It is not love. No, it is not, that I’m sure of.
Now when I lie in the bed, beside my husband, I am reminded, yet again, that it is not love. I love my husband, not him. Things have always been like this; something happens urging a wave of memories to hit my shore; and I think of him, of the time we spent together, the time we spent apart, the time we spent and are spending with no knowledge of each other’s’ well-being. It seems weird, doesn’t it?
My husband must not know about him. Not that I am guilty of cheating on him; I never was and will never be. But you know how it is; my husband won’t understand that it is not love.
Take the other day when my husband had taken his day off from office to spend more time with me and Adrian. I couldn’t be happier. Really. But when I was doing chores after our lunch, he played a song on his phone. A song supposedly with no strings attached to us, it had no special meaning for me and my husband, but it had for me and him. It was the first ever song we both admitted that brought tears to our eyes. I mocked him afterwards for being a baby to hide the bond that just strengthened between us; we both knew that that song had etched its place in our hearts now, that that song was now our song.
We used to listen to it whenever we missed the other. I used to.
So, it is not cheating on my husband, is it? I cannot cheat on him with a memory.
With Adrine, our 11-month-old daughter, sleeping in a crib beside my side of the bed, I know how much I love my husband. She got her name with ‘Adr’ from the initials of her father and ‘ine’ from a part of mine, Josephine.
A daughter and a loving husband, wasn’t this I had always wanted? A complete family. How could I not be happy with such angels around me? I always wanted to be a mother, and here I’m of one today. I couldn’t be happier, I know.
I love my husband. With his still hand lying on my arm, I realize I still love his touch, I still crave for it, I still look forward to it. I do not abhor his silly habits, which I used to adore before. My love for him is still pure and intact, and, if anything, it has only grown in our past six years of marriage. I’ve come to know his sides that I wasn’t aware of while we dated for a while in college and have become fonder of them too.
Trivial things like the way he squints his eyes while he shaves; the way he constantly keeps on rubbing his hands when worried; the way he clutches my hand (or arm) softly whenever he realizes I’m having a nightmare; the way he holds the newspaper so tight, while reading about the rage and fire around, that his knuckles turn white. Such obscurities have only made me adore him more. So, I still haven’t fallen out of love. I still am in as much love with my husband as I was years back.
Sam, I and my husband were in same college in California. But none of them knew about the other until I made them acquainted in a party; the very next day I and my husband started dating and Sam took me to this place called ‘For Heaven’s Sake’, as a congratulatory gesture, I guess.
It was a small café, that stayed open the whole night, with an open roof. It was one of the brightest dark nights I had ever seen in my life. That was the night when Sam confessed that he likes a girl in my class. I heard intently how he keeps on thinking only about her those days. Oh! you must have become so green, you’d say, right? But that is the catch, I didn’t. I didn’t feel even a pang of jealousy. All I felt was immense happiness for Sam and the girl. I knew the girl couldn’t not like him once she’d get to know him.
So, it wasn’t love, the incident solidified the notion. But it never felt friendship either. I knew it wasn’t. We never felt anything beyond care and affection for the other. We never crossed ‘the’ line. We couldn’t, because there never was anything other than platonic between us.
Never a chill passed when my hand touched his or when we walked together or when we hugged. It happened when my husband touched mine for the first time, when my husband walked with me for the first time, when my husband and I hugged for the first time. But with Sam, never.
Things got deeper and, that night, we, piece by piece, peeled off the layers of ours for the other. Some fears, some complexes, some dreams, some hopes. That was the night when Sam told me he was happy for me and my husband. As if on a cue, something pricked me; must have been an insect bite.
We stayed there till late night as I remember texting my husband of how beautiful this place is, and how we should also come here once in a while. He had mocked my idea saying dust was all I must be eating under an open roof. He missed my point.
With him, with Sam, I carved memories that I and my husband could never come to make.
After college, I and my husband got married, and I shifted to his native country, India, with him. I had seen Sam last in our convocation, years back. He couldn’t attend our marriage due to an emergency. We stayed in touch for a year or two after my marriage, then life happened and engulfed us in our respective daily chores. I haven’t even heard of him, let it be from him, in past six years.
But I received this today. It is dark in my room, but I don’t need any light to feel the envelope beneath my pillow. It is still there, lying unopened, as if even untouched. It’s from Sam from California. I had received it today in the morning. To receive a longhand written letter from Sam wasn’t a surprise. (I know it is a longhand written letter.) But to receive one, after these many years, I couldn’t find in me to open it right away. I’ve decided to do it tomorrow.
I still cannot gather – what can the letter possibly hold?
to be continued…
Here is the next part.
IF YOU ARE A FIRST-TIME VISITOR OF MY BLOG, DO REFER ‘First-Timers’. IT WOULD HELP YOU IN EXPLORING THE PLACE.
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