A Letter of Love


                          Source : http://www.7day.co

Tonight I can write. Somehow, now is the perfect time.

I know not what tomorrow brings but this night, the little space of time before the sun peeks from beyond the horizon with its blushing face, is mine. I know not if I will survive tomorrow. I know not if I will be able to ever see your face or hear your voice again. No matter what happens tomorrow, I want you to know that till the last moment, it was of you that I thought. It was your face that flashed before my eyes and it was the sound of your laughter that filled the air around me.

The night is dark but there are atleast a million stars atwinkle. I see a shooting star and my eyes close upon a wish. I wish I could meet you again. Even if for just a few seconds. To hear you laugh again. To see you smile again. To see the way the sun makes your auburn hair glow from within. ..

Tonight I shall spare no words. I shall write about everything- my every feeling and thought. I want to bare myself completely to you. Somehow I feel I might never again get a chance to do it.

I still remember the day I first met you. You were looking so pretty in that beautiful golden dress and I remember gawking at you like a moron. I even pinched myself to see whether you were indeed real. Your hair all aglow with the sun behind you, I almost took you for a vision.  I wondered if I was going to die. If you were the angel sent to take me to heaven. It was your laughter that broke the spell. You were laughing and I started thanking the Gods, for you were indeed real. And human. Even though so utterly divine.

From then on I had always looked forward to our daily meetings under that oak tree.  That grand old oak tree which had sustained years of abuse from the skies. It bore a silent witness to our growing love.

I always knew what your father would say. I knew he would happily kill me before letting you marry someone like me. In that I agreed with him. You deserved better. Much better. That’s why I went away. Not because I ceased to love you. But because I loved you so much, it ached simply to look at you and know that you could never truly be mine. I knew how much you loved your father. I knew how much you owed him. I could never bring myself to even ask you to leave him and come away with me.

Do not for even a second think I did not try. I asked your father for your hand thrice.  I begged, I beseeched. I swore I would take care of you. I promised I would provide you with every comfort and more.  I told him I shall never let you cry. That I shall fill your life with so much happiness, you would think yourself in heaven. And most importantly, I said I will love you always, no matter what, with the same intensity that I loved you then. But he refused to believe me. He took them all as hollow promises from a young lad who did not even have a roof over his head. From someone who had absolutely no idea about his parentage.

I forgive him for that. If I had been in his shoes, I would have done the same. You are just too precious to be made to lead a horrible life, which would have been your lot if you had married me then. That’s why I left. I promised your father that I would be back. That when I am back, I shall be as rich as Croesus. I told him that then, he would have no objection whatsoever to my suit. I would then be able to keep you like a princess.

I had no skill. There was no occupation that I could take up, me being sans money and skill. I started feeling like a complete fool for all the grand sweeping promises I had made to your father. The world outside the village was cruel and I had to work like a mule just to survive.

That’s when I heard about the Commissions.

I had never wanted to be a soldier. A soldier’s life was all about putting one’s life on the line and I did not want to die. I wanted to live. I wanted to get rich enough to marry you, buy a huge house and fill it up with children and their laughter. I wanted to live till a ripe old age and see my grandchildren and play with them.  I did never want to live a life of uncertainty, not knowing if all my efforts will be in vain, if the next bullet will mark the end of my life.

But in the end, Fate won. I bowed before destiny and became a soldier. And I never regretted my decision. Until now. It maybe because death is so close to me, I can feel it in the air around me, and yet you are not with me. I am banished from even a single sight of your lovely face and here am I, all alone, waiting for tomorrow, as a lamb going to the slaughter house.

And the thing that disturbs me the most is that I could have been there with you now. I had made Captain and I could have sold out. I had amassed enough wealth to have made your father agree to our suit. We could have been married by now. But I had to be stubborn. I had to be moved to nearly mindless rage listening to the plight of the soldiers under my command who had been caught captive. Listening to the tortures they underwent, I thought of them. I am ashamed to confess that for a long agonizing moment your sweet face and our numerous children- the possibilities, the opportunities- everything danced before my eyes. I thought of leaving my fellowmen at the mercy of the enemy. My weakness shamed me then. It shames me now.  But then the moment passed. Here I am now.

Tomorrow, we storm the fort. There are ten of us-the brave and insane ones to actually come back into enemy territory after fighting day and night just to get out of it. We are here with just one mission-to rescue our fellowmen. There are twenty men in the fortress. Anybody with brains the size of peanuts can guess the outcome. But I have hope. Maybe, just maybe, if the gods are indeed magnanimous, we shall meet again.

The stars are obscured by clouds. The moon hides behind a cloud and the night sky impossibly gets even darker. Only a mile lies between me and death. Yet I am smiling. The memories I have of you will see me through the night.

You must have forgotten me by now. Indeed there is absolutely no reason whatsoever in thinking about and in waiting for a person who professed to love you one day and left the village without a word the other day. Two years without a letter. Without knowledge of any kind about me- whether I live or did the Gods punish me with swift death for deserting and hurting you.

Know this, Ameilia, I left you without a word because I never wanted to give you hope. Even though I trusted myself, believed myself capable of amassing wealth enough to be a suitable groom, I had this nagging doubt deep inside my heart. The what-ifs raised their ugly and cruel heads and I could not find it in me to tell you I was leaving you. I could not stand to see your face crumble and watch the tears fall from your eyes. I knew my going away would hurt you. But you were young. If I failed in my mission to be wealthy, I would never have returned back home. Soon, you would forget about me and would have found another man worthy of your regard. It killed me to think about that. But I had to be selfless.

I could not snatch from you the right to be happy just because you loved me. Because the only happy moments of my life were those spent with you under that old oak tree. You changed my life. You gave it melody and music. You gave me hope. You gave me a reason to smile. I could never snatch away that same smile from your life.

Dearest Ameilia, if you find it in your heart to forgive me, please do. I know I am being selfish now, writing to you when there seems to be absolutely no hope in my life. No hope for our life. But I want you to remember me. To think of me as that crazy boy who loved you to distraction. To smile for me. To breathe for me. To bring up children for me. To live for me.

Everything ends. People die. Dreams crumble. Hopes shatter. But love lives on.

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