Note: This post is based on a true story and is contributed by Sampriti Mukherjee.
A lump grew in her throat as she saw him relish the spoonful of breakfast. It was a busy Friday morning and she was putting spoonfuls of food in his mouth while he was tucking in his shirt, getting ready to leave for office. Each weekday morning was as busy as the other no matter how much organizing, scheduling and timing she tried to do in advance. “Aha”, he muttered as he finished the last morsel. A simple sound but enough to let her know how much he appreciated his wife’s culinary skills. With this the lump grew in her throat. How was she to tell him that this togetherness would be short lived?!
Her eyes glistened over as she once again tried to fathom the situation life had presented to her. As a senior executive in a reputed organization she had a bright future ahead. A future that would perhaps take her to another continent in a few months. Away from her home, her life and her love. A life they had build up together brick by brick in the three years of their married life. She could not gather the courage to tell him yet and thought that perhaps tonight would be the right time to break the news.
He waved her goodbye and she waved back. As she got ready to leave for work she pondered over the last few years of her life. She let out a contended sigh thinking that no matter what trials and tribulations life had put forth she had found her true love in life. Rather they had found true love in each other. The love which may not be made up of candle lit dinners, exotic getaways and walks in moon lit nights, but a love of working every night in the kitchen to make a simple dinner, of buying grocery together in super market aisles and planning for a secure future.
To build this life together they had to stay apart for three long painful years. Three dreary years spent in juggling careers, arranging for their marriage and finally coming together in the same city so that they could be united. Fulfillment of all this had taken a lot of courage, patience and perseverance on their parts. Their efforts had paid off and they were now happily married in a metropolis in India with a small abode they could call their own.
Life was not a bed of roses but seeing his broad smile at the end of the day when he would be back from work made up for all the small glitches that came with the daily rigors of life. Even if he was an hour late from work she would grow restless. So now moving away to Australia on a work assignment for seventeen months seemed like a blow to her.
Her mind was in turmoil. The hefty house loan amount they had to pay back could be taken care of if she took up this assignment and their coming years would be free of such financial burdens. But the cost was separation. She knew that it was impossible to switch jobs for him immediately and accompany her. Finally, she stood up to leave for office thinking that tonight after breaking the news to him she would feel relieved.
His reaction to her news of an overseas work assignment was something she had not expected. A bitter sweet smile touched the corner of his lips and he said, “Congratulations, remember I always told you that the sky is the limit for you”. She had expected him to rave and rant and express concern over her going away but his pride on her bagging the assignment was her undoing. A single tear rolled down her cheek and as he wiped it away the flood gates of her emotions opened up. She cried her heart out in his arms.
With him around she felt like a little baby again, clinging to him for support and expecting he could set all things right. But now she wished if only life could be so simple. They discussed the matter over and he told her that it was her calling. She had to take her own decision because it was her career that was at stake. He was there for her and would wait a lifetime for her. With this they settled in for the night, each lost in their own thought.
Today was the final day when she would have to give an answer to her boss whether she would take the overseas assignment or not. She glanced up at the clock and stalled for a little more time. She wondered did a man in his late forties understand what people in their late twenties had to put up to build a life for themselves. Did he have to worry about an EMI which would eat away a major portion of his salary?
She had made her decision and it was time to let the cat out of the bag. As she entered her boss’s cabin and as she greeted him she could make out that he was expecting an affirmative answer from her. But she was going to surprise him. She politely turned down the offer. It was beyond his comprehension to reason out why she had turned down such a brilliant opportunity. Seventeen months or roughly just one and a half years was too small a time period he said urging her to reconsider her decision.
Her answer was, “For people who have spent days slogging and dreaming about a life together even a day apart from each other was painful.” She knew she had made the right choice following her heart over her head. She would put in more hard work and excel in the opportunities present in her own country. Though the monetary achievements may come in late but together holding each other’s hands she knew they would sail though the rough weather.
P.S.-I thank everyone who has taken out time to read and appreciate my previous post “Daddy’s little girl”. This story is dedicated to all people in love who have to encounter choices of either the head or the heart every day. :)