The Last Kiss
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Payal woke up to her husband’s gentle nudging. “Happy Anniversary, Payal”, he smiled down at her.
“Same to you, Girish”, she smiled sleepily.
“Come on, get up. I have an anniversary gift for you”, he pulled her to her feet.
He almost dragged her along the corridor to his lab at the other end of their house. “Girish, slow down”, she laughed breathlessly. They came to a stop at the door to his lab.
“Payal, I present to you”, he opened the door of the lab, “!The Machine!”.
Inside the lab, in the midst of all Girish’s strange appratuses stood a large obelisk. It was stragely shimmery and looked as if it was made of molten silver.
Payal caught her breath. “Oh its so beautiful. What is this?”.
“This, is our dream come true!”
“Have you done it? Really? Oh Girish I’m so proud of you!”
Payal’s husband was a scientist. Payal knew that he had been fascinated by the concept that many parallel universes exist at one point of time, and that he had been trying to achieve a way to travel through these universes.
“Payal I’ve done it! The Machine can travel through the universes!”
“Let’s go for ride!”
“Wait,. I’ve got another gift for you!”
She turned to him in happy anticipation. He dragged her close and planted a resounding kiss on her lips. “I Love you”, he murmured.
He then walked towards the machine holding her hand and drew a pattern on the wall of the obelisk. It parted and they walked in and the wall slid back smoothly. It was wide enough for both of them to stand in.
“Where to? miss?”, Girish asked. “You know Girish, I would like the future to be a surprise, so let’s go back in time, to some old Victorian city. I’d love to see the countryside. Before she knew it, they were moving.
In what seemed like two minutes, everything was back to normal. Girish drew some patterns and the wall started parting. Before they could open fully, Payal who was so eager to see the old world, stepped out pulling Girish along. As they started to walk out of the obelisk, Girish scraped his hand against the walls and at the next instant the walls had closed in on him.
Payal turned in horror and yelled out “Girish!”. But it was of no use. The obelisk gave one final shimmer and zoomed out to a small dot. Absolute terror froze Payal to the spot.
After sometime she looked around, taking in her surroundings. She was standing by a bench at some Victorian station. People crowded in from all directions. She did not know the country. She did not know the language. The only thing she knew was that it is the place she had last seen her Girish and it is the place where she would wait for his return.
Years have passed. The station is deserted. You will hardly find a soul there. But if you pass by it, you may see an ageless, dirty looking woman in torn clothes sitting beside the bench, looking forlorn, hoping that one day her Girish will come back to her.
She sits there, with a torn cloth tied over her lips, holding in the one thing that her Girish left her…the last kiss.