Here Now ... There The Next Moment (6)

The story begins | Before he met her | The Approval | My sister's love story and his confession | Back to routine, or Not.

“That’s how it happened – his story begins”


One of the best things in life is being able to shut yourself off to everything and sleep carefree. I consider myself blessed to be able to do that. The moment I was in bed and closed my eyes, I fell asleep. Had it not been so, I would have never been able to spend the night in this house. The memories would have suffocated me to such an extent that I would have either left the house at night or killed myself out of guilt. When I woke up it was morning.

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I made coffee for myself and decided to relax in the rocking chair on the porch. I had ample of time to get ready and leave the house. Thanks to my internally set alarm clock I always got up on time which made it possible for me to relax before setting my life in motion. I walked out to the porch and inhaled the fresh morning air. I remembered the numerous mornings I had spent with my sister, sharing our lives over a cup of coffee. Our worries, our crushes – everything. She was the only family I had. I sat on the rocking chair and took a sip of the coffee. He was right … my sister deserved more than one day. I made up my mind to stay. Maybe not in the house, just roam around a bit, visit places we visited together. Maybe even visit her and spend some time with her. I was about to get up to make the call to cancel my flight ticket when I heard the sound of tyres on the gravel road. I squinted in the morning sunlight and saw that it was his car. He was back. What for? I wondered. When he stepped out of the car he was carrying a small bundle in his arms. Something neatly wrapped to protect from the cold. Someone neatly wrapped to protect from the cold. I realized he was holding my niece in his arms.

I got up from the rocking chair and sprinted towards him before he could even take one step towards me. Within no time I was holding the little bundle in my arms. I looked at her with tears streaming down my cheeks. The blood and flesh of my sister. She was beautiful. I looked at him and whispered a thank you. He smiled. We walked back together to the house. I could not take my eyes off her. I failed to see a frail figure seated inside his car. Only after the door of the car was closed did I turn around to see where the sound had come from. The frail woman walked slowly towards the house, her eyes fixated on the baby. It did not take much of brainstorming for me to know that the woman was none other than his wife. The woman because of whom I fought with my sister, the woman because of whom my sister was no more than a second woman in the life of the man she loved. As much as I hated to see this woman standing in front of me, I also pitied the frail figure looking at the baby. I could make out from her eyes that she had cried the whole night, maybe not slept the whole night either. Had he gone back home and said something to her? Had they fought? Why were they here? Did she come willingly or did he force her to visit? What did my sister’s relationship with her husband mean to her? These and many more questions tap-danced in my head. I started to feel sick. Perhaps the woman thought that I was going to faint because in one swift motion she was standing next to me, her protective arms ready to hold the baby. I handed over the baby to her reluctantly and without saying a word she walked inside the house leaving me alone with her husband.

He signalled me towards the chairs on the porch and we sat there silently for some time until he cleared his throat and started talking –
I am sure you do not need any introduction. The frail woman you just saw is my wife.” He paused. Was I supposed to say something? I did not know. I kept silent but nodded. He took the clue and continued while staring at his hands. “She cannot bear a child, you know.” He looked up at me again and clarified, “I meant it as a statement and not a question. Of course you do not know but your sister knew about it.
Of course, I did not know. He knew that my sister had conveniently kept me out of it. I was the only one surprised and hurt. So, my sister did keep secrets from me. Hearing to his perspective of the story was definitely going to be worth it, then. All I knew was that my sister loved this man and got pregnant and since she felt the baby deserved more than just being labelled as a Bastard, decided to hand over the baby to the father. However, now it seemed there was more to it. I knew it in my heart, his wife not being able to conceive had something to do with what my sister did.
So, just because your wife cannot conceive you decided to impregnate my sister?” I said in frustration, which was more because of being kept out of the truth than because of the facts I had come to know.
Please calm down” he pleaded.

I did not want to heed to his words but I looked at him as he said this and my heart cried for this man. I closed my eyes and when I opened them I saw that he was crying. I did not know what to do. I had never seen a man cry. Was I supposed to console him or let him cry? I decided to do the latter. After a few minutes he stopped crying and wiped his eyes with his napkin. I realized that his wife was watching us through the window. The baby was silent, perhaps asleep in her arms. I pictured my sister holding the baby. It should have been her standing there and not this woman. The anger built up again. I looked away. And then, I asked him the question I was dying to ask, “Did you make love to my sister or was it just sex to satiate yourself?
Neither” he replied and took me by surprise.
I neither made love to your sister nor was it about satiating myself. It was only about bringing a new life in this world.” He bent forward in his chair and looked deep into my eyes, just the way my sister had said he had looked into hers. He willed me to believe him and I did.
Please listen to what really happened before you judge me.” He requested and I agreed.