Here Now ... There The Next Moment (5)


The story begins | Before he met her | The Approval | My sister's love story and his confession

“Back to routine, or Not.”


It started to drizzle and we got up from where we were sitting, near her freshly covered grave. All the people gathered for my sister had already left and we were the last alive people around. We started walking and I shivered slightly, it had already started getting cold. On reaching his car he opened the door for me and I slid in. He walked to the driver’s side and the moment he got in, it started to rain heavily. I don’t know whether he knew I needed time or was it because he wanted to be with her for some more time, he did not start the ignition immediately. We sat there inside the car, warm and dry as it rained. She was out there, cold and wet. Tears gathered in my eyes and through my blurred vision I saw him wipe his eyes with the sleeve of his shirt. “I wish I could have been there for her more”, he said all of a sudden and I knew he meant it.

…………………………


We both knew it would be crowded at my sister’s place, too crowded to be able to talk. We both did not have much time. I had to fly back to my job and he had to drive back to his wife who was currently busy taking care the little one my sister had given birth to and died for. She died due to Amniotic Fluid Embolism, the doctors said. Wiki says AFE is a rare and incompletely understood obstetric emergency in which amniotic fluid, foetal cells, hair, or other debris enters the mother's blood stream via the placental bed of the uterus and trigger an allergic reaction. This reaction then results in cardiorespiratory (heart and lung) collapse and coagulopathy. I am grateful to God for giving her at least one chance to hold her baby in her arms before dying. I never had the chance to see the baby, let alone hold her in my arms and I knew I would never see her. It hurt but that’s how it was going to be. The baby was not supposed to be with me. That’s what my sister had agreed to. I do not even want to think about the pain my sister would have had to undergo while handing over the baby to the woman who was married to the man she loved. Would she have been able to stay away from the baby had she been alive? I was happy for her, in a way this was much easier. Giving away the baby made no sense for me but for her, it seemed the right thing to do. I still remember the numerous fights we had since the beginning of the relationship my sister had with the man sitting next to me. It goes without saying that I did not approve of the relationship. How could I? However, she trusted me, needed me, I had to respect that we were family and that is the reason I stood beside her. In the end, however it was too much to take and I had chosen the easiest way out. I found a job far from home and decided to stay away from her. If she had decided to ruin her life, so be it. I was not going to be a part of it anymore. One wrong decision taken leaves you with a lifelong heart ache and guilt. This is exactly what happened to me. I cursed myself for not being there for my sister when she needed me. Families do not do that, families do not leave you alone. I was ashamed of myself. If I could not be there for my sister, how could I blame this man for not being the part of my sister’s life the way I wanted him to be? All these thoughts assaulted my mind, yet again, as he drove slowly from the graveyard to my sister’s house. He was not in a hurry to reach the house, nor was I. We would have preferred being elsewhere, alone with her memories. However, we also knew that it would be inappropriate for me to be missing from the repass being held at her house. I had to be there since I was the only family she had and like it or not, I was the host.

We reached the house to find the parking lot already packed with cars. He parked his car in the next lane and we walked back to the house. As expected everyone was waiting for me. I walked inside and said something about “hoping that her soul rests in peace and moving on with my life” and took a sip of wine. I walked out a while later and no one noticed. I gulped down the wine from my glass and stood on the porch, the breeze a little too cold to be comfortable. It was better than being inside though. That moment, standing on the porch I made a decision. I was never coming back to this house. It was too loaded with memories… and guilt. I would sell the house, yes I would. That would be the beginning of starting anew without her in my life. I covered my face with my palms and fell on my knees and cried my lungs out. I did not notice silhouette of a man standing on the other end of the porch and it was only after he walked closer did I realize I had a witness to the display of my emotions. He sat next to me giving me silent company. Each time he did something, it became clearer to me as to why my sister had done what she had done. It seemed as if she was still trying to win over my approval.

One by one all the guests left but he stayed. We had walked back in and were sitting in the living room without having any conversation. The silence became unbearable and finally I said, “Thank you for coming. I really appreciate it. I will be flying back tomorrow and I really need to be alone now” It came out rude even though I did not mean it to be so. He got up and walked to the door without saying a word. Then he turned around and said, “She deserves a little more time than just one day.
Yeah, right.” I murmured before turning around and walking up the stairs to my room leaving him alone in the living room. I heard the soft sound of the door being closed. He was gone. Even though I knew their story because my sister wrote letters to me, I really wanted to hear the story from his perspective. However, even though I respected him as family, as someone my sister dearly loved, I could not bear to be alone with him in this house. I collapsed on my bed, took a deep breath and closed my eyes.