How they kept their love alive
I studied her as she waved goodbye. She was standing on the couch so he could get a better view of her through the glass pane. Her protruding belly, almost touching the window.
After a huge grin, there was a sense of relief on her face. I found it strange. Why was she alleviated to see her husband go to work? The relief turned to a pleasant smile as she left the window to get to her unending chores. She saw me looking at her with questions in my eyes and asked "What are you wondering" If I understand properly, there was a slight tension on her face before the relief, so yes, it was relief. But why the tension?
"Kaku?" she calls me again, and breaks my line of thought.
"Didi, I may be wrong, but if I am not, then can I ask you something?"
"That statement made no sense but do share your thoughts."
"There is a sense of relief on your face as you bid Jiju goodbye. I was just wondering why are you happy to see him go to work tod.."
I saw her smile change to a giggle and then her laughter didn't let me finish my question.
"I thought you knew me better than that" she said mocking me.
“You know how he is?”
“That is supposed to be a rhetorical question, I know that but how am I supposed to know him. I am two days old in this la la land of yours. I saw you wave goodbye yesterday too but didn't see your face. Today, I noticed a flash of relief amidst the happiness. I find it weird. So, to answer your question, I don't know how he is. Honestly, I don't want to know either but I am curious. Why the relief?”
“I am scared that he will forget to wave.”
“Since when is this going on?”
“He is like this from the start. Professors are born absent-minded.”
“I meant the waving.” and let out a cold sigh.
“Oh! Since we moved here.” she answers with a giggle.
“You are afraid that an … eight month habit will break?” I calculate the time in my mind.
“Every day is a new day. I don't know, maybe I am wrong to think that he will forget.”
“Ok! Answer the next obvious question. Has he ever missed waving goodbye to the love of his life?” I couldn't help roll my eyes.
“Not that I can think of. Actually, never.”
“I can't explain. There is a sense of excitement. I wish him a good day and see him walk till the bus stop. I pray that he has a productive day. Till he turns, each moment is vexing. It annoys me but also gives me a sort of tease. It is like there is an increase in my heartbeat with his every delay. You follow?”
“Not at all.”
“It's okay, you will when you get married. This ritual is important to me. I think it is to him too. I think he waves on good faith. He can't see me from that distance. He does it for me. He knows that I am waiting.” Yes, actually, why didn't I think of it? He can't probably see her. It is true, love is for fools. Her next statement gets my attention.
“I have never told you this but we went thought a slightly rough phase when we turned two. Life had become stale. Then one day, he went out and almost slipped on the sleet. He looked back. Since he was close and could see my silhouette, he showed a thumbs-up to tell me that he was Okay. I waved good bye and he waved back. He walked all the way to the turning and waved again. I wasn't sure he could see me; I pulled the blinds and waved to him. He left. This became our ritual. Somehow, things just changed for us after that. We felt younger. Crazier. We trusted each other more. Now, when I look back, I feel that this is what saved our marriage. Maybe it is a bit strong, I don't know how things would be otherwise or how long the itch would have lasted or what we would have done … Anyway, now you know.” With this, she got up from the couch and went for the kitchen.
I didn't know how to react. I am glad she didn't ask me for one. I am amazed at her maturity and the change these trivial things can do. I don't know if I will get married or how it will be, I know I can depend on my sister and ask her for help anytime.
Originially published here