She sat on the passenger seat of the railway compartment, swaying with the to and fro motion of the train. This journey was going to take her far away. Away from home, family, and him. But she'll always bear the heartache that these three had given her in her chest.
She had gotten tired of it all. And had left.
Left them all behind.
He had told her what he thought of her. A desperate gold digger. Her bua ji had told her that she couldn't ever bring them any happiness. They had left no other choice for her, other than to agree to the wedding with Shyam ji. But how could she do that? When she had been foolish enough to give her heart away to somebody else. Yes he thought of her as none better than an escort. No, he hadn't been explicit enough to use that word, but that's what he had meant, right? His every word still resonated in her ears. The first time that her heart had ever beat for someone, and it had all been a stupid mistake. And god only knew how long it'd be before she got over him? How did one get over their first love? Did they ever succeed? No matter what the answers to these mysteries of life, she couldn't marry someone else while she still loved him. It'd be a sin. Shyam ji was a good man, and deserved an honest relationship. And she couldn't give him that. Whatever mess she may make of her own life, she had no right to ruin someone else's. And considering the age gap between the two of them, it was highly unlikely that they'd ever be compatible. She was just eighteen, while he was over thirty. Her parents were old school people, but she knew that life still held a lot more for her. There were other ways she could give them happiness. She could go out and earn money, and get her Babuji the best treatment there was for his condition. Then she could also pay off their debts and make life simpler. How was getting married the solution here anyways. But then her Bua ji was not known for her prudence, was she. She had insisted her on staying home and quit her job while they had been going through all those financial hardships. Who was to buy bread and butter if she had stayed home?
But now she was going to follow her heart, and do what she thought was right. Hence she had left in the darkness that had shrouded the city as the Diwali lights had died out...