Sheena kept staring at him in bewilderment as he was desperately gesticulating with his hands. As he finished, he looked deep into her eyes with the hope of a lifetime.


Ever since Sheena had known Nikhil and had decided to move ahead in their relationship, her family had disapproved of their liaison. Coming from a very conservative family, her parents had always insisted that the boy would never be able to fit into their orthodox beliefs and she would suffer her whole lifetime.

Though she knew that Nikhil was the person with whom she would love to lead her life, the constant pressure of her family members and peers was the reason for her frequent arguments and fights with him.

The mounting burden would make her keep asking him time and again how much he loved her. Nott too good with words, Sheena always thought that Nikhil never gave her a convincing reply which agitated her more. Parental stress resulted in her making him the punching bag to release all her frustration.

When Nikhil decided to go abroad for pursuing his higher studies, Sheena’s parents were the most relieved. They hoped that the physical distance would slowly wither away the feelings she had for him. She got a corporate job which kept her busy and that was another reprieve for her parents.

Before leaving for his overseas education, Nikhil proposed to Sheena the day they last met just before he was to leave. Never a surprise to Sheena, she accepted the proposal half-heartedly hoping that by the time he came back after his studies and land himself in a high paying corporate job, her parents may change their thoughts about him.

As Nikhil bid her goodbye, he held her hand and said, “I have never been good with words, perhaps not able to convince you that I really love you”. As Sheena smiled, he promised her that he will take care of her the whole life and would work hard to convince her parents to agree about them.

Nikhil got busy in his studies while the job kept Sheena engaged but they surely maintained their long distance relationship through regular phone calls. Both were eagerly waiting for him to complete his studies and be back so that they can decide on their future.


Sheena was walking towards the bus stop on her way to work that morning as she always does. Helping her mother with the household chores as much as she could, before leaving for work, her mornings were always very hectic, somehow just managing to reach office on time.

A bit late than usual, as she was ambling across the road to catch the approaching bus, she did not notice the speeding car coming from the other direction and before she realised, it had knocked her down.

When she regained consciousness, she was in the hospital bed, surrounded by her family and friends. The petrified faces around her took her not much time to realise that it was a serious accident and that she was just lucky to be alive.

Sheena opened her mouth to comfort her parents but could not utter a word. Words weren’t coming out however hard she tried to speak.

The world came crashing down on Sheena and her parents when later they were told by the Doctor that the accident had seriously damaged one nerve to her brain and that she would not be able to speak ever again.


Sheena would get a phone call from Nikhil every day ever since he had gone abroad. Since the day of the accident, he would keep calling her again and again since she would not be answering his call.

Discharged from hospital and back home, life had come to a standstill for her family but every single time her phone rang, it would turn into a worst nightmare for her.

Mute for life, Sheena did not want to be a burden for Nikhil anymore. With a heavy heart, she wrote a mail to him that it was not possible for her to wait for him anymore and that she is ending the relationship with him.

Nikhil kept calling her continuously after reading her mail but she never answered.  As much as she wanted to pick up the phone, hear his voice and cry out loud, she could not.

As days and months passed, Sheena started learning the sign language which would help her in communicating her needs to the people around her. Keeping herself busy with her classes, she tried her best to forget Nikhil, though in vain.

Soon years passed and one day on her way to work, she happened to see Nikhil. She was thankful that he did not notice her but she knew that he was back.

She told her friends not to inform him about her state if ever he enquired with them. With no phone calls or communication from him since the last few years, she assumed that perhaps he must have forgotten her and moved ahead in life.


Sheena had just got out of bed that Sunday when her best friend dropped in. After exchanging the regular pleasantries, her friend handed over an envelope to her. She said that she had met Nikhil and it was he who had handed over his wedding card and asked her to give it to Sheena.

Teary eyed and at the same time happy that Nikhil has finally moved ahead in his life, she opened the envelope with trembling hands. She was shocked to see her name written as the bride.

As she looked up, she saw Nikhil standing at the doorstep staring straight at her. Tears started flowing freely from her eyes as he started gesturing and signalling to her in an unfamiliar sign language without speaking a word.


Sheena just stood there motionless as Nikhil continued with his gesticulation. Between the tears that had filled her eyes, she could clearly see and understand every single word of what he was gesturing.

Nikhil was telling her that it took him one whole year to learn the sign language. He said he had learnt it not just to tell her that he had not forgotten his promise to take care of her for life, but also because he wanted to keep talking to her for his entire life.

Sheena kept staring at him in bewilderment as he was desperately gesticulating with his hands. As he finished, he looked deep into her eyes with the hope of a lifetime.

As Sheena ran towards him, Nikhil bent down on one of his knees, held her hand and slid the ring into her finger.

“Will you”, he gestured. “I will”, she gestured back. Not a word was spoken but they understood.


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