Vidur was in love with Anamika. She had been complaining of stomach ache for a few days. She went through a series of investigations and was put on the proper medication.
Some days later, while both of them were driving in Vidur’s Car, he asked her, “Anamika, will you marry me?” she said quietly, “No, Vidur, you are a nice guy and I’m really fond of you, but I want to go to U.S.A. for higher studies, I don’t plan to marry at all.” That made him very angry. They had been friends for four years now. Without saying the words, it had always been implied, but now … what did she think of herself?
He dropped her home without another word. Days passed. Then he called her up one day and asked, “Anamika, would you re-consider? I’d do anything for you.” “No Vidur, in fact, I’m glad you called, I’m leaving for U.S.A tonight.”
“Can I see you before you go?”
“No, I’m very busy today. You know last minute things to wind up and all … goodbye, Vidur.”
Six months later, Vidur was reading the newspaper. His eyes were drawn to a picture in it … Anamika! No! It couldn’t be her, I still love her! She can’t be dead!
He drove furiously for two hours to reach her home. He was greeted by her picture decorated with a freshly strung garland of jasmine flowers. And what was that in her neck? The heart shaped pendent he had given her on her birthday! He could not hold back the tempest in his eyes.
In anguish he went up to her father and asked, “What happened to Anamika?” The father said, “Who are you?” “Vidur,” he replied. The old man held his hand and said, “You have reached too late son. Anamika was diagnosed for stomach cancer seven months back. She has been on treatment ever since. She deteriorated rapidly. By the time it was diagnosed, it had spread to most of the organs in the abdomen. The chemotherapy was painful. Whenever she was delirious, she would call out, “Vidur, I love you … love you …” The old father could barely speak through his tears “Whenever we asked her about it, she would say, ‘I don’t know any Vidur, Papa.’ ”
The boy was beside himself with grief. He asked, “Was it diagnosed while she was studying in the U.S?” The father said in surprise, “Anamika never went abroad. Never planned to, what are you talking about?”
Then it dawned upon him. The stomach aches … the turning down of his proposal….the story about going abroad … and all for what? … Because she loved him too much to first say ‘I love you’ and then leave him behind alone!