“I should have said something then, but I just stayed mum and let him shatter my self confidence.”
Richa pondered for a few minutes, before continuing.
“I thought if I he truly loved me, he would see it and sooner or later he would reciprocate and start loving me like the way he loved me when we married. It took me 10 long years to realize that we had just grown apart. The spark we once had just died, and half hearted effort could not save it. He started fulfilling his needs outside, and I could not see the change. I kept hoping and now at 50, I am realizing that it is never worth the effort to bend yourselves and bury your self respect just to please someone.”
She took another sip from the wine glass on her table and looked at the beach, staring into the sea as far as she could to the point where sky met the water. Sun was sinking colouring the water all red.
“20 years before, I was that naive girl. My husband fooled me each time, and each time I accepted him back thinking this would be the last. I should have left him the first time I caught him cheating. I was only 32 then, and with two of you besides me I got scared of how would I manage to raise you. He told me a fancy story and I believed.”
“He just became more cautious and started destroying all evidences. But I caught him again 8 years later. Deeply in love I could not see the truth through my rose tinted glasses. I again believed his lies. And I was worried, if I could give you the comforts of life if I steeped out alone. I had stopped working when your grandparents didn’t want me to. That was the condition kept for our marriage. I had been a university topper and was earning more than your dad. It had already been 10 years then, and I was not even sure if anyone would employ me now.”
“It became a pattern then. 10 years and two affairs later, I knew I could not live under that roof any longer. It was like a diseased heart. You can’t do without it, yet you can’t throw it. It had become a limitation.”
“That day I found courage to tell him, to let me go. He was a good dad though. He agreed to support you both and anyways you both were in college then.”
Riddhi who had been quietly listening to her mom’s drunken musings spoke now. “Even after all what happened, you still don’t say anything negative about pa. Ya you both never let us feel the heat of the dead marriage you were carrying. We never heard raised voices, fights, arguments. So, at that age I never understood your decision to abandon us. Infact, you didn’t even tell us the reason and walked off. I probed him for many days, but he never looked in my eyes. He broke off with his existing muse, and then joined Art of living. He transformed himself. He started spending more time teaching the neighborhood poor kids and helping them settle through funding small business just like you wanted. May be it was a repentance? Isn’t it? But I still can’t forgive himself for doing this to you.”
“And for years, I was angry with you for just leaving us.”
“I didn’t want to poison your minds, and you were anyways big enough to see through.”Richa replied.
Both sat in silence for sometime.
Riddhi spoke again, ” It was only when he found out about Aryan’s extramarital and tried to dissaude him that I realized what made you leave.
“I destroyed the very person, who built me. Don’t be that bully Aryan. I realized this when Richa left and for all the trauma I gave her over the years, I couldn’t even ask her back.” I still remember those words which I overheard in that discussion.
“Aryan didn’t change and soon things came to physical and mental abuse. Both of you joined hands then and sent me to Toronto to do my second masters. A year later, I was much sorted.”
The waves crashed on the rocks nearby.
“Why you waited 10 years? And why for me you helped me take the decision in just 2? Riddhi probed.
“I had seen remorse in your dad’s eyes the first time he was caught. Things normalised between us, but many things died too. We stopped our physical relations, as each time we tried I would have her in my mind. I never healed, never forgot and slowly we forgot what it meant to love each other. We stopped communicating the feelings which mattered. The tiny thread snapped when it happened second time. With Aryan, I never saw that remorse, even when he hit you, and you aborted. So, the decision was easy.” Richa replied.
“After you left Dad realised, but yes I never feel Aryan will ever have remorse over what he did.”
“What are my two angels talking about?” Ravi joined them on the table.
Nothing just future plans, Richa winked at Riddhi.
Ravi smiled and then after little hesitation added.
“Thanks Richa for coming. I was an awful husband, I know but still everyyear for the last 3 years you choose to spend your birthday with me makes me feel that of all the sins, atleast few I have atoned. Thanks for being my best friend ever.
“And Thanks Riddhi my darling for bringing us together again. Children are the binding glue and it’s because of the trauma you went through, your mom started talking to me, and we became friends again.”
The waves kept playing hide and seek.All three sat looking at the horizon beyond.
The prompt for this month was, “20 years ago, I….” I choose to write the predicament of a wife who finds about her husband’s infedlity.
I received this tag from Keerthi Vydyula at https://thoughtsthrulens.com. It’s my pleasure to pass on this tag to Jyoti Babel at http://www.jyotibabel.com There are 29 of us on this Blog Hop and it will be spread over 3 days – 1st, 2nd and 3rd November 2019. Do follow the #WordsMatter Blog Hop and prepare to be surprised!