He let his bag drop on the floor and plopped down on a sofa. The last thing he wanted to hear was his wife’s rambling, but here he was listening to her periodic babbles, although he didn’t want to. Sweat trickled down his forehead and he heaved a sigh of anguish. How he wished for it to stop. Even after all these years, times hasn’t lessened their usual conflicts. He wondered what his two kids might be going through. The teenage daughter locked herself up in her room and cranked the volume of the stereo. She was listening to the usual punk-rock music. That was a good way of draining the unwanted things out. The son, on the other hand, was with his mother, persuading her to stop bringing about chaos. Unlike the daughter, he was quite mature for his age. He was five years younger than the girl and seemed to genuinely care for the rift between his parents. The father wouldn’t blame his daughter either. She has been around for longer than her brother and has witnessed things far worse than this. He pitied her and that’s what he could do-to sit and feel sorry for his two kids.
Every relationship starts off as a story in its own fairytale land. Love and hope adorn the land with blooming flowers and sweet scent. It’s mesmerizing and enchanting to be so indulged in that ecstatic feeling. You’d never want it to end and you’d wish it to be this perfect as long as you’re around, but that’s only a utopian feeling. Things wane. The same love which was so alluring turns out be an utter drab with time. I always think of love as a rose-its beauty irresistible when young, but dreary when withered. However, there’s a mysterious beauty in a withered rose too. You would be able to see it, if you want to see it.
Some people just choose to stick together no matter what happens. They are so adamant that they will struggle to see the happiness in bleak times even if it stabs them every time.
“Honey! The tea is ready.”, he called out from the kitchen.
“You have your tea. I don’t want it.”, the wife replied terse.
“I made it especially for you! Just the way you want it! C’mon now, don’t let out your anger on tea. We all need a break here.”
“If you think this is going to make me feel any better Josh then forget it. You can’t make up to me with TEA.”
“Think as you please. Have your tea first.”
The wife took her cup tight-lipped. Josh watched her drink her tea. She cast him a stern glance. He shot a goofy smile.
“It’s okay.”, she said.
“I’m glad you like it!”
“I never said I like it, did I?.”
“Eighteen years Nat. You think I can’t see beneath that serious face you’re trying so hard to keep?”
Natalie smiled. She would bellow all sorts of nonsensical stuffs that came into her mind. Accuse Josh of things he never did, and all because she was frustrated. The wife wanted to get out of this place that gave her nothing but a boring life. She wanted to be free and this intense desire would switch on the tantrum key every month.
She knew that Josh was working strenuously to keep the family of four as happy as he could, but his efforts were in vain. She wasn’t satisfied at all. It wasn’t his fault either. Some people have huge expectations no matter the situation.
Meanwhile, the daughter peeked into the room and smiled to herself. She was finally relieved that they weren’t arguing any more and were having their tea together. The house, somehow, felt more cosy and serene when her mom and dad were at peace with each other. If only, if only they wouldn’t clash so much. They were a perfect couple. Despite all these years of turmoil and arguments, they continued to be each other’s backbone, where can you find a love like that in this seemingly hopeless World? As much as Via pretended she didn’t care, the thoughts of her parents’ rift always occupied her mind. She just couldn’t stand and witness the scene of bitter conflict unfold before her. That’s why she’d retire to her room and try her best to dwell on things outside the fight.
No matter what you do, there are people who are never content with your work. I remember bagging the first prize in an essay competition (I don’t mean to brag here. Honestly) and thought to myself how proud my mother would be. Writing an essay on Bill Gates was a mind-racking job. Moreover, I was very happy with that feat. However, mother dismissed it as something ordinary. Was I furious at her for this? Of course not! It was expected because what means the whole World to you may be a tiny speck of dust in this vast expanse of the Universe to someone else. It’s the same differing perceptions that develop a chasm between people.
Josh thought the family was content with whatever they had. In fact, he was getting them everything they asked for and couldn’t see what they were lacking. He failed to see what Natalie truly wanted because he was so absorbed in his own perceptions and beliefs that neither could he feel nor see the wife’s growing angst which eventually led her to take the form of a vicious dragon. Ouch.
Love is not just about sticking to each other and scraping yourselves in the process. It’s about understanding one another even when the situation seems like a dead-end. People change and so do their expectations. Why does Via think her mother and father are a perfect couple? It could be because despite the arguments and bitter fights, they still took the time to comprehend each other’s problems. No matter how irrational or illogical the feud was, they took the time to sort things out once the fiery storm quelled.
Sometimes, people just choose to let things go probably because that’s what’s best for them. Staying together and slitting each other’s throats often is definitely not an appealing option. In the end, it all depends on people’s choices. If Josh and Natalie want to stay together despite all that, it’s their choice. If another couple decides to put a period to their relationship, that’s their choice. What’s essential is a consensus and an understanding. No love is above all and all love is above all. GET IT?! It only means that a particular form of love isn’t above other forms of love because love is technically the same thing, but seemingly different forms of love are above other kinds of feelings. Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?
Natalie and Josh walked into the hall to find their two kids playing Star Wars. They seemed so happy while jumping around and swinging their arms about to kill those evil droids.
“Hey Kiddos! Your mum and I have decided to go to a park. Switch it off and hup-hup!”, Josh said. He’d always say ‘hup-hup’ for ‘come along’ and Via always found it rather silly. She giggled.
“All right, dad. Just give me a few seconds to change into a better tee.”
Soon enough, the lights in the house turned off and the door shut behind Josh. It was a pleasant night to take a stroll in the park indeed.
*I’m not a relationship pundit. I kinda found it necessary to mention that.