I looked up towards her. And I was shocked.
I could not say anything. I just kept looking at her.
“I came here to make a cash transfer. You remember my brother, isn’t it? He is now studying in Bangalore and I need to send him some money”
She said softly and forwarded me the deposit slip.
I looked at the deposit slip. And without saying anything started typing the data in the software. She sat down in the chair opposite me. I noticed my hands were shivering a bit. After entering the data I looked at her, she has put on little weight. Her face looks fuller now. Those dark eyes are still sharp and attractive, and she still keeps her long straight hair untied. My heart was beating faster now, I wanted to ask many things, but could not decide what to ask first.
“When did he went to Bangalore”, a silly question, that’s all I could come up with finally.
“Oh, it’s been almost 2 years now. My husband got transferred here last year, so now we are settled here” her sweet nasal voice still has the same impact on me. “And what about your family, Pradip”
I had Goosebumps instantly; it is always like that when she made that hissing sound when she pronounces my name with extra emphasis on the word ‘P’.
“Same as usual, still single”. I replied but didn’t look at her eyes this time.
“Actually I don’t know much about this bank transfer thing. I am so was relieved to see you, I didn’t even know you worked here” she kept on speaking. I knew this is what she does whenever she is extremely nervous. And while talking she kept her hand on the table. I looked at the hand and I just lost track of what she was saying. Extra bangles!!! I noticed, now she had ten in her hand instead of just three, all red with bright stones in them. Her fair hand looked prettier with them. She noticed me staring at her hand, and slowly moved her hand away and kept it under the table.
“okay, transfer complete” I said immediately just to change the topic.
“Oh, good, I till call him and confirm it. Okay, if you excuse me, I will go now, have lot of work to do” She said as she stood up to go.
“Sure, let me walk you out”, I said and stood up from my chair and proceeded slowly towards the door. I didn’t wanted the walk to get over.
Just outside the door, we paused for a little, looked at each other. I could not understand her eyes expressions. May be she doesn’t want me to feel anything now, may be it’s too late for anything now. I kept looking at her and said “May be we should meet again”
“That would be so nice, but I am so sorry. I am so busy now a days that I don’t even get time to come out. May be next time when I come to bank for the money transfer” she sounded apologetic, without any other feelings what so ever. I was waiting for some hint, something which will tell me that I am still there, somewhere in her thoughts. Hints of some feelings she still has for me. There were none.
“Okay then, some other time” I said still looking into her eyes for the last time. This time I knew all my love for her which I saved for the last 5 years came to my eyes. I just wanted to tell her that I still love her.
I knew it was too late for that now. My love doesn’t mean anything now, she has her family and it’s better to keep it that way. I didn’t tell her that today was my last day in the bank. I had already resigned and would be joining another bank from next week onwards. As I knew even if she wanted to meet, it’s better I don’t.
She didn’t replied and just looked at me, and for just a split second, I saw the hint I was waiting for. She turned and moved away, there was no exchange of ‘Byes’, no exchange of telephone numbers.
We just went apart like we did 5 years earlier.