Freya was living the life she always wanted to. After years of hard work she finally settled down in an apartment in Juhu, Mumbai, with a proper job and her dog, Oswald. She was the independent girl she always dreamt of becoming some day. Taking her own decisions, living all alone in her own way, no restrictions or barriers, she was finally living life the way she had promised herself six years back; 27, free and happy.
Freya’s day started off with a brisk walk along with Oswald in the society’s park at about 5 am in the morning. She would jog for about an hour and also play with Oswald in the meantime. They returned back by 6.10 am and then she preferred having a hot shower while Oswald would sit in the balcony and bark at every passing dog of the society. After getting fresh she would prepare breakfast for both of them and as an everyday routine, they would discuss life in general. Oswald was a good listener. He preferred listening to Freya talk as he wagged his tail fiercely.
The maid would walk in around 7 am and as she managed all the household chores, Freya got her bag ready for office. Freya used to pin up sticky notes up her kitchen wall explaining the maid the work she needed to complete for the day, meals she needed to prepare for Oswald and what she must cook for dinner. She usually left for office at 8 after giving Oswald a hug and lots of kisses. Oswald would rush to the balcony to see off Freya; that was also an everyday business.
After a long day at work, Freya would return home around 6.30 in the evening and that was when the maid left. As soon as Freya entered the apartment, Oswald would jump all over her expressing his excitement to see his human after such long hours. Freya preferred doing the laundry by herself. She had trust issues with the maid since she had once mixed her white shirt with her red dress and the white shirt magically converted into a pink summer print shirt. Thus, after taking a shower she and Oswald would do the laundry together and then they watched TV. Some days she used to read books to him as he lay on her lap, patiently listening.
This was what Freya’s everyday life looked like (more or less). She was not really a fan of changes and neither did she entertain guests at her place. She liked living in her own little world which was more than enough for her to survive. At times her mom would call her up while she was having dinner. Their conversation started off well but ended up in a fight. Like every other Indian mother, Freya’s mom too wanted her daughter to settle down with a man. In simple words, she wanted her to marry because according to the society if a girl crosses the 25 years of age line, it becomes difficult to find a proper groom. Freya disgusted the idea which was of course very natural.
Six years back she had shifted to Mumbai for two main reasons. The first being her determination to make a rock solid career and the second reason was that being heartbroken, she needed to change everything about her life; her routine, her surroundings and especially her city. She had memories in the city that would often leave her weak and thus she chose to move on to a new city and start a new life. The rest is history. She had sworn to herself the day she landed in Mumbai that she would keep herself as her only priority and that she would not even think of falling in love again, let alone marriage. And she started a new journey which did pay off for her. But then one day something unexpected happened.
That was a Sunday and Sundays were different from the other days of the week. Freya liked staying in bed till 8 am, sometimes the time extended to 9 am too. Oswald also followed her and he too cuddled up in his side of the bed and stayed like that till Freya got up. The maid took her days off on Sundays, Freya did not mind that. She enjoyed doing the chores at her own pace, she enjoyed cooking Oswald and herself meals, she would bathe Oswald first and then she would spend hours in the bathtub reading a book as Oswald lay nearby by the bathroom door letting his fur to dry. Freya usually skipped breakfast on Sundays but she made sure Oswald had his.They would watch some movie, laying lazily on the couch and then they would have lunch. On Sundays Freya took Oswald for an evening walk. She enjoyed the view of the kids playing in the park as their parents chatted nearby. She enjoyed Sunday like it was her own day.
So that was also a Sunday and Freya had just bathed Oswald when the doorbell rang. She wondered who could it be and fearing it might be some unwanted guests, she opened the door with a slight hint of irritation on her face. But it was the courier man. And that was a surprise in itself because ever since she landed on her job, she never received a courier.
The courier man had a huge package and he inquired if she was Miss. Freya Deb. Freya received the package by signing off her name on the list that the courier man had. She didn’t even care to look at who sent it as she was pretty sure it was either her mom or her best friend, Rita because nobody else had her address. She kept the box which was a bit heavy, at the corner of her room and went back to bathing Oswald, who was now smelling of fresh fruits because of the shampoo.
Freya was just preparing her bathtub for a relaxing bath when she heard Oswald bark. She got out and found Oswald biting off the cardboard of the courier package. Maybe he got excited as once Freya ordered his favorite toys online and they came in wrapped inside one such cardboard boxes. So basically Oswald thought that the box was for him and thus the reason behind his excitement.
Freya could not control her laughter seeing Oswald like that and she grabbed him and started patting him and told him that the parcel was not his. She cuddled him up and let the moment sink in. Oswald was definitely disappointed as he shrugged his body away from Freya and moved to the balcony, sitting there alone, looking at the people passing by.
Freya was collecting the bits of torn cardboard pieces when she noticed his name, “Saran Gupta”. Her heart skipped a beat and she felt her organs collapse all at once. She felt her legs growing weak as she stumbled on the floor. Her hands trembled as they reached to open the box, revealing what was inside it. She opened the box as tears rolled down her cheeks. Hearing her sobs, Oswald came running in and sat by her side looking at her face.
Saran Gupta; Freya’s first love and her ex-boyfriend. He was the second reason why Freya left her hometown and shifted to a new city. He was the only reason she never wanted to fall in love again. He was the reason why Freya changed into the woman she had become. And after all these years, when she finally learnt to live life in her own way, the courier showed up. Freya had already guessed what could have been inside the box, but her hands froze as she was about to tear open the cardboard lid.
She sat there for about 10 minutes, her hands resting on top of the box and she finally took one heavy breath and opened it. She was unaware of her own emotions; she was uncertain of her feelings at that moment but she smiled, tears still resting at the brim of her eyes.
Inside the box were memories that she had gifted Saran when they were in love. These memories were supposed to stay with them forever but things doesn’t work like that in reality. The box was stuffed with old gifts, handmade scrap books, dozens of cards, paintings or rather portraits of Saran and his family drawn by Freya herself. There were little hand knitted teddy bears that looked more like voodoo dolls, there were hand written letters by Freya. She found the bracelet that she had bought for Saran when she was in a trip to Goa with her family and also the locket she bought him on a valentines day with both their pictures in it.
Just when Freya thought that was it, she found a brown envelope at the bottom of the box. She gently teared off the sealed portion of the envelope and discovered a letter, written by Saran. For a moment she felt like burning the letter up but she was curious too. She wanted to know the reason behind all the mess that too after all these years. She put all the things back into the box and moved to the couch. Oswald followed her up to the couch and took his seat by her side, never letting her be alone even for a second. Freya prepared herself mentally and she finally unfolded the letter.
My intention was not to startle you, I swear. I really hope you’re doing well. And don’t worry I will be answering all the questions that are going through your mind right now.
First of all I want to say Sorry. Sorry because I never really apologized for breaking your heart. I’m sorry because I never valued your love or friendship. I’m sorry because I behaved as if it was all your fault when it was clearly me who was wrong. I’m sorry because I gave up on you. I’m sorry you had to go through so much because of me. I really am.
It has been 6 years since you left Calcutta, and everything is history now right? You have a new life and so do I. We are just distinct memories of the past, aren’t we? You know what? I never regretted our relationship. You taught me so much about love and life in general.
By the way, I got your address from Rita. It was not easy and she did not look convinced at first but I managed it somehow. It was good to see that she is still the fierce friend who can kick anybody’s ass if that is what’s needed to protect you. I could feel the anger in her eyes, honestly. She would have punched me in the face if she wasn’t with her client at that moment when I met her.
Living with the guilt of breaking a heart is very difficult Freya. And you might think that it was easy for me since I was the one who left but that is not so. It was equally haunting for me. The guilt grew so strong that I was now looking for ways to get in contact with you and ask for your apology but there was no way out. By then I was blocked in every social sites by you and then you left the city. I never got the chance to apologize. I know I’m sounding very stupid and selfish but that is how it was.
These things, I have kept them very carefully all these years. It somehow makes me realize that how horrible a person I was to do that to you. It somehow reminded me that what a beautiful person you are. It kept the guilt alive. But I cannot bear this guilt anymore Freya and I have my reasons.
I’m getting married. I never really dated anyone else after you were gone. Maybe I never wanted too. I’m still confused about what I really wanted at that time you know! Anyway, I found this amazing girl and we are getting married next year. And Freya, I cannot live with the guilt of breaking you anymore. Before I start a new phase in my life, I want to clear off the old one first and all I’m asking you is to forgive me. I can totally understand how much melodramatic it might appear to you right now but I hope you consider my apology.
I could have thrown away these stuff or burned them like every other person do with their ex’s gifts and stuff but I could not. When you made these, you had put your heart and soul in it and only you have the authority to decide their fate. So I give them back as their place lies with you. I never wanted anything bad for you and I never will, trust me on that.
Rita said that you’re now well settled in Mumbai with Oswald. I knew you’re gonna find your Oswald someday and I cannot express how happy I was hearing about him.
I hope I managed to answer your questions. You might call me selfish Freya, but this was important for me to start a new chapter in my life. I could not have lived with the guilt forever.
I’m sorry that your faith in love was over because of me. But never make that mistake Freya. Fall in love again. Every other man is not an asshole like me. I mean it!
Also, I have written my address, phone number, email id and all other basic information in another paper. You can reply me in any way that you’re comfortable with. I will be waiting for your forgiveness Freya.
Bye and take care.
Freya folded the letter and kept it back inside the envelope, never even bothering to find the second paper with the sender’s contact details. Oswald nudged his nose on Freya’s lap as she hugged him and kissed him back. They lay there on the couch long enough till Freya finally felt Oswald’s stomach making weird noise (yes, they were past lunch time). Freya laughed at how considered her baby boy was and cuddled him a bit more before they got up to spend the remaining Sunday in their usual way.