She was sitting in her clinic, toying with her pen stand, cursing herself for fighting with him, yet understanding how difficult it was for him to come to Ambala from Bhopal where he was at present. And she was angry with herself for being so demanding yet understanding. Practical yet foolish. And helplessly in love. She hated whoever that Saint Valentine was for coming up with such a useless hyped day. There were just a few of her routine patients who had come for their follow up. She tackled them all and was fiddling with the hair, replaying their conversation over the past few days.
“I cannot come dear, its the middle of the week. Its a working day!”
“Oh come on, your work and the world won’t stop if you do….I mean just come for a day!”
“And do what? Whole of Ambala knows you, we possible cannot go out. Unless you have told your folks about us…or you want to go ahead and do it!”
“You know I have not, and lets not get into that…there is a right time to do that and we have discussed it amply..”
“So dear, what am I to do there?”
“Oh think of something…I have to see you, its been long…..”
“Three months” said Saurabh “Not so bad”
Long enough to feel like a lifetime….she didn’t say that though.
“Maam, a new patient for you”, her assistant Bela chirped, breaking Sneha’s reveire.
“Now? Strange….. was there an appointment?”
“No madam, he just says its sort of urgent….shall I let him in”
“Hmnnn…OK, in a minute…”
She took a blank sheet of paper, and a deep breath. Get the thoughts out and let the sunshine in…..she told herself. She began writing some random list on the paper, trying to get away from the thoughts dancing in her head, when she heard a familiar voice
“Saurabh!!” She was mildly shocked and astonished. There he stood in his handsome glory, his dimpled smile and travel ruffled hair. With his sack slung on his back and a single long stemmed perfect red rose in his hand.
“Did you really believe I would have missed this day for anything in the world?”
“I..uh…how did you come?when I mean….” she was too flabbergasted to make any sense
“I just wanted to tease and surprise you….” He came in and shut the door behind him. “Bela doesn’t know me right? Lets not confuse her doc!” he said as he held her gently in his arms.
Tears were streaming down Sneha’s cheeks as he lovingly smoothed her hair.
Next hour in the clinic flew like 5 quick minutes when he gave her a small gift for the day….to keep her going till the next meeting, whenever that would be. They had a cup of tea, shared a few laughs and took pictures to treasure for the days to come. After almost an hour, Saurabh reluctantly moved out…pained at the thought of leaving Sneha, and more at the thought of the long Ambala- Chandigarh- Bhopal trip back!
“Sir…..” chirped Bela as Saurabh was leaving, “You forgot to make the payment…”
“Oh, I am so sorry, how much will that be?” Saurabh asked with a disarming grin
While Bela was writing a receipt for him, Saurabh stole a last glance at Sneha…..to keep him going for the next few months.