Line in the sandHow much love is too much love?
She looks at the old tree from her window and tries to find a resemblance between them. They are both hollow from inside, ready to fall, she thinks. It had been five years since she had been feeling the insides of her decaying and distancing from herself. It had been exactly the same time he had left her.
“You deserve all the happiness in the world and I will give it to you,” his voice echoed inside her mind—a reminiscence of a broken promise.
It all started with a misdialed call. When she was trying to call her cousin in Kathmandu, she made a mistake and ended up calling him. She cut the phone abruptly when she realised she called the wrong person. But in minutes, got a callback. He said his name was Deepesh and he liked her voice.
She was 19 years old and was living in Biratnagar and he was a medical student from Kathmandu. It took no time for her to fall head over heels for him. Yes, they had never met—but something told her he was the one.
They used to spend their nights in long conversations over the phone or chatting through social media.
“Rashmi, I’m in trouble,” one day Deepesh told her during their late-night phone calls. “I need to deposit my examination fees but I haven’t heard from my parents. If I don’t do it by this week, I will fail.”
He sounded despondent and restless.
“I can help you,” Rashmi replied without any hesitation. She wired him all her pocket money—the extra that she had saved for a new cellphone. But unbeknown to her, it was the start of many of such requests from him.
Sometimes it was books, other times hostel fees. He was always short of money and it was her, who kept fulfilling his needs. She would even fight with her parents for extra pocket money, all of which was sent to him. She was always thinking of an excuse to ask for more money from her parents. She stopped thinking about her studies—all that was in her head was Deepesh and his demands.
Deepesh used to sheepishly tell her that he will eventually return all her money after he graduates. He used to tell her that everything he earns after he becomes a certified doctor is hers anyway. She dreamt of a future together and never once doubted his promises.
Two years passed by and Rashmi was deeply in love with a guy she had never met. But she decided that it was time for them to meet in person. She had been fulfilling his demand but she thought it was time to put her foot down.
“I want to see you,” Rashmi said on the phone.
“Why so hurry?’ said the voice from the other end.
“Hurry? It has been two years, Deepesh. I will not talk to you unless you come to see me,” she said and hung up.
Her heart was racing. She had never done anything like this before. As soon as she hung up, she thought of calling him back but she didn’t. Tears rolled down her eyes as she thought she had pushed him away, forever. She didn’t expect him to call her back because he had not called her in a long time, it was always her.
But the next morning, to her surprise, she got a text from him. “I am coming to meet you,” it read.
She didn’t know what to feel. She was excited, restless and nervous. She went to the bus park and waited for him.
As the bus from Kathmandu entered the bus park, her heart nearly stopped. But she calmly stood up from the bench and walked towards the bus. One-by-one the passengers started to get off and she scanned the faces of each and every one. Then, she saw him.
He got off the bus and scanned his surroundings. As he saw her standing, he walked towards her.
It was the best day of her life. She finally met her sweetheart. They spent the whole day holding hands and talking. All her worries and doubts were gone. She wished she could spend more time with him but he was going back to Kathmandu the next morning.
“You should come to Kathmandu,” he said.
She knew her parents would never allow her, and she told him so. But he insisted. He said it was for their love.
“I will soon start my internship. Then, we will be able to live together,” he said.
Back in her room, she thought hard about him and what he had said. She was scared but she was also in love with him. Now that she had met him in person, she felt that her feelings had grown even more. She knew she wanted him—other things were secondary.
Four weeks later, Rashmi was in Kathmandu. She fought with her parents and cried till her eyes were swollen. She refused to eat or go to college. She begged them, threatened them. She did everything she could until they agreed to send her to Kathmandu and admitted her to a new college.
Deepesh had told her that her life will be full of surprises and adventure once she gets to Kathmandu and she was very excited for a new chapter in her life. She called him as soon as she was settled at a relative’s place.
It was exactly like how she had thought it would be. She met him every day. She want-ed to love him and care for him so she never even thought twice when he asked her to do anything for him. She still spent all her money on him. The more they spent their time together, the more his demands grew. It came to a point where he took hold of her pocket money as soon as she received it.
One day, Deepesh demanded more money, even after taking a big portion from her monthly allowance.
“I can’t give you any more,” Rashmi said. “Because I don’t have any.”
After a moment of silence, she dared to ask, “Isn’t your internship paying you enough?”
“You know how expensive studying medicine is and instead of supporting me you are mocking my situation,” Deepesh became defensive pretty quickly.
“No, I didn’t mean that. I will do anything for you,” she replied.
The next day, Deepesh took her to Thamel and after walking through the narrow alleys for a few minutes, they entered a hotel. He asked her to wait in the lobby. After he had a chat with the man in the reception, he came back with a key and directed Rashmi to take the stairs. She quietly obliged.
After they entered a room, he asked her to freshen up. When she came out of the bathroom, she saw a middle-aged man sitting on the bed and giving a bundle of cash to Deepesh.
“Anything,” Deepesh mouthed at Rashmi before he left.
That moment still haunts her, even after many years. She wasted her time, her life and her youth for a man, who was only using her for his benefit. But what hurt her the most was her own naivety. She should have learned to love herself first, maybe then she wouldn’t have lost everything.