(A Short-fiction story)
“Anything I say or tell him even if it’s with good intentions utmost or for our mutual benefit, it backfires. It backfires to such depth that I am wounded. In this living body I continue, but soulfully dead. I don’t know if it’s the same for others. Life has never been kind to me. First time while I was in my adolescence, I realised life treats you the way you don’t want to be treated. All our fears and apprehensions come in form of challenges we face. We face it with courage or bow down to it in fear; crux of the matter is you have to go through it. It’s inevitable.
When you love someone more than yourself, the risk is that much uncertain. But we take it as it might bring some solace or joy to our life and when that very someone becomes the reason for our agony, then we are left with two choices – ‘Release or Renew’. What’s more worthy in a relationship ? Renew in a relationship needs more than you; the effort of other person too whereas Release(let go) needs just you. Both are arduous to approach but then these are the only two doors open to us at that point of time.” So she mused.
Naina(Indian name meaning eyes) thought she will never be happy in her life again; as if the whole universe was plotting against her. But then life changed. What happened that night was nothing less than a benediction.
She fell asleep waiting for him on the cement patio….hoping that he will come and wipe her tears gently but with his rough patchy hands. With the hope that he will ask for his part of forgiveness shedding his doggedness and she in turn will appeal for some too, subduing her emotions. One warm sweet embrace and the time will standstill melting into eternity.
But that never did happen. When it was around the chirping of maybe the first bird that she woke up unexpectedly in the orange hue. It was dawn, about 5:30 am. Hairs dishevelled and salty-stained cheek…..she no more looked that beautiful. It was the least she could have cared for(her appearance) at that particular moment of time. She pressed the number. It was not reachable. May be some connectivity issue which is better than utterly switched off.
Connectivity is what they suffered from in their relationship. But in the beginning they felt otherwise at least she did, feeling intensely connected to him; physically and metaphysically and somewhere she was aware that he too felt the same. Unhesitatingly, she continued calling him. She got restless what if!
It was a trivial issue which lead to rudimentary ones like most of the times, but unlike this time they both lost their self-restraint. And it flared up deep and high. Naina kept on calling every minute and then, though unattended. All she could think is how could he do this to her!…after all these years of togetherness and love abound. They were married for seven years and courted each other for four more. Eleven years what she bargained for and where she stands now is almost wrecked.
“Marriage- this tricky eight letter word she gasped. The words from one of her favourite Author Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling ‘Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage’ reverberated on her mind which says:
“To be fully seen by somebody, then, be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.
”How true and how profound”, she felt. Perhaps it was the time to Release, so she thought. It was a dead-end. She partly blamed herself but still partly implicated him. “Where the hell is Neil”?
Neilesh(or Neil as people called him) took a taxi. He was famished. All he could think of that time was some food to sustain him for the next hour or two. He went straight to the nearby railway station, the only place which can provide him with some helpings. The railway stall satiated his need.
He ruminated,” It’s time; time to bid adieu”. He closed his eyes and one last time he struggled to think of all the worthy times he had in this lifetime in a glimpse. His body was worn out without any sleep from past twenty two hours and mind numbed. His hands touched his pocket unconsciously like a zombie. He felt his cell inside his front pocket. He switched it on for the last time. There’s a ring. It’s an unknown number. Nothing to gain or to loose to answer that call, he thought unconcerned.
” Hello! is that Mr. Neilesh? …..”
The call was from the nearby city hospital, which both Neil & Naina visited in times of need and it lasted for about eight minutes. The message from the call was like a bolt from the blue for Neil. What was he thinking! What’s wrong with him! How could he!
And that sparkling radiant sublime face….those soft nurturing hands….her carefree laughter…her addictive smell…the aromatic servings…..list endless. He wanted to see Naina the very next second.
Few seconds were like years infinite. He got restless what if!
Neil finally assembled his courage and rang the bell breathlessly praying incessantly. The door was opened…..Thank god!
Naina was standing there, with no expressions at all. Without further ado they hugged each other steadfastly but gently as if aware of the presence of a third soul. As if their love has grown manifold in these few hours. Their eyes met and begged for forgiveness to each other.
Before she could say a word, Neil fumbled , ” I got a call and there’s a news to share with you.” She said, “Don’t as they called me too after not being able to reach you for number of times.A new shoot of life, a little one, an angel in disguise; their own child – all they have been trying and waiting for from past five years, has arrived and yes indeed the report came positive this time. Life will never be the same for them. From now on ‘Mommy and Daddy is the word or to say the world’ will be for them. It was a god-sent opportunity. And it was time to Renew.
Reference: (WordPress has partnered with Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu to initiate Global Forgiveness Challenge to help people learn the practical steps to forgiveness so they can live with greater love and joy in their life. The four fold path of forgiveness begins by telling the story of what happened, then grant forgiveness, and finally either Renew or Release the relationship. And the story is my humble dedication to the cause.)