Malhar would never leave Alimah’s hand. This sounded too quixotic to their friends once. And they always proved their friends wrong.
Although they had been acquainted for three long years, they had never felt any trace of affection for each other before that night of their college trip. They sat opposite to each other, around the bonfire with the rest of their friends; their eyes articulating. And the fire, on that dark, starry, chilling night, kindled the love in them.
Alimah could not get over the thought of Malhar’s strong hands holding hers, earlier that day, to help her walk over the wooden log bridge to cross the recklessly flowing river. And he could not forget the softness of her shivering hands in his. They looked at each other and they both knew they were meant to be together, always.
She woke up on the second year of their togetherness to find a void space on her bedside. He had already left for work early, without uttering a word. She wished she had not expected any surprises on their anniversary because she had got none. And this feeling shattered her even more. She remembered the last year when he had taken her on a long drive to the Western Ghats and they halted on a small tea shop while it drizzled and they walked hand in hand along the green valleys. This year, there was no rain. Everything seemed dried up, even her tears. She had cried enough for past few months. She had tried enough to bring back the fallen pieces together but failed.
She decided that she would expect the worst now. She made up her mind to face a divorce, she was ready for it. Maybe, he would return with the legal documents in the evening, she thought. She got up and like all other days, started with her daily chores.
While dusting their bedroom, she found his diary with a bookmark stuck between it, in a drawer next to their bed. She couldn’t resist to not read and turned to the page where Malhar had written the latest entry. She read it. And by the end of it, she was already up on her feet, about to runaway to him. And while on her way, his words reappeared in her mind. He had written everything that was needed to be said. He had written everything that was needed to rekindle their relationship.
Alimah stood in his office's reception and a thought struck her that how would she defend herself for reading his diary. But she had no need to solve that query.
Malhar's voice sent chills down her spine. "I knew you'd come", he said. Alimah turned back to find him standing there, smiling. Alimah couldn't respond. But, a tear rolled down her eye. And that was enough said.
He held her hand. He felt the same softness in her shivering hands. And she felt his strong hands. He looked into her eyes, confidently.
He knew she would definitely read his diary if he kept it in the right place. He knew what to write. He knew he chose the right words.
Malhar leaned forward to embrace her. And outside, it rained again.