She looked at the gooey slice of chocolate cake served to her at the wedding after-party and for the first time in her 33 year long existence felt nothing. She wasn't drooling. She wasn't thinking about how she'd regret not eating it once she reached home. In fact, if she died the very next minute, there would be a hundred things about her life that she'd regret, but that piece of chocolate cake wouldn't be one of them.
Anjali rejoiced at how far she'd come in her journey towards better health. She'd never been fat in the traditional sense of the term, but she'd never measured up well against the narrow ideals of beauty and body type that the society had defined. And she was okay with that. She accepted her body as readily as she'd accepted the soul sucking job she was at that paid her fabulously.
But of late, she'd been feeling tired all the time, a 100 metre dash left her panting, her PCOS kicked in and caused alarming delays in her periods. Her gynaecologist kept insisting on pregnancy tests. Given her schedule at work, and her lack of love life, unless it was a case of immaculate conception, she was definitely not pregnant. Just tired and stressed. Her blood type was Tea Positive and her cholestrol was made up of cakes and pizzas.
Sick of feeling stuck, she decided that she'd change her life, starting with her health. She hadn't felt this great physically in years!
With that sorted, she thought about her life. About the adorable man who'd looked rather abashed as he came up to her and screwed up all his courage to start a conversation. She'd brushed him away, more out of habit than want. Maybe she'd go and talk to him. He made a rather pretty wallflower. That would make it two things that she wouldn't regret that day.
She was surprised at the thought. She didn't have time for relationships. She was on her way to becoming the youngest CEO in her organization - she had a tunnel vision when it came to work. Maybe her brain was rewiring itself thanks to the lack of her daily sugar and pizza buzz. She'd found herself singing in the shower these days. After at least 10 years. And felt an inexplicable burst of joy. She was a gifted singer after all.
Ten years. Ten years since the love of her life had been snatched away from her fighting for his country. Ten years since she had pledged allegiance to her organization. Ten years since she had looked at another man because no one could replace her Paul. Ten years since she stopped taking care of her health, because what was there to live for. Food was the only thing that brought her joy anyhow. Ten years since she'd left her hometown and moved to a land 3500 miles away to get away from his memories. Ten days since she last spoke to her mother who tried calling everyday, but didn't succeed in having a conversation every time because she was so busy.
And suddenly, she found herself wanting to feel better, physcially, mentally, emotionally, even spiritually. When was the last time she'd sat by the ocean and spoken to the waves? Probably 10 years ago.
Was she moving on? She felt something akin to guilt tug at her thoughts. Was it okay to move on without the boy who couldn't?
Maybe it was time. Her brain was stuck in its decade long loop, but her heart was ready. Ready to embrace the life that she'd been given when he died in the bomb blast that day, and she survived purely by chance. Maybe there was a reason. Maybe she'd find a purpose. All she knew was, that for the first time in ten years, she wanted to live. She was looking forward to her future.
She was healing. She smiled at the boy across the room. Yes, it was time.