If one could choose which course to take, the way would be so much easier to see. But life isn’t like that: most of the time one wanders around in a fog as if his eyes were blind, he had no mind, and everything he wanted, he could not find… So what? You may ask. I’ll tell you what! I hate feeling like a fool, and not only that but I dislike fooling my feelings. If you could stand in my shoes, you’d see a world which expects perfection from some of its creatures while excusing the others. Now, is that fair? Of course it isn’t, but that’s the way it is.
I am not perfect and have never been, but I have a very high standard which even I find hard to live up to. However, others expect only the best out of me, so I must seem like quite a disappointment to them. Love used to mean never having to say you’re sorry, but now Erick Segal’s words reside in the home for disused concepts. It wouldn’t matter how much sorrow I feel for my past ‘indiscretions’ because it doesn’t matter anymore: I live my life to a pattern which others cannot comprehend, mainly because I refuse to give them the key to the decoding device; I exist in the body, but my heart resides elsewhere and my mind has taken off for distant realms.
Once upon a time (just like in a fairy tale), there lived a young man who decided to marry for the second time (the first attempt having been an unmitigated disaster), and the woman, with whom he chose to share the remainder of his life, seemed to be the right one. What he hadn’t realised was that she was actually left (abandoned), by another, and that he (the young man) was the ultimate revenge. Even now, that fact doesn’t bother him too much, but it did add an element of confusion and doubt into the relationship right from the start which carried an aura of mistrust about it for many years to come.
You’re probably thinking, ‘What difference can the past make? After all, it was such a long time ago, and so much has happened since then.’ This fact may be true, but it doesn’t alter the feelings of the young man: he’s thought he was IT! Sadly, he discovered the truth; she was still in love with the previous suitor. She wouldn’t admit it to him, ‘though, so he had to live with a ghost from the past which would never be exorcised for the remainder of their marriage.
Then, one day, he came face-to-face with his match: she was electric, forthright, and his wife’s relative! What kind of God allows such a cruel twist of fate? Obviously, his did, because he fell in love with her and the feeling was instantly mutual. They should have waited, that much is known now, but impatience is a persistent master and would not allow them peace, until they were one in body and spirit. She hadn’t wanted to get involved with a married man, let alone her cousin’s husband, but he was like a gift from heaven to her, one that she couldn’t refuse, and wouldn’t.
For a time, their budding relationship went seemingly unnoticed by their respective spouses, until one day his wife voiced a suspicion about them. He confirmed it, wishing to be clear of any deceit on his part. The world caved in! His lover tried to accept what had transpired, but found the pressure too great and the ostracism of her cousin too painful to bear. The wife decided that she couldn’t take it anymore, either, and she chose to move to a new location, 200 miles away. But the young man, who was getting older by the minute, decided to stay. In his heart he knew the ‘affair’ wasn’t over. And it wasn’t…
Within six months, the matched pair became one in body, mind and spirit: small wonder that she became pregnant; the child growing in her womb was the physical symbol of their love. But then came the doubts… Didn’t they say from the very start that they hadn’t wanted to hurt either spouse by seeking a divorce? What a dilemma! To protect the others they discussed abortion. Now, abortion was something that neither of them saw as a proper solution, especially since each thought murder was a horrible sin, but faced with the prospect of breaking up two families and hurting four children, they chose to sacrifice their love-child. The actual process of the decision-making still amazes them, since lack of communication was the way it happened. He was pleased she was carrying his child, and she thought that he wanted her to get rid of it. She’s even asked him, “What would you say if I decided not to have the abortion?” His response was characteristically cryptic, “That’s a good question…” You see, he didn’t know if she actually wanted the child, and she didn’t get any hints from him about his feelings, so she went ahead the abortion, which he saw as a rejection of him. (As she so aptly put it, afterwards, “By denying our child, we denied our love.”) Within two days of the abortion, she’d realised that a big mistake had been made on both their parts. She begged to see him for a talk, but he was feeling so hurt and vulnerable that he refused to give her access, thereby doing to her what she had so often threatened: to end the relationship.
It’s been a long time since these events occurred: a lot of pain and fear has been purged from the matched pair. They each made a valiant attempt to right any wrongs that they’d caused their spouses, mainly in vain. His wife mistrusts his every move, but tries to hide it behind an acceptance of what is. Her husband is obsessed with her infidelity. The most poignant thing of this whole story is that they still love each other very much, almost to the point of distraction. After all, they had touched perfection in each other, and that perfection was what they’d come into this world to experience. So, what’s to become of them? I wish I could say, “They got married and lived happily ever after,” but that would not be realistic. Instead, I must tell that they are still waiting for the day when they can finally be free of their obligations. So much for fairy tales!
I’m much wiser now, having experienced the situation I’ve just described, and if I were given the chance to do it all again, I would, but I’d alter a few details. Which ones? That’s not for me to reveal at present, but, to repeat a famous quote, “Watch this space!” The future belongs to those who are brave enough to risk security and reputation. Am I included in that statement? Perhaps…
If one could choose which course to take, the way would be so much easier to see…