Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
—William Ernest Henley
‘Oh, that’s it?! Believe you me I don’t want to know you!’,Vinod was talking, but somewhere he knew he didn’t mean it.
‘That hurt! But I guess I have earned it. Listen, it might sound easy right now, but there will come a time when you won’t be able to…well…resist me.’She said in a slight smug way.
‘Is that it? Is that all?’, Vinod asked, calmer now.
‘Yes…I guess my work here is done.’,smitha knew what was coming next.
There was an awkward silence. Nobody knew what to do or what to say. Smitha was the one to break the silence.
‘So, I am going to go back in my time now. See if what I did, made any difference.’,Smitha picked up her bag.
‘Wait, listen, I know I have been very rude to you. Not welcoming at all. I am curious what is it that happens in the future that you are trying to avoid.’Vinod asked.
‘I can’t tell you that’, She smiled. ‘But we can spend time just talking maybe’.
For some reason Vinod wanted to stay and figure out this beautiful, mysterious woman who was looking at him like she knew him. The fact that she knew everything about him, and still looked at him with adoration, baffled him. He thought nobody who actually knew him could like him, let alone love him. Here she was, beautiful, intelligent, witty and clearly, in love with him. The way she looked at him, with fierce protection and belonging. Like it was something so obvious, like it was the rule that she loved him, and anyone he knew who didn’t was so foolish. Supriya could never see Vinod like that, with utter confidence, unconditional love, especially after Josephine.
Smitha clicked her fingers to snap Vinod back to reality. ‘You can ask anything apart from what I am about to avoid’.
‘Okay then, how is the future, you know, for me?’,Vinod asked.
‘It’s pretty amazing. You and Supriya have a boy, you guys are really happy. You land nice jobs in the future, and become the supervisor Technical Head in Infocomm. It’s all rosy. Except for one problem.’
‘Me…’,Smitha laughed but it was a hollow laughter.’Can I make a request? I have a hotel room booked in my name, Can we have a few drinks together before I leave? Inside the room, nobody would recognize you, can you do that?’
Every bone in Vinod’s body wanted to say yes…but he knew what that might cost him. He had promised himself, never again. yet, something was just not right about denying the offer. He thought maybe a few hours, what difference can it make.
He decided to go with her. He could, afterall, handle a few drinks.