Melissa had been out in the garden for a long time since daybreak. Looking at the sunrise this morning, she has begun to question her toughest decision till date – marrying Stuart. Somehow, the sunrise had not been able to inspire her as it was supposed to do, considering her job as a yoga teacher. Melissa was simply staring at the sun, searching for answers, desperately.
Stuart was, probably, the only man Melissa had ever trusted in her life, her previous relationships being all painful and exhausting. She had, almost, decided to live a solitary life when she met Stuart on a business trip to New Zealand. The enthusiasm and cheerfulness which Stuart exhibited towards life made Melissa feel at home with him even in a foreign land. It was a new life, it gave Melissa joy she had been longing for a long time.
However, Melissa’s decision to marry Stuart was not one without difficulties, Her company was not ready to transfer her to New Zealand and Stuart was unable to break his professional commitments to his father’s business. Melissa tried her best, but nothing came of it. On the contrary, she was made a victim of office politics and sexist remarks from her male colleagues. There was no way Melissa was ready to let go of Stuart. She quit her job in New York and moved to New Zealand to have, what her mother then and now she herself thought to be, a hasty marriage.
The fact that Melissa and Stuart were growing apart in just six years of marriage and the advice her mother had given her prior to it had been making Melissa extremely miserable of late. Add to that, Stuart’s drunken spree last night and his fiery temper at home which was enough to scare their 4 year old son Jamie.
Even though both Melissa and Stuart were children of divorce, it was Melissa who had taken it very hard. Her father was in the army and she had hardly any time with him. The loveless marriage of her parents and the bitter divorce when she was in high school had affected Melissa deeply. She often thought that her failed relationships were a result of the insecurities she had harbored in her mind.
Melissa’s mother had to fight hard to have her custody. Melissa’s sudden decision to get married at 23 did not please her and the warning followed – “Don’t make the same mistakes that I made.” But, as happens, when one is young, Melissa did not pay any heed to it and stuck to her own decision. Today, six years later, she is on crossroads, her mind crowded with doubts and the words of her mother ringing in her ears. A drunk husband in bed and a much scared son, refusing to come out of his room was what she had at the moment. She was reluctant to go back to her room. She knew Stuart would have shifted to the couch in the living room, trying to recover from his hangover. She had been sensing bitterness in him for a while now. After last night’s events, Jamie would dare not go close to his father, and she understood that. Stuart had not been very good at fatherhood of late.
Stuart opened the fridge looking for something to eat. A moment later, Melissa heard the fridge door close with a bang and noise of a vase smashed on the floor. She came running and found it to be true. On seeing her, Stuart, his face red with anger, burst out loud. That was the beginning of another heated argument. They had had a number of them in the past 3 months. Their arguments had made Jamie hide the news of parents-teachers meeting at his school and he was reluctant to write an essay on his parents or talk about them in front of the whole class. His poor grades were another obvious outcome.
The argument went on and on, like the tick-tock of a clock, without any pause. People don’t take stock of every moment in time and arguments are the worst time consumers. The spat between them got so harsh that none of them noticed Jamie standing near the staircase, tears streaming down his cheeks.The 4 year old kid was smart and informed enough to know that he had come quite unexpectedly in their life. The constant mentioning of his name and the line, “You never wanted to have him” was not new in their arguments and Jamie, being a kid of the 21st century and a smart one at that, had begun to understand something of it.
Jamie had something going on in his mind. As he watched his parents going along their usual bickering, he thought of putting his thought into action. He ran towards them. They argued with such vitriol that they didn’t notice the child standing between them, until the unforeseen happened. Jamie took the big glass bowl from the table and smashed it on the floor with all his strength.It had the desired effect. Melissa and Stuart stopped arguing. The sight of blood gushing out of their child’s legs was enough to make them forget everything in a flash. The bowl was heavy enough for a lean and thin 5 year old. Pieces of it had pierced Jamie’s skin and he was wreathing in pain. His parents rushed towards him. He finally managed to have both of them close to him. To his mind, there was no other way he could have done that.
At that moment, after a long time, Melissa and Stuart came together for a common purpose – to heal their son. They knew they had caused enough damage to him. It was time to heal as a family.