She nattered while buttering her toast, as happy as a lark. Mornings did that to her. Just like the way dawn crept with a tint of orange and bronze, joy suffused her cheeks, the colour of marmalade and hope.
The sing-song of birds and flutter of feather continued to calm her spirits, a wild array of buds beginning to unfurl.
She often wondered, as she cursorily eyed him sipping his black coffee, was it the bitterness of coffee beans that made him look so grim. When she spoke, it was like conversing with the flora and fauna around her and not the man whom she was married to.
Two decades was a long time, “phew!” she sighed. Her cherubic aura and disposition remained the same in spite of his frostiness towards her.
It was as if the communication line between them had fazed. As soon as he would leave for work, she would hug the colourful garden pillows as if to douse her ache. The sweet longing of wanting to feel belonged, loved and appreciated remained unfulfilled.
She would pick gardenias in the evening and tuck in her hair, having prepared hot tea and cinnamon rolls, awaiting his presence like a newly-wed. He would walk in with a face devoid of expression, the same kind of acknowledgement which the pretty frames of the house received. Silently sipping his tea, hurried gestures would ensue as if an official meeting awaited in the drawing room. She tut-tutted with despair.
It was evident that he did not enjoy her company and no kind of conversation enthralled him.
There was an invisible wall between them and the candescent, peeping moon was a witness to their soulless union. Their backs, turned away from each other. She remembered the eventide when she had donned the bridal veil and her eyes shimmering with love and unspoken dreams. If only her henna-tattooed hands could cast their rich stain onto her drab destiny as well.
It was taking a mental toil on her. During a storm, both seeds and weeds are uprooted. When sanity is on upheaval, nothing else makes sense.
There is always a placidity after intense thunder and lightning. Her conflicted heart was eventually given a repose. Ross was Master of Ceremony at Hilda’s wedding. Smart, sleek and suave. She was the bridesmaid. He sat next to her after the ceremony and they all dined together. There was something about his oceanic green eyes that gleamed under the star-studded open-roof. She chided herself for being carried away, rotating her rose-quartz wedding band on her slender finger, and firmly putting it in place lest it slip away.
She believed in permanency. As they say, ‘love conquers all’, she knew she had to fight harder to make her husband be like the other ‘normal husbands’ which her friends so often extolled about. She had never worked so hard in her life to win over a relationship. And yet, she was still trying.
Ross had fallen for her dimples and vivacious spirits. In the beginning, she thought what’s the harm in speaking over the phone with him? As it is, she had no one to talk to. Their friendship bloomed. Secret rendezvous led to a hot and happening affair. He was ready to marry her.
“You can’t leave me!” her husband cried in agony.
She decided to give her dreary marriage a second chance to transform it into the fairytale which she had just flitted upon.