Sitting in the cramped economy class seat she considered the emptiness welling up inside. The random loneliness that engulfs her at moments like these never fails to surprise. It’s been many months and a year now. She thought she packed all her hurt and longing with a neat little bow and pushed it far away from her everyday reality. She doesn’t miss him in any way. She can listen to their song on radio and enjoy it without the lead dropping in her gut. She eats his favourite dish without feeling the bile rise. She has long stopped rehearsing the conversation they might have if they meet by chance. She has been getting through her cleverly sculpted day for months without ever thinking of him. Infact the regular day leaves her tired enough to sleep through the night without ever having to wonder what he would be up to. She knows she doesn’t love him. He had made it easier to sever him from her life. She knows she doesn’t hate him either. Hate takes effort and she had decided long back not to waste any emotion on him, ever.
In her sterile world, each day folds into the other in a regular rhythm without any disturbing crosswind. She has quietly and methodically killed it all. For the better she knows. This has helped her to be the funniest mom a 10 year old could have, a sensible friend always full of good advice, a witty co-worker reputed to be cool, and a non-interfering daughter who never nitpicks. She has managed to live her life outside of herself where there is no hurt and only a few disappointments that can be shrugged off easily. Thus this stray need to belong, jolts her. Was it that unconscious touching of hands, the tender look and the lingering smile that only lovers know so well. Right now, she likes the sanitized orderliness of her life cause it assures a safe passage. And that assurance gives her comfort. So it frazzles her nerves to suddenly feel this needy. But she knows by the time the aircraft touches down, all will be well again. She will return once more to embrace her tidy world of harmony and yes, peace.