The Darkest Night of the Year

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Diwali this year was going to be extra special, and Baanvi had left no stone unturned in ensuring so. She had started preparing for the grand event one month prior and could barely contain her glee. What made it different from the rest was that it was going to be Baanvi and Rutva's first Diwali together––rather, their first celebratory event together.

Though they had been married for over a year now, Baanvi and Rutva had stayed apart for most of the time owing to Rutva’s job—three months after their marriage, he had been sent to Odisha for a long assignment by the firm he worked for. After ten long months, the assignment had finally gotten over and Rutva was to return to his loving wife.

Either of the two could not contain their glee; they were finally going to meet in person after the unbearably long wait. But luck seemed to not be on their side. One day prior to his departure, when Rutva was leaving the office building after completing all the assignment-related formalities, he met with a fatal accident. Despite help arriving in the nick of time and doctors trying their best, he could not be saved.

Baanvi’s entire world came crashing down. All her hopes, all her dreams crumpled by a single blow. She couldn’t ready believe what the world was telling her; she couldn’t come to accept that the love of her life was never going to come back to her. For her, it was just a bad dream and she just had to wait for the alarm to wake her up to her reality wherein she would find Rutva sitting by the end of her bed, holding her hand, gazing at her, and smiling. But she never woke up from that dream.

To Baanvi’s dismay, the reality she was hoping for was never going to happen and she was eventually forced to accept her bad dream as her reality. But, it was not easy for her. Her life had, all of a sudden, become hollow and meaningless. Every waking moment felt like torture. She could not stand staying awake. She counted the hours till she could shut her eyes again, away from the dreadful reality, and experience moments of happiness with her husband in her sleep. That was the only way, the only place she could be with Rutva.

A week ago, Baanvi was exhilarated about Diwali and was crossing days off the calendar. Now, she dreaded the day as it was drawing near. The festival was supposed to be the brightest and happiest time of the year for her; instead, it turned out to be the darkest period of her life so far. The brightest light of her life had gone dark forever.

Everything that she was looking forward to was now haunting her. Her preparations, which were stalled midway, seemed to be mocking her, laughing at her in the face, at her misery, as if they knew all along that all her efforts were futile and that she was trying to catch smoke bare hands.

Despite the incessant efforts of her family to help her overcome her grief, she continued to be shrouded by it, unable to shake it off. She had started despising everything about Diwali now. She could not stand the festivities. Even the slightest mention, even if by mistake, both enraged and aggrieved her at the same time. Her life ahead seemed like a dark tunnel with the light at the end nowhere to be seen.

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