I don’t think that my life had really truly begun until the day I fell in love. It was the most beautiful moment in my life and of course it defined the rest of my days. Till the day I met her, I had only been a wanderer. Not only did I not know what I was searching for, I had no clues where to look for it. But there she stood like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – holding all the answers to my questions in the palm of her hands as she beckoned me forth.
Physically, there was nothing of great significance about her beauty. Even if I had been a poet, I would have found myself extremely pressed for words to describe her appearance. She was one of those people who grew on you with time. For me, it was her shining eyes with a secret knowledge that drew my attention constantly.
I wanted to know everything about her but she found fun in mocking me instead. While I was enamoured by her, she never even hinted that the feeling was mutual. God, how much she made me work before finally consenting to be my wife! I guess in that respect, all women are alike!
My family would often make fun of me and call me names. They thought that I was ruled by my wife. So what if I was? I didn’t particularly mind that. She was all that was good, holy and pure in this world. I could never achieve her high levels of discipline, self control and purification. Though she loved me a lot, her priorities were different than mine. I only wished I could have been the number one man on her list. But I wasn’t.
Since childhood, she had grown up believing that the only purpose of this life was to spend it pleasing Him. She gave Him so much of time and attention that I would spend many days green with jealousy. She would laugh at my immaturity but never changed her ways. Reluctantly, I respected her for her beliefs.
Over time, she made me experience the joys of fatherhood. While it was a trend of the time for men to not get involved with the children, she made me break traditions and do just that. I knew my children as much as, if not more, my wife did. I felt complete knowing that I was not just a money-making, wish-fulfilling genie in their lives. I was their father in every sense of the word.
Decades past and the brothers decided that it was time for them to fly away from home. While one migrated up north, the other decided that the sunny south was more to his liking. Finally, we were left alone in the company of each other. Those were the best days of my life.
When we are young, so much time is spent planning for the future. Everything including life is kept on hold to ensure that the coming years will be smooth. We never think about all our unfulfilled wishes and dreams thinking that there will be time for them later. The present moment is only for securing the next! The wheel of time keeps spinning till finally one day you’re lying on your death bed regretting all the things you didn’t do.
I didn’t want to be filled with regrets when it came to the one person who filled up my senses. I know the world might look at her and see a different version than I did, but for me she hadn’t aged a single day since I first saw her. My heart still beat wildly for her. Blood rushed to certain places when she gave me those looks when no one was watching. Her smile still had the power to leave me breathless. To me it seemed that time had stopped still all these years.
The first months alone were awkward. We had forgotten what it was like to perform without an audience to cheer or boo our every action. It seemed selfish to think of what we wanted to do after so many years of putting others first. The house felt empty of the cacophony that the children made. Thankfully, in a few more months we formed new habits and developed new routines.
I loved to wake up to her voice and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee intermingled with her soapy clean smell. Breakfast was a calm unhurried affair where we spent hours chatting while we went about our routine. We were smart enough to know that spending entire days together would only lead to friction. So every day I would head out to the club for lunch and get back at sunset.
I looked forward to seeing her after a few hours away. Every time it struck me anew, how beautiful she was! The light shining in her eyes had only brightened over the years. I was like a moth continuously being drawn to her flame, unconcerned of my own existence.
Life was going on as comfortably as if I was already in heaven. Then one day He decided that maybe it was time for me to actually visit the place! The peaceful breeze suddenly danced to a wild frantic tune as a tornado alert was announced one day. Everyone was advised to vacate their premises and head to the safety shelter. The city had been turned upside down in the matter of hours. Our lives couldn’t have remained unaffected.
I don’t know when age had caught up with our bodies though the mind was still as young as ever. The panic and confusion caused a haze of fear to settle over our eyes as we bumped around the house trying to figure out what to do next. We had spent so many years trying to build a perfect life that it was agonizing to leave anything behind.
When the last siren had blared signifying the departure of the final mode of transport, we looked at each other. Suddenly there was a moment of clarity and peace. We headed to our room and lay down in each other’s arms. I looked her in the eye and made her a promise that I won’t let even death tear us apart. Wherever she would go, I would follow.