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A Moment in Time

Discussion in 'Fanfiction' started by Jamaicalady, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. Jamaicalady

    Jamaicalady Member

    A Moment in Time

    Our lives are made up of moments - big moments and little moments. Some moments change everything.

    I married right out of high school to my best friend, Rich. I worked odd jobs while he went to college. My parents were not well off, but comfortable. While I was an only child, I had never felt lonely. Shortly after Rich graduated from college, I became pregnant and nine months later we became a family of three with the birth of our son, Cody. Such happiness is almost too good to be true.

    Within a year of Cody's birth, both of my parents were gone. Killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. Although I keenly felt the absence of my parents, my small family kept me sane. Rich was doing well in his career and I became pregnant for a second time. God was so good and gave us a precious daughter, Anjali. Life was so beautiful, and time passed by quickly. As our children grew, I became restless and decided to go to school for photography. I had always loved taking pictures and I excelled at it. As our children grew, I would sometimes take freelance jobs. I totally enjoyed these, but my family would always come first.

    It was the winter when Cody turned seventeen and Anjali was just fourteen, I was offered a chance to do a photo shoot in the Bahamas. At first, I was reluctant to take it, but Rich persuaded me to follow my dream. It was wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. On the next to last day, I got a phone call from Rich's sister, Kathy. It seems there was an accident on the way home from Cody's basketball game. Cody, Anjali and Rich were gone. It was as if I had stepped into my worst nightmare.

    The days were a blur. Somehow, I got through the funerals and all that losing someone entails. Once the real business of dealing with your grief starts, it holds you in a fierce grip. There were days I couldn't even get out of bed. I prayed for God to take me as well, but He obviously had other plans for me.

    I finally decided that if He wouldn't let me die, I would take the steps to reinvent myself. I sold most of my possessions, bought the best camera and set out on the road. I kept myself so busy that I didn't have time to think. Each night, I would fall exhaustedly into bed to blessed darkness.

    I made a point of keeping people at arms length. I was friendly without getting close. After all, getting too close to the flame means you will get burned. Years went by this way and my career was on the upswing. I started doing overseas work and became a regular globetrotter.

    As I neared my fortieth birthday, I decided to take a holiday. India had always fascinated me and I made up my mind to go. I first traveled to London for a quick photo shoot and caught Air India to Mumbai. I was on my way!

    It was at this time, God decided to give me a "moment in time". I had splurged on a first class seat and was feeling very important. The seat next to me was empty as I took out my laptop and started doing research on places I wanted to see in India. I didn't look up when someone sat down next to me. As we got ready for take off, I shut off my computer and pulled out a book I'd been wanting to read. I still had not looked at my seatmate. I didn't want to talk or be talked to. Once we were in the air, I looked up to call the stewardess for a drink when I noticed the man sitting next to me was looking at me. As our eyes met, I felt a sense of unease, and an uncomfortable feeling that I knew this person. He smiled and said hello. I uttered something and tried to look away, but he had something about him that drew me. He was Indian and not Hollywood handsome, but he had great dimples when he smiled and those beautiful eyes. When we had ordered our drinks, both ordered rum and coke, we started to chat. He said his name was Shah Rukh and asked me mine. He asked me if I had ever been to India and when I said no, he told me how beautiful it was. The way he described it, I couldn't wait to photograph it.

    We talked about photography, travel, just everyday pleasantries and I found him very easy to talk to. He showed me pictures on his laptop of his three children who were adorable. Then came the question that I was dreading. "Do you have any children?" I had avoided talking about personal things for this very reason. I suppose I could have lied and say "No", but this was a stranger and probably someone I would never see again after we landed. So, I told him my story. At one point, my eyes filled with tears, but I didn't want to cry in front of this stranger. I had avoided looking at him as I related what had happened until he reached over and put his hand on mine. I looked up and was shocked that he had tears running down his cheeks. It made my own tears spill over. God, I needed a cigarette! On long overseas flights, they have a small smoking lounge for first class. You could maybe get three people in it if you squeezed together. As I got up, he asked where I was going and got up with me. We must have been the only smokers on the plane as the lounge was empty. That suited me just fine. Since he had been blunt in asking about children, I decided to be blunt also. I wanted to know why a stranger would cry for me. He told me that he had lost his parents when he was young and knew the pain of loss. But losing one's children are what caused him to cry. He said his children were the light of his life and couldn't imagine how one copes with that loss.

    Since we were being so blunt and honest, we spent hours talking about our lives, our hopes, dreams and our fears. I told him I basically didn't have fear because I had already suffered the worst.
    As we talked, the tears turned to laughter as we talked about ourselves and life in general. He had a beautiful smile and had me laughing until I snorted. He thought that was so funny. He also told me about his wife. They had known each other since they were teenagers and never dated others. They married and he became successful in Indian cinema. As I had only seen some old Bollywood movies, I asked him about his career. He was humble but confident about his abilities. He also said he was a workaholic like me. We both dealt with our grief by keeping busy. He said now that he was getting close to the half century mark, he realized he also had kept people from getting inside. Only his children left him vulnerable. I asked why he didn't include his wife and he said they were so busy living their own lives, they didn't share much of a life together.

    He said he should be insulted that I didn't know who he was but instead found it refreshing. Time passed so quickly that we were both surprised when they announced we were landing. He asked me where I was staying and I told him I had rented an apartment overlooking the beach in Mumbai. He said it wasn't far from his home and hoped that we would see each other again. I wasn't so sure that was a good idea since I had just spent hours telling him all those things I keep hidden. After we landed, he told me he usually gets off last as there are paparazzi and he didn't want anyone else bothered. As I stood up, he asked if he could have his driver drop me. I almost said no, but I was tired and wanted to get to the apartment and shower. As we waited, we continued to talk but I was certain that after his driver dropped me, I wouldn't see him again unless I bought a ticket for one of his movies. He had me go through the VIP customs so I wouldn't have to wait and had his driver get our luggage. Nice perks!

    I was almost ready to drop from the long flight and as I got out, I was surprised when he hugged me. The uncomfortable feeling I had when he looked at me on the plane became a tidal wave of emotion. No one had hugged me in a very long time. I told myself that was why I felt something. I thanked him for his company and for all the help in getting around. He seemed reluctant to part and I finally just blurted out that I was tired and left. It may have been rude, but since I wouldn't see him again, it didn't matter.

    The apartment was nice with a beautiful balcony overlooking the ocean. Too tired to enjoy it, I quickly took a shower and fell into bed. I slept for 12 hours and woke up refreshed. I unpacked everything and looked on my computer for shops and restaurants in the area. I dressed and walked around until I found a place to get coffee. Feeling more myself, I bought a city map and acquainted myself with the city. I was sure I would never get used to all the people and noise. Even New York is quiet compared to this. As I had prepaid for a month with an option to extend, I decided to become a part of this new experience. There is something so freeing about being in a crowd of thousands and not knowing anyone.

    I didn't get back to my apartment until late evening and there was an envelope pushed under my door. As I opened it, I was surprised to find it was from my stranger on the plane. How did he know which apartment was mine? It was an invitation to dinner the next night at his home. He had told his wife about our meeting and she very much wanted to meet me. He had left a phone number to call him to confirm, but I didn't want to go. I felt it would be rude to say no after all the help he had given me. He told me to just wear jeans and his driver would pick me up at seven.

    As if on cue, his driver knocked on my door promptly at seven. I had bought a small gift to give to his wife, but after pulling up to their home, I realized she could buy anything she wanted. Oh well, they say it's the thought that counts. He met me at the door and introduced me to his wife. She was beautiful and gracious. His two older children came in and were introduced. They were very well mannered. They both had plans that evening, so they wouldn't be joining us for dinner. The small one was just three and I fell in love with him. He was whisked off by a maid for his bath and then bed. They seemed like a happy, normal family. I loved their home and asked who had decorated it. She said she had and I complimented her on her taste. Very elegant and very expensive. All I could think of was the old, beat up furniture that Rich and I started out with. As he was a famous actor in Bollywood, I continued to think of him as "my stranger". We all talked about India, my work as a photographer, cinema and interior design. They were very polite not to talk about my personal life. At eleven, I said my thanks and goodnights. His driver took me back to my apartment and I felt I had done my duty.

    I spent the next few days exploring Mumbai and photographing the faces of India. An idea started to form that I could turn this holiday into something more significant. I had just sat down at my computer one evening to research this idea when my doorbell rang. Annoyed to be bothered when I was working, I opened the door with a face that would convey this was not a welcome interruption. Shocked to see Shah Rukh standing there, he also looked shocked at my expression. He apologized for just dropping in, but I could tell he wanted to talk.

    After inviting him in and fixing coffee for us, we sat on the balcony. He was quiet at first and I let the silence come between us. Finally, he began to tell me that ever since meeting me, he had felt a connection to me. He was troubled because in all the years he and his wife had been married, he had never had these feelings for another woman. I suggested that maybe our connection was due to the fact we had suffered the losses of loved ones. He said that was only part of it. We connected on so many levels, it troubled him and yet he still wanted to continue to see me and talk with me. He also told me that despite his success as a romantic figure on screen, he was very shy with women.

    As we talked, I felt it would be better not to tell him I was also having troubled thoughts. It would only confuse the matter. I told him I would be leaving Mumbai for a few days and going to Goa to do research and photo shoots. He seemed upset that I would be leaving and asked where I would stay in Goa. I said I hadn't really decided but would just play it by ear.

    I avoided looking into his eyes because I knew that he would be able to see the feelings I had to keep hidden. I told him I had made an appointment with a local photographer and would need to get ready. I think he knew I was lying but got up to leave. At the door, he took my hand and looked straight into my eyes. I quickly looked away and said goodbye.

    The Goa trip was very productive and very beautiful. I loved the Portuguese influence that was so prevalent there. It somehow didn't seem to be a part of India, but was it's own world. I was gone for four days and when I returned, I found that Shah Rukh's wife had left a message for me to call. Puzzled by what she could want, I rang her. She said she had enjoyed our visit and wanted to invite me to go with them to a cinema event in two days. She also said she would find an escort for me and tell me what I needed to wear. What was I to do? I had liked her and felt flattered that she wanted to spend time with me, but I also felt this might be a minefield. At first, I tried to politely decline, but she kept after me until I said yes. I told her I had a basic black dress and she said that would be fine. She said she would call the day of the event and let me know the details. I spent the next day stewing about having said yes. This was turning into a nightmare. The day of the event, I was a wreck. I wanted to call and tell her I was sick and couldn't make it, but instead went for a walk on the beach to clear my head. After having a long talk with myself, I headed home to get ready.

    They picked me up a seven in a limo. She looked stunning and he looked extremely handsome. Seeing them together I thought maybe this will be okay. She told me she had lined up a really nice, handsome man to be my escort and we would pick him up. I felt awkward having a blind date at my age, but said nothing. After all, it was only one evening out of my life. I decided to let loose and have a good time. We picked up my date, who was very nice and very handsome, and we really hit it off. Since I felt no confusing thoughts about him I relaxed and was having a good time. I noticed this did not sit well with Shah Rukh. He seemed almost angry that I was there. Well, too bad! I'd spent a few restless nights thinking about him, but no more. The event was a lot of fun and I saw just about everybody who's anybody in Bollywood. They were very welcoming to me and I had a great time. As they dropped me off at my apartment later, my date walked me to my door which seemed to irritate Shah Rukh. As I got ready for bed, someone rang my bell. I thought about not answering, but opened the door. There he stood with a look on his face that told me he was upset. I didn't want to see him and I certainly didn't want to discuss why he was upset. I tried to make small talk but it just dwindled away to nothing. As I stood there, he came close and asked me if I had any feelings about him. I hate liars, but I lied. I told him I thought of him and his wife as friends who had made me feel welcome in their country. This didn't seem to please him and he forced me to look into his eyes. Once he did that, all the feelings I had carefully hidden were there for him to see. His eyes softened and he gently kissed me on the lips. I was so stunned, I felt numb at first and then I felt an awful pain twist my heart. Oh no, I'd allowed someone to come into my heart and now I would pay for it.

    I can honestly say we did not have sex, but we did make love. At first passionately and wild and then slowly and gently. Not having been with someone in a very long time, my body was hungry for the touch of another human being. We made love long into the night and laid in the dark and told each other our secrets. It was so bittersweet because I knew this had no future. The only option was to leave India and stop this from going any further.
    But I am human and we continued to see each other when we could. We understood each other on an elemental level as if we had been together before. We laughed, we cried, we talked endlessly. There were times when we would get so silly we were like children. Other times, we thought we were so wise. We had created our own little world, a world that did not let others in. At this time, we thought of no one but ourselves. It was only when God decided to give me another big "moment in time" that I came back to the real world.

    Time had passed by without me noticing it and I had extended my lease another month when I started to feel sick. I wouldn't let my mind accept the fact that I had become pregnant until I took a pregnancy test and confirmed it. I knew I could not end this life, so I made up my mind to leave as quickly as possible. While he was out of town for two days, I quietly left India forever. I decided to relocate to Taos, New Mexico until after the birth. Then I would make up my mind what to do next.

    I missed Shah Rukh terribly, but I was wrapped up in my new life and the life within me. I was now five months pregnant and my doctor confirmed I was having twins. I knew this wouldn't be easy but I was also elated. I was being given two children back from God who were conceived in love. It made it easier to deal with losing a love. I made it a point to avoid reading or knowing anything about India or Bollywood. As far as I was concerned, I looked on the experience as a "moment in time" when God had decided to bless me with these children.

    I had set up a photography studio in my home and was doing very well for myself. As my time neared, I became more certain that Shah Rukh had been sent by God to give me these children. I went into labor a week before my due date and had a hard but safe delivery. I had been blessed with a handsome son and a beautiful daughter. I was filled with such joy that it overrode the ache I still felt in losing my love.

    Just when you think God has finished with his "moments in time", another one comes for you. I had just put the twins down for a nap and was developing some prints in my studio. I heard the front bell and since I was expecting a delivery quickly opened the door.

    There he stood and I must have gone into shock as I fainted. When I came to, he had carried me to the couch and was stroking my forehead. I was still too stunned to speak. He had tears in his eyes and asked me why I had left so suddenly without telling him. I didn't know what to say but just kept looking at him.

    At that moment, one of the twins began to cry. He looked at me in surprise and then got up and went into the nursery. I could barely move but as I followed him, I found him looking down on our children. He looked back up at me with the tears running down his face and said "They're mine, aren't they?" I could barely answer but finally said "No, they're mine". He came close to me and said "This is why you left me, isn't it?" All I could do was nod yes. I was filled with irrational fear that he would somehow take my children from me. I comforted my son until he fell asleep again and we went out to talk.

    He told me that he and his wife had separated a few months back. They had both decided that their marriage had gone stale and they were together only for the children. He had discreetly hired a private investigator to locate me. I found my voice and asked him why. He said sometimes we are given second chances in life. He said he loved me deeply and wanted to know if I loved him too. I said yes, but that I was afraid of being hurt again. He told me that this life is but a "moment in time" and we should grab the happiness while we can. He smiled at me and took me in his arms and said "This is our moment".

    The End

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