“Before he met her”
He had been married to his wife for a little more than three years. He loved her yet she complained that he did not love her enough. He bought gifts for her, she complained that he bribed her because he came home late. He took her out on trips, she complained that he wanted a break from his job. Despite all this, when he kissed her, he had her attention, he had her devotion. She knew and believed that he truly loved her, so what if he loved her less than she loved him. Both knew the fact and there was nothing they could do to ‘fix’ that. Not now, not ever.
He knew in his heart that the insecurity his wife felt was justified. When he walked on the streets, girls turned around to look at him. His wife noticed it too. She knew her husband was handsome and he had married her because she had proposed marriage to him and it was not a coincidence that she was the Managing Director of the company he worked for.
It was an office affair. She saw him, he looked at her. She fell in love with him, he flirted. They attended meetings together, they went to places together. They spent evenings together drinking wine and one fine night, they slept together.
After their love making, she looked at him propped up on her elbow, her beautiful brown hair covering half her face. She looked beautiful and had he not been tired he would have made love to her again. Moving her hand through her hair, she shifted close to him and placing her head on his bare chest she proposed marriage. Before he could answer her proposal she raised her head, smiled and looked in his eyes. She assumed she had got her answer while she rested her head on his chest, the moment his heart beat increased she had known that he loved her too. True, he loved her. He loved every inch of her. But, he did not know whether he was ready for the commitment. The indecisiveness, the fear of refusing the proposal of his Managing Director had increased his heart beat and she had taken it as a yes. She had then kissed him, leaving no chance for him to speak what was in his mind. The fear, the indecisiveness had vanished the moment her hand had started exploring his body and her tongue exploring his mouth.
They married in court a few months later. She was very happy, he was happy that she was happy. They were happy. She quit her job and he was promoted first to Assistant Managing Director and then to Managing Director. She spent time at home cooking for him, taking care of him, loving him and keeping him happy because that was what made her happy. The appreciation from him meant the world to her. He liked what she did for him, appreciated all her efforts. Her dedication won him over and one fine day he truly fell in love with the person with a wonderful heart beating in a beautiful body. He worked hard trying to prove himself worthy to the woman who had given up her career for his sake. She thought he loved her less each day. The fights begun. The tears stung his heart. The frustration started to take a toll on her health. Suddenly things changed one morning when she realized she had missed her periods. She took the pregnancy test and it came positive. She took several tests and all came positive. Moods changed. Love conquered their hearts yet again. He made her feel loved and cared for. He cooked food for her on Sundays. They went for walks every evening, holding each other’s hand. He took leave from office to be with her when she visited her doctor. The obstetrician told them that everything was fine. The obstetrician was wrong.
A few weeks into the pregnancy, she had a miscarriage. She cried her lungs out and for the first time in his life, he cried too. They cried, lying in bed in each other’s arms.
He took a few days off from work. Took his wife for a short vacation. Blame it on the hormones and the depression, she fought with him saying he took a leave because he needed the break. He walked alone at night on the unfamiliar roads, taking turns not knowing where it would lead him. They were supposed to understand each other and be supportive. She had lost a child, he had lost a child too. They needed each other. Exhausted by two hour walk, he returned to the cottage they had booked for themselves to find his wife standing on the porch, a shawl wrapped around her shoulders. She was trembling and he knew it was not because of the cold. He did not hurry to walk towards her. She waited. The moment he was on the porch, she threw herself at him and he embraced her. She apologized and he forgave her. They needed each other and they wanted to be there for each other. He cooked for her during their stay in the cottage. She spent time looking out of the window, sometimes helping him with the chores. One cold night, he moved closer to her to warm her as she shivered. She pushed him away.
He left her alone. If nothing else, he knew this much – it was best to leave her alone when she wanted to be alone. He climbed out of the bed and kindled the fire. The warmth of the fire spread into the room. The glow of the fire reflected on her face and he saw what he knew he would see. The tears. The depression was getting on his nerves. It had started to suffocate him. But he did not say anything because he loved his wife and his wife was mourning the loss of the unborn child. He returned to bed and slept with his back to her. She moved closer and put her arm around him.