Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, October 06, 2011


'Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern star.
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you' - Rascal Flatts

By Osama Rahman
Illustration: E. R. Ronny

A broken smile for a broken heart on a broken road. She stood still, eyes transfixed on her monitor screen, seeing him as if for the first time. 'I have nothing to say,' she manages to utter. Silence is his only reply but the silence hurts, as if its magnitude increases as it travels to reach her corner of the world from another part. 'I understand,' he finally says, returning her half-smile with his own crescent version. A broken smile from a broken heart on a broken road.

How easy is it to forgive and forget? How easy is it to move on? How easy is it to live? If Yawer knew he would have to start pondering life without Faiqa after 7 years down the road, would he have acted differently? No, he answers himself. Regardless of how hard it may be to forget, to move on or to live, it could be done. Memories last forever. 'Of course it can be done,' Faiqa says encouragingly, 'Life won't stop. You will find someone else.' Yawer stares at her, his eyes blazing, pondering his rebuttal. Rather, he decides to swallow his response for another day. 'Best of luck,' he says. She offers a similar exchange. The ending is the hardest part of the journey. Farewell wishes are complimented by the half-smiles. Half-hearted wishes for half-fulfilled dreams on a half-journeyed road.

For all the years together, Yawer and Faiqa had been in love, without denial. Despite the ups and downs, despite the mistakes and despite the problems, they had loved each other dearly. And neither could imagine a life without the other. But the 5000 miles of distance between the two was getting to be too much.

Now, both of them look at each other, freezing the frames, prolonging the farewell, hoping a magic word would make everything right again. The connection meter on the Skype bar moves down a notch. The drop is coming and they both know it. A silent decision is made. Once the connection fails, there will be no calling back. Unspoken words, yet attuned brains transmit the messages and receive them. It is what years of love can get you.

'I will always be there for you.' Faiqa whispers.

'I will too.' Yawer replies. This time there are no tears and no smiles. In the end, there is always peace. Silence prevails. Suddenly, the video image freezes and the background noise is gone. Then the call drops and the screen becomes normal again. Faiqa's image is gone. A broken connection for another broken connection on a broken road.

All love stories, the greatest ones, don't end in happiness nor in tragedies. The unheard great love stories, without unreal triumphs and real emotions, just end. There is no moral point to be derived from it. The remnant of a broken relationship is an everlasting friendship. Who else but the woman you love or the man you love would know you better? Where one road ends, another begins, on another direction. A broken smile for a broken road from a broken heart. Yet, a smile nonetheless.



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