Thursday, October 23, 2008

It would always be - fidelity

She lay on her side in bed, a soft light filling the room. It was a little past midnight and he was still in the kitchen doing the dishes. Her hand absent-mindedly made slow but deliberate circles on the bedsheet - smoothening it, writing his name on it and smoothening it out again. She then closed her eyes and began reliving that day for what seemed like the millionth time.

They had gone on a vacation, just the two of them. A serene, isolated hill station; the area was so silent they could hear their own breathing. It was the third day and they had gone trekking over a small hillock, the snow slowing them doing a little. They had a really nice time - throwing snow balls at one another, holding hands, hugging when a chilly wind blew by and at one point, lying down on the ground and making snow angels - even though they were alone for nearly all the time.

When they were coming down the slope returning to the cottage, she slipped and tumbled down a few yards till she abruptly came to a halt. It was a boulder hidden in the snow. He raced down after her, fell on his knees and brought her to a sitting position. As they sat there in the snow waiting for her to regain her strength, she began to cry in pain. The cold did but little to ease the throbbing in her left shoulder.

He had, somehow, pulled her up to make her stand and supporting her weight on his sturdy frame, dragged all the way back to their room. The next day, the doctor did not have a very positive prognosis to give. When they were alone, he held her hand as she lay on the hospital bed and reminded her he was going to be with her for life - no matter what. A promise is a promise, he had said.

That was nearly three years ago.

Just then, she was disturbed from her dreamy state as he got into bed beside her. He cuddled as close to her as he could and held her lovingly around her stomach. That was all she needed to be assured he would hold true to his promise. Their hands met, fingers weaving in and out of the other's; things couldn't get any better. Sensing her thoughts, he whispered into her ear, "How you feeling?" "I'm all right", she said with a slight giggle that came so spontaneously, it made him laugh too. He knew she wasn't lying.

"Where do you find the strength to love me after all these years?" she asked, with the innocence of a child. He didn't know for sure himself; there had occurred no future to him other than one with her, and it was still that way. So what if things had changed - they were too small when put in contrast with the experiences they had had together. He would not trade this life for any other. He replied, "It's because you have been strong yourself, not allowing things to affect you; you've been yourself and that helps me remain me."

And saying that, he turned her around and kissed her. A complete kiss that conveyed more than a thousand words. They remained that way for a long time; eyes closed, holding on to each other. A quiet tear formed in her eye and rolled down her nose till it dropped and fell on his. He moved back slowly and looked at her face. It still looked as beautiful as the first time they kissed on the lips. She was overwhelmed with all the emotions that kept filling her heart. And wiping away the tear, she gave him a half smile - the paralysis holding back the left side.