Amendments I, II and III

I

Every night after finishing their dinner, Daniel and Megan loved spending time in each other’s arms. They spoke about each other’s day as Daniel put his arm around Megan and she placed her head on his shoulder. It was one of those little things that made their married life special. However, tonight was not one of those nights. They were in the hall but there was an invisible barrier between the two. Something they both had recognized for the past few days! No marriage is perfect, even theirs was not. There were ups and down in their married life, it was their “down” phase going on. The brightly lit room failed to illuminate the dark corner of Megan’s mind. The thoughts nibbling at the back of her mind were so obviously shown on her face that Daniel felt the heaviness in his chest. He loved his Meg, but lately things were shaping up from bad to worse.
Megan was standing at the window, looking outside. Daniel was seated on the couch, watching Megan. He always loved the way Megan’s hair rose and fell on her shoulders as the breeze whistled past her hair; that made her look sensuous. Even tonight, Daniel wanted to get up from the couch and hug her but she was not in the mood.

Daniel knew something was wrong and he had played a role in it. But he could not fathom the seriousness of the matter when Megan told him that she wanted a divorce. He had tried his best to make her understand, tried telling her how much he loved her, he had apologized for his mistakes of the past and promised her that he would not repeat his mistakes in future but nothing, absolutely nothing convinced her enough.

“There are some decisions in life that you should allow me to take on my own” Megan complained
“Fine, but I have the right to say something if it involves my life as well” Daniel explained.
“You just said your part, now let me take my decision” Megan said firmly.
Daniel exhaled; his shoulders drooped low as if burdened with tons of weight. That is how he was feeling lately.
“Fine” He finally gave up.
“I want a divorce” Megan said sitting down on the couch.
“Tell me something I do not know already” Daniel said rubbing his forehead.
“Fine, I want you to know that I am not really happy about this whole thing.”
“Then why do you want it?”
“Because …” Megan could not continue. She covered her face with her hands. Then taking a deep breath she said “Because I fear it is not going to work out this time.”
“It always has worked out all these times, has it not? We both have worked towards it. We will work on it together, this time too.” Daniel pleaded.
I wish it could work out this time too, Megan thought, aloud she said, “Not this time, Daniel.”
“You feel so after all these years of our marriage?” Daniel questioned
“Do you even remember how many years we have been married?” Megan said placing her hands on her hips.
“Six” Daniel replied immediately.
“Five” Megan corrected him
“I counted one year of courtship too.”

In spite of all their differences and the ups and downs in their life of past one and a half year, despite the harsh fact that their marriage was on the verge of breaking, Megan’s lips curved at the corners and tears welled up in her eyes.
“See!” Daniel exclaimed “I still affect you the way I used to! We can sail through this, trust me.”
Megan was silent, she wanted to trust him, she really wanted to. But she was not sure whether he would trust her this time, if she came out with the entire truth. There was a dark corner in her mind that did not let her sleep for past many weeks, she just wanted to get it out of her head but she could not. But in the end she had to, she reminded herself.

Daniel knew there was something that had been disturbing his wife. That was the reason he had secretly planned a vacation, taking time out of his busy schedule. He was aware that Megan was upset with him because he could not give enough time to her. He knew that she did not have any extraordinary expectations from him; she just wanted him to spend some time with her. During the courtship days Daniel had gone out of his way to make her feel special, even after their marriage, the first few years were special. He had done a lot of things others might consider crazy but Megan had loved it. The little things he did for her were the special feature of their married life. The next few years, Daniel failed to do those little things for her as he got busy in his work.

Megan had been tolerating for a long time, adjusting to his busy schedule, bouts of anger when things went wrong at work, his sudden change of plans, etc. She started complaining when it went beyond her tolerance levels. Daniel often apologized about his hectic schedule and promised that he would not repeat it but then took back to doing the same things again, after a few days. Megan, tired of complaining, took to her ways of dealing with it.
Her ways of dealing with it, Megan thought, turned out to be not what she had expected.

“Are you listening?” Daniel asked her
Coming out of her reverie Megan said, “Yes I am listening, Daniel. But the truth is that I just want to get out of this, for my good and for your good!”
“My good, are you kidding?” Daniel complained
“Just listen to what you are saying, Meg. Here I am trying to make you understand that I want to be married to you for the rest of my life and you are concluding that the divorce is what is in my best interest!” Daniel was confused.
“Wait a minute” Daniel said all of a sudden realizing something
“Am I missing something?” he asked.
“A lot” she wanted to say. “Things I did; things I should have not done.” Megan thought and closed her eyes.
“Just leave me alone for some time, Daniel” Megan said feeling exhausted.
Daniel got up and walked out of the room. Though Megan told Daniel that she wanted Divorce, she was not really happy about it, in fact she did not want to consider the option but the events of recent past had forced her to think about divorce. She loved Daniel, she really loved him with all her heart and she could not imagine living a life with him that was full of guilt. Guilt, it was the main reason for her being upset.

Megan looked outside the window and visualized the events of the past that affected her present and would change her future, for the good or for the bad.



II

It was raining that day when she had spent hours crying at home because Daniel had gone out of town without telling her. It was their anniversary the next day and she had made plans for it. This was not the first time he had done this to her. It had been happening for more than a year. All married couples had their own conflicts and so did Daniel and Megan. There were times when they argued to such an extent that she had to ask Daniel to sleep on the couch. There were times when they hated to come face to face. But, in the end everything was taken care of, sometimes by Daniel and sometimes by Megan. There were those special moments when they spent an extra time in bed, holding each other in tight embrace though it was time to get up and begin their day. There were times when having shower together washed away all their anger and frustration.
But, past few weeks it was getting too much to handle. Megan was tired of being taken for granted. She felt that Daniel was under the impression that in the end she would forgive him like she had done all this time. This time, however, Megan thought she had to tell him that she could not be taken for granted. Last six months had been really tough for her, especially after her spontaneous abortion. Though, Daniel was in no way to be blamed for what had happened; Megan accused him of not being there for her. Daniel, too, had lost his temper and things had been blown out of proportion. They had not spoken to each other for weeks, till one day Megan took the initiative. It had more to do with guilt than about how she felt about Daniel.
The doctors had confirmed the reason for spontaneous abortion as the defect in her uterus of not being able to hold the conceptus.
After that major incident in their life, things had not recovered completely. A knot remained somewhere, deep inside, invisible to the naked eye but both of them could feel its presence in their life.

Megan wiped her tears and continued staring outside the window. Raindrops were forming various images on the glass. As she walked closer to the window she could see her own reflection in the glass. It asked her a question whether what she was going to do was the right thing. Megan did not have the answer. She did not want to think about it, she decided to flow with the tide. One meeting would not harm much, she concluded.

She turned around, picked up her purse and car keys and walked out of the house. She sat in the car for a while, gaining her composure. Finally, she started the ignition and drove out of the garage. Looking at the road ahead, through the wipers that pushed the rainwater back and forth she thought of the call she had received, yesterday.
“Hello, Megan speaking”
“Hi! It’s me, Chris”
Megan was silent.
“Hello, you there?”
“Yes. Where did you get my number from?”
“From your friend in café”
Megan mentally cursed her friend for giving him the number.
“She was glad to help when I told her that I was your school friend” Chris continued.
“How have you been?” Megan asked
“Let us talk about it over a cup of coffee”
“I am sorry Chris, but I cannot.”
“Please Megan; I have something important to tell you.”
“I am really sorry, Chris.”
“Just once, please.” Chris pleaded.
“I will think over.” Megan said after a pause.
“I will call you tomorrow” Chris said and disconnected the call.
Megan had her reasons to refuse. Chris was her past she had forgotten and the one she did not wish to think about. She had made up her mind as soon as she kept her cell on the desk. She was not going to meet him.

As she drove carefully through various lanes, watching for the red light through the moving wipers, Megan could not believe that she had said yes to meet him when he had called up again. As she waited at the red light she looked through the rearview mirror, her past clearly visible in it.

Chris and she had been school friends. They spent a lot of time together, sharing their lives with each another. Their body language suggested that they were interested in each another and that they were just meant to be together. Neither one ever spoke of how they felt for the other. It was taken for granted. But things changed when Daniel came in Megan’s life. While returning from a party at night, Megan’s car had crashed and Daniel was the man who saved her from near death. As per what the attending nurse told Megan, Daniel had spent the entire night sitting by her bedside as Megan struggled to survive. When Chris came to know about the accident he rushed to the hospital to find Daniel sitting at the bedside. Chris introduced himself as Megan’s boyfriend and Daniel told him about the accident and the condition in which he had found Megan.
Both of them waited for Megan to regain consciousness. When Megan was out of danger, Daniel wished her luck and walked away.
Megan had not seen Daniel for a few days after that. But after a week, someone sent her a bouquet at her house. Her lips curved into a smile as she assumed that the bouquet was sent by Chris but she was surprised to learn that Daniel was the sender. The note read that Daniel wanted to meet her. For reasons even Megan did not know she accepted his invitation and they met at a restaurant. Daniel expressed his desire to know her even though he was aware that Chris and she were in a relationship.
Despite her attempts to stay away from Daniel, despite convincing herself that Daniel was not her kind of man, Megan found herself being attracted towards Daniel. At the same time, deep down inside her heart she knew that Chris did not deserve what she was doing to him. But, Daniel did not give up and she had to admit that she was glad he did not. One day when they met at the riverside, as per their discussion on the phone, Daniel handed her the letter he had written for her and as she read it with tears in her eyes, she knew that though her life had taken an unexpected turn, she was meant to be with Daniel. The letter had a deep impact on her mind; even though she was not sure which part of the letter had that kind of influence on her. She moved towards Daniel and kissed him on his lips. Megan remembered how Chris had spotted them and stormed towards them and punched Daniel.

Honking of the cars brought Megan out of her thoughts. The light had turned green and others were waiting for her to move. Megan wheeled the car towards the café where she handled the accounts. As she parked her car in the parking lot she saw him standing at the entrance. He was the same man he had been when she had seen him last. The same features, the same athletic body and the same sorrow in his eyes.
“Why did you do this to me?” Chris had asked her but she had no answer.
Megan hoped that he would not ask her the same question again because she did not have the answer even now. It had just happened, as if it was meant to happen. She could hear the bells of heaven ringing when she had seen Daniel. She knew that they both were meant to be man and wife, in spite of the relation she shared with Chris. But how could she possibly explain it to Chris? She herself had found it to be strange.
Megan applied light make-up before getting out of the car. Megan was unaware that her step to get out of the car would be responsible for the events that would change the course of her life.



III

When Megan had asked for divorce, Daniel knew that there was more than what she was telling him. The distant look in her eyes signaled towards something more important than the issue at hand. He just could not lay his finger on it. What was it that was bothering Megan? As a husband, it was his duty to see that she was at ease. It was his responsibility to see that whatever was the problem, it had to be solved.
He did admit that he had a major role to play in whatever happened but looking deeply in Megan’s eyes he knew instantly that she was not blaming him for anything. She was not seeking divorce because she felt that he failed as a husband. No, not at all! In fact what bothered him was the guilt in her eyes, which was shouting out her secret that she was the one who was on the wrong side this time. He had wanted her to confess whatever was bothering her but she did not say a word.

As Daniel walked out of the room, he had turned around to look at Megan and she had been thinking deeply about something. Whatever it was, he was sure she would tell him. Megan was very important for him and her happiness mattered a lot to him. If, just in case, she really wanted a divorce and that would make her happy, he knew he would sign the papers for her. He was so sure of his love for her. But the problem was that she was not happy about it, yet she had wanted divorce.
Daniel could think of only one thing. Something that he did not want to consider, but if that was true he was ready to let her go! Was she in love with someone else? Had someone else filled up the void in her life when he had not been around for her?
Daniel shook his head. He did not want to think about it and the fact that he did not want to think about it meant that there was a possibility.

He remembered the day when he had met Megan for the first time. Her car had crashed and he had spotted her on the highway, unconscious. He had got down from his car and rushed towards her car. He had forced open the door and found Megan with her head on the steering wheel. There was a gaping wound on her head and her hair was matted with blood. He had picked her up and rushed her to the hospital.
When he had entered her room after the doctors had attended to her, he had been momentarily mesmerized by her beauty. Unconscious and pale, she still looked beautiful in her own way. There was something special about her, a charisma that had attracted him towards her. As he spent time sitting next to her waiting for her to gain consciousness she had stirred a little and he had held her hand. Then, she was still again. There was a calm look on her face as if she had got a sort of comfort and protective feeling as Daniel held her hand. That very moment, Daniel was sure that he was meant to spend his entire life with her. She was the woman whose face he would see for the rest of his life. She was the one whose face he would see last before he closed his eyes forever.

Now, sitting in his room holding his head with his hands, Daniel was not sure whether she would be woman whose face he would see last before dying. What if she did not want to be around? Fear gripped Daniel’s mind. Like Megan had left Chris for him, would she leave him for someone else? Daniel wiped his tears and walked to the door and peeked in the living room. Megan was still sitting on the couch, same expression on her face, staring in the same direction. Perhaps, same thoughts running through her mind! Daniel wanted to walk out, take her in his arms and kiss all her worries away. He wanted to apologize for all the times when he was not there for her.
It was true that he had tried his best, done his best to win over her. He had truly loved her; he truly loved her even now and would truly love her forever. Megan had told him that it was not possible, their relationship was not meant to be, yet in her eyes he had seen the truth. He had seen that she loved him too and she was merely trying to convince herself because she did not want to hurt Chris. They had been friends since school days and it was unspoken truth between them that they loved each other or so thought Megan.
When Chris had come to the hospital and introduced himself as Megan’s boyfriend, Daniel had felt a tinge of jealousy but somehow he had not been disappointed. According to him the decision was already been made! It was decided in heaven that he and Megan were meant to be man and wife.
When Megan was unconscious, Chris had been worried for her. He questioned doctor about her well-being. He wanted to know when she would regain her consciousness and whether she would be fine but Daniel, on the other hand, knew in his heart that Megan would open her eyes and as if as an answer to his thoughts, Megan opened her eyes and she looked at Daniel.
Later, Daniel had wished her good luck for future and walked away.

Daniel was not supposed to be in her town but he could not move out either. The magnetism of the place, rather, of Megan forced him to stay back. He knew that Chris and Megan were together but he had also known that Megan and he were meant to be together, forever.
He had spent a few days trying to know more about Megan, trying to find out her favorite food, her favorite flowers, etc. He had sent her a bouquet of her favorite flowers and expressed his desire to meet. He gave her another bouquet when they met. When they had spent time together, both of them felt the chemistry between them, though Megan refused to accept. After a few meetings he had invited her for lunch at the cottage he had rented to stay in town. He had cooked her favorite dish and after lunch as they had walked along the riverbank, Daniel held Megan’s hand and smiled when she had not reacted. Just like it was for him, holding hand seemed to be natural for her too.

When Daniel had finally told her about his feelings, Megan tried to make him understand that their relationship was not meant to be. Daniel realized that she had not refused straightaway, which meant that she did have a soft corner for him. She was merely confused about the current state of affairs and she needed time. Daniel decided to give her the time. He had extended his stay in her town though it meant that it would affect his work. He had made a few calls, arranged a few things and had bought himself some time. After Megan’s first refusal he had drove away from her town and finished the work he was meant to do. He had come back and tried to convince her again. They had met several times and spent time together. Megan often started the conversation saying that whatever was happening was wrong, but then she could not stop herself from meeting him. In between Megan’s refusals, Daniel left the town for few days to take care of his job, whenever he could not find any substitute.
It was a small town and word spread around that this stranger was trying to woo Chris’s girl. Chris had his insecure moments and he confronted Megan once or twice and Megan convinced Chris that this ‘stranger’ meant nothing to her.
Hence it came as a shock for Chris when he spotted them together in arms, kissing at the riverbank. Daniel still remembered how Chris had stormed towards them and punched him.

Daniel smiled as he thought about that incidence. He still remembered the words of the letter he had written for Megan. Many days, weeks and months after their marriage, Megan repeatedly told Daniel that she could never forget that letter in her entire life. To keep the flame burning, Daniel had written several love notes for her, hiding them at the most unexpected places that took Megan by surprise but all those notes failed to touch her heart in the way that first letter had.
Whenever Megan and he quarreled, she would remind him of the letter and somehow everything would fall in right place.

Daniel walked towards Megan’s side of the bed and pulled out a note from under her pillow. The note was worn out, torn at places and held together by adhesive tape. Daniel’s love for Megan surged in his heart again as he opened the letter and read –

Dear Megan - the only woman of my life,

When I first saw you at the accident site and brought you to the hospital just as I would do it for anyone else, I was unaware of the most important truth of my life. When you were in the operating room, though I did not even know your name then, I felt strangely sad and anxious about what had happened to you and what was happening to you inside the operating room. As I waited outside, I felt as if it was not you but me who was on the verge of dying. I could not understand and I cannot explain the connection I felt between us. When you were wheeled out and I saw your pale yet beautiful face, I knew this would be the face I would see next to me in bed, for the rest of my life. When Chris introduced himself as your boyfriend, I did feel a bit jealous but I was not disappointed. A voice from within told me that you were meant to be mine. While Chris was worried whether you would open your eyes, I was sure that you would and not only that but I also knew that you would look at me and that is exactly what you did.

Though I walked away from the hospital I could not walk away from you. I tried to convince myself several times, just like you must have convinced yourself but I failed miserably and I see that happening with you too.
If this is not an indication that we are meant to be together, then, what would you call it?
I respect your feelings for Chris but what do I do about my feelings for you?
You tell me that you cannot ignore Chris’s love for you but how can you ignore your love for me? Are you doing justice to him, to yourself and finally to me by refusing to accept the truth?
Love can never be forced upon someone; at the same time it is difficult to suppress it too.

I do not wish to force my love on you; what I wish to tell you is; I would be there for you whenever you need me. I have loved you; I love you and would love you forever. You are the only woman I can imagine to be a part of my life. Something deep inside my heart tells me that every morning of my life would start by watching your peaceful face as you sleep next to me and every night would end by kissing you goodnight.
If at all, this does not happen then I know one thing for sure - I would wake up from both the sides of my bed, forever.

I do not know what true love is, or what great love is; I simply know how I feel for you. I do not love you for what you are; I love you for what I am when I am with you. You make me the man I am and I wish to be the same man, forever.

Yours forever,
Daniel


Daniel closed the letter and took a deep breath. He was not sure which part of the letter had that impact on her but when she folded the note she had leaned in to kiss him. Daniel had known then, that was the moment he would cherish for the rest of his life. There was magic in the moment as they kissed passionately. It seemed as if the entire universe watched them as they kissed and blessed them to be together, in love.

Even today, despite whatever was happening; deep inside Megan’s eyes he could still see her love for him. It might have perhaps taken a backseat but it was there. Daniel was sure, it was there.



Amendments IV, V, VI



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