days until my body is truly strong enough to break free. I long for the day when I will not have to tolerate another moment of fake kindness, or my parents’ disappointed gazes and staunch denials. Then I will leave this place and my parents behind. I will roam the whole countryside, the whole Earth if necessary, just to find her. I hope she has not given up on me. I will never give up on her as long as I live. This love, this first love, this true love, is all that I need to get me through these dark and painful days. I hope that wherever she is, she can feel me beside her, conjure up the image of me whenever she is lonely or sad, and know that I will never abandon her. Even if my flesh is separate from hers, her soul is my own and I am hers. We will be together, in one form or another, until the end of time.
So, until my love and I are united physically once more, I defy you, wicked future. I refuse to give into the despair you so wish for me to live in and I rejoice in all that I demand you hold in store for me. Because I will tell you what you hold for me, though you may think you have different plans: my love and I will be united and we will run away from all the darkness in which we are currently enshrouded. Her smile will light my way as we boldly step into the life we have planned.
We will marry, oh future, despite your meddling, and our children will be a light unto the world just as the work we do and our love for each other will be. I don’t know why you have planned this despair for us, but I assure you that we will not stay there. Not when we are people of such light and goodness. We will carve out our own path and at the end of it, our reward will be sweet. You can try as you may to sour it with your wicked schemes and your misfortune, but whether near or far, Aavya and I have lived lives that have touched each other, and we will never truly be separate now that we know who we are.
So, that is my decree, future, for you to take and do what you will. Know that though you have lain me low in this hospital bed, this is not the last place you will find me. I am healing as quickly as my body will work and once I have, you should fear me. For I am full of fury and purpose, separate from the one who calms the restlessness of my soul. All I have is myself, but even alone I am your match. Even in this hospital bed, I am working to thwart you. You, my parents, Aavya’s parents, and anyone else who stands in the way of our love. Our love will be the last standing pillar of the world when it is in ruins. This I believe. I have seen it in my mind’s eye. I only have to reach out with these tattered hands and grab it to bring it to fruition.
Until I have healed, rest easy, future, but know that I am coming for you. I will take every sweet moment you have in store for me, every victory and every joy. You should surrender them to me because I will take what’s rightfully mine anyway