He was trying to capture the St. Paul’s Cathedral in his camera, when he saw her for the first time. She was stubbornly in the frame, dressed in a black dress, her hair fell carelessly to her shoulder. Unaware of what she was doing, she walked towards him busy reading a book, holding it in one hand and a coffee in the other. He couldn’t help but notice the emotions that crossed her face as she read. He could have moved out of her way but would have stopped clicking, so he didn’t. Sorry! she had said in a husky voice just before she bumped into him. He did not get a single picture of the place without her that day.
Incidentally, St Paul’s Cathedral was also the place where he saw her for the last time. He had told her how much he wanted her to be his wife, while they stood outside the oldest beauty spot on the London skyline. They had been together for a few months before he had decided to say it. She had explained to him, while she held his hand tight that they wanted different things from life. She wanted to travel, see the world, climb the highest mountain, dive at the deepest part of the ocean. Even with sorrow blurring his thoughts he had promised he would wait for her to come back home. He knew she would..some day.
He never went back to the cathedral.
He was staring intently at a postcard while the phone interrupted his thoughts. He had a wall full of them from all around the world. Each one took her a little further away. He had smiled at what was written and answered the phone.
A very peppy voice had greeted him, then gone on to tell him how one of the pictures he had clicked was being featured in a photography magazine.
He had met her outside “The Gherkin”. She was holding a camera in her hand while the sling was across her shoulder. Hair pulled back in a pony and eyes hid behind geeky glassed, she had begun her interview. She spoke excitedly about how she was a fan. She told him how she hated that such a beautiful building had such a vegetative name. She had also told him, she loved how he captured moments. You make buildings talk, she had told him with a twinkle in her eye. He had listened to her talk while giving a monosyllabic reply every now and then.
That went on to become a habit. She always spoke a lot when they met, he always listened with, now with a smile on his face. He loved her zest and enthusiasm towards every little thing in life. He was surprised at the small things that made her laugh. She was as excited to see a flower blooming by the doorstep as she was while they saw view from platform at the gherkin together. She had dragged him all the way up once in the middle of a very rainy day to tell him how much she liked him.
He was standing at the Waterloo bridge when he got her email. I am coming back home, it read. It did not feel like he had thought it would, even after waiting for it for ten years.
He picked up his camera and looked through the view finder. It always gave him perspective. The whole of the London skyline lay in front of him. One one side stood history in all its grandeur, which he loved, on the other a modern marvel that gave him glory. He took a shot with mixed emotions..of the St. Paul’s Cathedral and The Gherkin looking each other.
Photo credit: Ashutosh Khandkar http://www.flickr.com/photos/99126239@N04/