In Love Now and Forever

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Can a person's insatiable passion cast shadows on his love life? Read on to find out how John has to make a choice between his passion and marriage!

Submitted: June 24, 2013

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Submitted: June 24, 2013

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Present day,

 

" I have no other choice but to talk to her..." He reasoned. The steady  wind in his balcony caressed his face as if whispering his decision to himself before he had even made it.  He stood there, his hands in the pockets of his favorite jeans, his checked blue shirt fluttering in the air. One by one, his mind flashed all the moments they had shared. His thoughts carrying him back in time to the conversations he had had with her, their walking hand in hand in the monsoon rains, their dinners, their arguments, their compromises. Slowly the thoughts were flowing in at rate that made it difficult for him to analyse each of them but, it rendered unanimously one single  emotion; love.He felt a strange anxiety asif he was battling this emotion instead of embracing it. " Does she love me? Does she try to understand what I am going through? " he queried himself.

 

 

She increased her pace of walking. The groceries felt heavier than usual. " I have had enough. I am not taking this problem ahead anymore. I am going to let him know my decision", her hostile tone proclaimed. She knew the appalling echos of her action. Imagining them, sent a shiver down her spine. Three floors later, she found herself facing a wooden front door. As the response to the door bell she could hear the chair being dragged back in the balcony, a cough, and unlatching of the door. He stood there looking at her for a moment. His face was blank and taut. As she entered, she noticed that the living room was dimly lit, and smelled of cigarette; the ash tray confirmed her senses. " We need to talk", she heard him speak in a nonchalant tone asif each letter was heavy enough to utter with effort. She had no resistance whatsoever to this demand. She passed a wry smile as she put her bag down and occupied the sofa.

 

They indulged in conversation for hours, unbeaten by the tiredness of a day or of their thoughts. It was an exercise of emotional exhaustion. He spoke calmly, words like arrows smeared with his guilt. He was apologetic but not degenerative. She sat there cross handed, her eyes avoiding his, trying to focus on what he was intending to say than on his words distinctively. Time passed, unnoticed and uncared for, clock doing its duty with diligence.

 

Five years ago,

 

 John Mathew, aged 21, was an final year undergraduate student of Mechanical Engineering at a private university in Bangalore. A fatal accident left him a orphan at age 12 after which he was raised in middle class comforts by his paternal grandmother. As early as his high school days, he developed an ardent interest in physics and machines which chiseled his thoughts into opting for engineering as his undergraduate programme. His "never say die" attitude and perseverance augmented his interest and ensured that he was a meritorious student throughout. There always remained, at the corner of his heart, a void entrenched with deride toward a world that ravaged the emotional fabric of his childhood. Initially a hate, that later diffused into unconcern and then matured into a mentality of " Life is difficult and every day is a war" attitude. There grew a sense of supreme individuality, self dependance and rationalistic outlook on world, sparsely populated with regard for emotional attachments to people. He found solace only in his work. His pursuit of knowledge was more than a breadwinner to him; it was his breath and self assured purpose.

 

 

 

His ideas ravished into abyss when he met her. Her name is Pooja Shridharan. She was a year junior to him, pursuing her undergraduate studies in Chemical Engineering in the same college. An cultural fete brought them together as organizers. It wasn't much later before they started enjoying each others company and eventually, a relationship was an inevitable thought. Her cherubic nature, simple relaxed lifestyle, stable independent thoughts and kind nature anchored her to his soul much before he actually reasoned it. They spent weekends listening to her playing violin or discussing books or simply hanging out.  Her caring and poise attitude towards their relationship filled his void and rendered her a panacea to his emotional strains.

 

After graduating, his stubborn decision of pursuing his interests made him quit easily available IT jobs that tailed him as campus placements, and he instead made it to being a research assistant at a private lab at Banglore. His hard working nature and natural talent impressed his mentor and soon enough, his involvement with more demanding projects were realized. Meanwhile, she graduated and secured a job in a chemical manufacturing firm based in Pune. Initially, they accepted the need for separateness induced due to professional demands as something common and unavoidable. They made sure to be in each others life through regular calls, and emails. The pain of physical distance ensured that they came up with frequent plans to meet each other in person.

 

But, romantic love started withering away when life took hold...

 

2 years hence, the situation started showing signs of complication. The long distance and his over committed passion for work started etching a hole in the fabric of their relationship. Fights became common and his unconcern about their future added to her worries. They met only occasionally, mostly under her compulsion. The feeling of an alienation from him matured in her, unrevealed. On the contrary, he perceived her to be an understanding lady, who he judged to be fully sane with his struggles and dreams.He felt, her need for personal attention and care as obsolete.

 

Couple of weeks into her 24th birthday, her parents had hinted at an initiation towards searching for 'potential alliances' for her. This seemed to her as a warning bell. 

She knew that she had to act fast before she lost the battle. She could vividly imagine her orthodox parents' response to her intention of marrying a christian guy. As a measure of seeking support, she presented her issues to John. As always, he calmly explained to her that he needed time to relieve himself of the current research he was indulged in and promised her that on completion it had the potential to deliver him financially secure and that he'd consider approaching her parents regarding their relationship then. She retaliated blaming him for being so insular about their commitment and argued that the only rational solution to this would be to...get married and move in together. A subtle penitence of having avoided her in the pursuit of his ambitions, and her continuous remarks about the need for a marriage, made him reconsider his decisions.

 

In the spring of next year, after a long resolute battle against serial emotional blackmails from her parents, they tied the knot at a private function. She sought a new job at a private company and they moved in together  to a rented house.

 

The marriage brought in an  unspoken tranquility to their life and he seemed more assiduous to minor details of their family life. She felt elated and assured at the turn of events.

 

But the sooner than later, the pendulum swung back to its starting point. The progress of his work and quality of his ideas gathered his colleague's and competitor's admiration alike. His work was promoted as having national significance and country's foremost defense organisations showed ardent interest in funding him. Along with money, came constraints on time. He kept working, late into night, smashing his circadian clocks, optimizing his results day by day asif he was possessed by his work. He came home late only to find her sleeping. He left her early, with notes, stuck on the kitchen panes. Though his heart throbbed to spent time with her, he felt helpless and convinced himself that she would understand his quagmire. On the other hand, the feeling of him being so close, but still so unreachable hurt her. She tried to divert her attention to her work, keeping herself busy at office, usually coming home late, doing her chores and  finding solace and companionship in her violin.

 

 

 

Once home usually early, she found the stereo filling the room with his favorite piano tracks. She found him standing by the balcony sill, holding a cup of coffee and watching over the city buildings asif he owned it. He pretended not to notice her entry and went she about her chores. A little later, he initiated a conversation  " Pooja, you should understand how important this project is for my career. DRDO has started funding it and has given me a span of 3 months to submit the first set of results. I am only half way in the work and need tremendous amount of time and effort to meet the deadline. Do you think that I delibrately keep myself busy? Its true that sometimes, I am obsessed with the work and don't like my attention getting diverted. But I do have an ill feeling of not being able to hang out with you.."  " Ill feeling?...what a frank admittance John? You know something? Its been 3 months since we have had a peaceful dinner together. Its been a long time since I have heard you speak affectionately or you paid attention to what is happening in my life..We are not room mates, we are married.." She countered back." Didn't I tell you that it wasn't a great idea to get married so early? I pointed out very clearly how time consuming my work is and that if its not this, I will be shunned and I will have to do part time job to pay the rents!" he added. " Ya..go ahead..blame me for everything..that's what you always do..", she fenced.

 

The spark of a conversation raged into wild fire of mutual blaming. They berated each other;the intention of winning the argument stronger than the vision of striking a compromise. Caustic words, degrading comments and mindless reasoning mixed heterogeneously with Beethoven's 5th symphony in the background.

 

 

Present day..

 

He finished his sentence with a tone of regret. She had been listening, her eyes still fixed on a distant object. Her hands hurt, being crossed for so long. Her legs felt numb and her back ached. She picked herself up from her the couch and paced the room in silence. His stature hasn't changed in minutes after his monologue has ended. " John, this is not the first time I have heard you 'explain' things to me. But why is it that its me who always have to adjust? To be frank, you are an egotist. You care only about your life and ambitions. What about us? I am not an piece of meat. I have my private needs and desires. Much of which remains unfulfilled today. I decieded against my parents will only to be with you, because I thought I knew you and I expected that I would be respected in this relationship. But now, I stand at a thresh hold of my capabilities to take this pain anymore. Pain of being alienated. Pain of being ignored, of not being understood. I have decieded John. I am going back to my parents. We were never meant for each other. I think we overestimated what we are to each other. You should have never happened to me..". The words trailed off as her voice waned into a low sob. He had never saw her cry before, and as the first tear rolled down, it changed his world. He tried to calm her down and apologize, but in vain.

 

 

The events of the night indicated an end to their 5 years of married life. He watched her walk out of the front door with her luggage. His male ego, never let him 'beg' her to come back.

 

 

With a feeling of having been paralyzed for life, he spent days in their house usually in silence, smoking and retrospecting. His childhood isolation sprang to life and the remorse of having done wrong gave him nightmares. For the first time,he felt insecure and unwanted. He roamed around the city pointlessly, his guilt carrying him long distances on the highways of his solitude. He clogged his mind and sacrificed his ability to be rational and mindful. His work suffered.He called up office and confirmed an absence of couple of weeks.He sat by the window all day long watching a day unfold, people go about their lives, nature change her vantage points, the evening hustling, the silence of the nights. He found no support in any of them and felt asif he never belonged to this place. When he was sure of his guilt, he called her. She never answered. Even if she did, she listened half heartedly to his apologies and explanations. Soon, he stopped making the unresponsive calls. He was learning his old trade of self dependency.It cost him weeks of self assurance to let go. Soon, the Independence returned. He re-calibrated his emotions and consoled himself back to work.

 

John never realised that days and months passed by with no regard to his acute self absorption  in work. When her thoughts crossed her mind, he felt a certain pain; sporadic and exhaustive. He learned to accept the pain and worked even harder. The solace came in the form of results. The exhilaration gifted to him by his results made him beat the pain. It became his vicious circle of existence. A battle against his own emotions.

 

 

In one and a half years...

 

John Mathew's growth was exponential. He was the most celebrated scientist in his field. His work won wide acclaims and was promoted as a classified research that had capability to transform the country's defense capabilities. He was promoted to the post of Principle scientific researcher within the Ministry of Defense. His life surpassed the existential needs and became more of an offering to the scientific community. His contentment with his achievement was self evident in his nonchalant smile.

 

But, deep within the smile, lay a incomplete man, who could never express solidly his love for his wife, never was understood and was left alone to face the fragility of life when he needed support the most. Here was a victim of the belief that love was by definition, understanding and accepting the other. He never complained or blamed her for his state. He accepted this state with complete understanding of an optimistic outcome. A painful learning experience.

 

The understanding took time for Pooja. She fought with herself to forget him but couldn't. Every day, she'd wake up asif life was duller and meaningless than her previous day. She knew all along he must be suffering and felt equally guilty of having left him.Two years of separation, had brought along lot of men, who were interested in her, but she could never replace him or find in any of them, qualities she worshipped in him. " Yes, he is workaholic. His love for science is more natural to him than his love for anything else. I have to accept him that way. His hard working nature equilibrate my easy go nature and probably that's why life gave him to me. If I don't stand by him, who else will. God! what have I done to him!"

 

Six months into his new life, on a cold winter morning, she came back to him. First he was shocked: an emotion contradicting his otherwise calm nature. He maintained a silent observation on her for few minutes, his eyes darting hers. He pulled her in and hugged her. It was an apology, a word of love, a sense of belonging all in one human touch. Tears rolled down her cheeks as he held her. She admitted that she should have never let him alone and that she should have demanded this hug a long time ago. The warmth of love and understanding saturated the cold air around them.

 

They fixed breakfast together and engaged in a lengthy loving dissection of their misunderstandings...

 

 


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