A story of love and loss
Story I want to tell began in my bedroom. A story of me and her. A story of was and could have been.
“When was the last time you saw a girl naked,” she teased me. It made me realize that I was staring at her. I did not wish to accept that I had never had sex before.
“Not long ago, but none as beautiful as you.” I don’t know how, sometimes I blurted out the right things to say, without even thinking. She smiled and pulled me closer.
Half an hour later we lay in my bed. Spent and covered in sweat. She rested her head on my chest and drew circles around my navel with her fingers. Her silken hair caressed my shoulder.
“That was your first time, wasn’t it?”
“Yes.” I admitted.
“It was wonderful though.”
“I liked it too, you are amazing.”
“Do you think I would get pregnant?” She asked.
“I hope so.”
“What?” She looked at me with questioning eyes, not sure she had heard me right.
“Yeah, then we can marry sooner.”
“Why do you want to marry me?” She asked. Her eyes teasing me.
“So that you would do my laundry.”
“Hey!” She punched me in the chest. “The world has changed mister, it’s the guys’ turn to do the laundry; and dishes too.”
We both laughed. “Oh! Yeah? I don’t mind doing both, for sex in return” I winked. She punched me in the arm. We laughed and kissed.
Our’s was a short love story. She did not get pregnant. Her family moved out a week later. Her dad was in a government job and they kept moving around the country. They had moved in next door just a little more than a couple of years ago. It had taken me almost two years to open up my heart to her, though I liked her from the moment I set my eyes on her. Our relationship had taken off only about a month back when it was time for her to move. She wanted to lose her virginity to me, as a parting gift. Maybe she also hoped to get pregnant so she could teach her dad a lesson (she hated moving around and adjusting to new environment every time).
We tried to keep in touch over the phone and mails afterwards. But there was so much else in life that it became difficult to find time to catch up with each other. One day, she sent me a picture with her new boyfriend. When I made to the college football team I sent her mine too, with the pretty blonde cheerleader.
The cheerleader story did not last long, but she married the boyfriend in the photo. I wondered whether I would have been in those wedding snaps, had she became pregnant on that August Sunday afternoon.
She already had a four month old son when I finished law school. She had dropped out after her freshman year. Something I did not expect from a girl who topped every test in the class. When I sent her my wedding snaps her son was already year and a half and she was pregnant again. Her second son survived only for two days. She went into depression after that.
I tried to comfort her during our daily phone conversations that lasted more than couple of hours during her divorce. Later she used to mail me the details of her sessions when she started going in for therapy. We discussed her progress, and her psychologist. By the time my second daughter was born she was dating her psychologist. I flew two hundred miles to attend her wedding. She still looked as beautiful as on that August Sunday afternoon, though a bit tired.
Her son came to stay with me for a week when he appeared for law school admission test. When my daughter went for a Peace Corps camp in Sudan, she assured me that my daughter would be safe. When my daughter married her fellow volunteer, she couldn’t attend the wedding due to ill health. I knew she had never really got out of alcohol addiction she caught during her divorce. It was taking its toll now.
For next two years our contact was minimal. I nursed my wife as she battled against cancer. She was battling cirrhosis. Her husband supported her during this period. They both attended the funeral when my wife finally gave in to cancer. She looked older than her age I thought; maybe she was thinking the same about me. Lines had appeared on our faces long back. Our story was as old as us.
Today the memories flooded back in my mind as I stood and watched her coffin being lowered into the grave. Her face was calm and smiling. I felt tears on my cheeks as the priest blessed her soul. I still wonder if the story would have ended differently, if she had become pregnant on that August Sunday afternoon.