Today’s prompt asks us to tell of an unconventional love.
“It was not always like this, do you remember my love?” she says as she lovingly strokes his leg while they sit and watch over the gardens. He doesn’t answer, just sits there staring ahead. The stroke he had in the fall had left him speechless. Sometimes she wonders if he grasps the meaning of her words. They don’t have long, the nurses will come to wheel him away in a couple of minutes. Her thoughts wander of to that day 58 years ago.
She was just 18, the daughter of a salesman in the marketplace. Her beauty, her curse, had made her the chosen bride for the rich pompous son of the province’s main trade merchant. The news was brought to her on a summer afternoon while sitting atop the roof of their shanty where she loved to read. Her need to learn has always been a point of furore in her family. Her father always said it was not a woman’s place to be educated. Her mother always said it was a woman’s place to stay home, raise the children and be a loving, supportive wife to her husband. There had to be more to life, she would cry, but her tears and anger were met with punishment instead.
She thought of running away, but where would she go? She had no money, no family who would understand her plea.
As the sun begins to set over the pond, she remembers her tears on the wedding day. She remembers the hate she felt for her parents and soon to be husband.
The first couple of years were hell! She remembers how he would hit her for talking back. She remembers her parents turning a blind eye, the promotion her father received with the wedding was all too important. Her brothers and sisters needed the money. After 5 years her soul had lost it’s ability to fight back and everyone was happy. At last she had turned into the respectful wife he deserves.
She looks at him sitting on the bench and remembers the day she first fell in love with him.
On the tenth anniversary of their wedding day all the family members came together to celebrate the milestone. Suddenly the song of birds were shattered by her niece: “Vikram, no!”. They reached the edge of the lake just as the body of her 6 year old brother thunders into the water. Pandemonium set in and she desperately looked around to find her father. When she turned back to the water, she saw her Sameer flying through the water. He picked Vikram out the water, got him to safety and resuscitated him before anyone else could move.
He stood against a tree, panting for his breath, tiny droplets running down his bare chest. No-one noticed him standing there alone while Vikram was being fussed over. She walked over to him and remembers their first real kiss.
Once she learned to love him, she really got to know him.
Once she got to know him, she got to love him more.
The only regret now? Ten wasted years before the almost tragic day. Ten wasted years of unnecessary tears and anger.
She wished now she could take those back. She wished now she had 10 more years.
PS: All names are assumed and similarity betwee occurrences are completely coincidental