She knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but she had to somehow confront him. She took in a deep breath and walked into the room.

The conversation that would follow would be a tumultuous one. She would find that his eyes grew smaller, when he was shocked, for most it was the opposite. She would tell him what she had known since she was thirteen. She would tell him that goodbyes were beautiful and so was he. And then, she would leave.

She had married him in the cold of December in 1992. Her father was dying from cancer, it was terminal and it had been to appease him that she had agreed to this matrimony. Nikhil was a nice man, he was kind and considerate, not chauvinistic in the least and he had this ease about him that was hard to replicate. She liked him, of course, he was attractive too but there was no love she bore for him. If you asked her who she was in love with when she married him, she would plainly say, “Another woman.”

When she was thirteen, she read a story called the Quilt.

It was one that caught her fancy for months and months and tries as she might, she couldn’t hide the titillating joy the story brought her. It was then that she began to notice other girls. She let it slide, assuming it was one of those passing phases of puberty but she looked at boys too and she heard how her friends spoke of them. What they wanted in those sickly looking figures, she could not comprehend. She looked at women and was enamored, by their beauty and the way they smelt of the bloom in spring. She loved especially, the way they played with their locks as they grew wild and restless. She read poetry written complimenting them and was aroused by the description of their face, likened to the moon and their eyes to the untamable wilderness. She believed she knew why she loved women. She loved them to live in the poetry that she wanted to make of her life.

Now she was 34, married and dying. She had gone through a large part of her life living under the facade that was beginning to give way. She had met a girl three months ago, who stirred immeasurable passion in her, the way that Nikhil’s love had never come close to. She knew now, that life is short enough as it is and with her disease spreading faster with every second, she had reached the epiphany that now was the time to live her poetry. If only for a year, she would have her bit of romanticism.

So last night, she had packed her bags, taken some cash, everything was ready. A lifetime of mistakes and one shot at redemption. A conversation she was dreading to have awaited her. And she for one just couldn’t wait.

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