It was a cold December morning. They both sat there waiting for the 7 a.m. bus to come. Last evening, he had received a phone call. It was war time. He had to go.
He looked at her. He saw an ocean full of doubts in her eyes.
“I will come back soon”.
She nodded and gave him a weak smile.
The bus stopped in front of them. He picked up his bag and hopped on. Standing at the door of the bus, he almost yelled, “I will return soon, I promise. Will you marry me then?”
And the ocean of doubts got bigger. She was overwhelmed to hear those words. But equally scared. Scared of saying yes. Scared of the future. Instead of giving him an answer, she just stood there. And he waited for the silence to break. But the bus was set into motion and the bus stop got lost in the fog and the distance.
Six nights later.
In those smoky mountains, he sat there in the snow keeping an eye on the perimeter with his fellow soldiers. The clothes were not warm enough. The guns were heavy. The soldiers hungry. Minutes later the sudden attack shook them all. Gun firings, soldiers shouting, aircrafts circling the sky; it was a circus at midnight. But a bloody one. The firings continued for the next few hours. It was grey and red all around. They all fought for each other. Fought with dignity. Fought with the hope of going back home. Many of them took their last breaths in that cold and harsh place, away from their families. They lay there shivering in the infinite white and waited for the pain to end. He did too.
From the pocket of his jacket, they found a letter. Sealed. Unread.
No words are enough to justify my silence that morning. Maybe fear took over my judgment. Because I am scared of losing you.
Come back safely.
P.S. It’ll be an honor to marry you.”
Her answer was unheard, unread.
It has been five years since that night. She visits that bus stop everyday.
That’s the thing about timing. It controls the significant moments of our lives. If you love someone, tell them now. Give them a call or go knock on their door. Just do it. Always say what you need to say. Say too much. Do not be scared of love. Be scared of not having any. Be scared of not giving any. Because no one wants to be the one standing alone at that empty bus stop.