The Last Hug

She was hungry last night and requested him to bring her something. None of her friends were there, so he did. The Masala Dosa, which he had somehow arranged at 2 am, had now turned cold because he had spent too much time thinking about how he would face her. What would he say?

And when she was about to take the parcel and return, he asked for a hug. His heart was throbbing, eyes expectantly searching his yes. He was too scared to advance with stretched arms. After a few moments of thinking, she did hug him. He almost melted into her arms.

Under the full moon light, beyond bright street lamps of her colony, they took deep breaths and caressed each other fervently. His fingers were shaking. She held him close. He pulled her closer. Feeling all the known curves on each other’s back. He quickly sneaked a peck on her cheek and smelled her hair.

Yes, her hair. It had the same old fragrance beside which he used to wake up in the morning. Contented. In disbelief, everytime, that he was waking up next to the most beautiful girl on earth. And then he used to just spoon into her bosom like a small baby. These used to be the best moments of his life. She would caress his hair with her fingers and scratch his head softly with her sharp nails and they would slowly fade back to sleep. “How could I be so lucky?”, he often used to wonder. Well, he was not.

Vehicles passed by at times. On other days, they would quickly part and act sly; as if exchanging a notebook. Maintaining a distance. Making gestures as if explaining something important or speaking some random-madeup-nonsense. And as the vehicle would pass by, they would cling again.

But tonight, neither of them bothered the headlamps or the faint sounds of the engines growing louder. They, somehow, didn’t matter tonight. He didn’t want it, but somehow, he sure that this was his last hug with her.

Hugs have always been important in his life. “I find so much peace in your hug, I don’t know why.” , people would tell him. He just hugged a few people. But often. With honesty.

The moment expanded into time. He was so much into her that he was almost lost. Glued. Eyes closed. Measuring her breaths with his. Trying to sync them. And it lasted for quite some time…

And then she cleared her throat. He got his cue. With one last gentle push, they parted. He looked at her for a few more seconds, turned around and left. Without another word. Without another turn. Maybe she also didn’t turn. Maybe she did.

He would never know.

Inside he was so content. He felt light and he realized that ‘possession’ was a habit they had inculcated by being in constant proximity of each other. And now he had found the way, from a distance. Of loving her but not possessing her. Of letting her go…

Hugs have always been important to him.
He realised that he had moved on.