A Short Story
She sat on the sofa as her husband hurried with his morning chores. It was a good thing that he did not expect her to help him get ready for the office like all other husbands do and she did not need to make breakfast.
“The company had a wonderful canteen” was his response of not having breakfast at home. She watched him as he switched on the TV and munched some biscuits and prepared tea himself. He read the newspaper, drank tea and watched the news as he handled three task quite efficiently. The News channel was showing the new affair of another movie star.
“What crap news?” He said as he shut down the TV.
She sat there on the sofa still a little sleepy. It was her morning routine as she watched him get ready for office. She went late to office and watching him get ready had just become a routine. Moreover his fidgeting with the cupboard in the morning did not let her sleep. It was more relaxed watching him get ready.
“You want to go out today evening?” He asked her reading the cartoon section
“Huh?” She snapped back into reality
“Out? Do you want to go out today evening?”
“No!” She managed a small smile
He looked up from his paper to see any sign of anger or frustration or just plain irritation but nothing. He was expecting something after yesterday night’s fight or “argument” as she liked to call it.
“Look….” He started “We just need time together and…..”
“I guess we will talk in the evening then” She cut him short
He sighed and continued with the tea finishing off the cartoons.
“Am I doing something wrong?” He had asked her yesterday
“No” She had replied in one word
“Then why do I feel that I am guilty of a bigger crime here”
“That’s not your fault”
“Then who’s fault it is?”
“I need time” She had said
He raised his hands in frustration and walked out of the room. She sat there on the bed tears streaming out of her eyes
“That’s a really big teddy”
“Huh?” She was jolted back into the present again
“The teddy” He pointed out to the big soft teddy bear kept on the wall unit “Its big”
She nodded in agreement. The big pink teddy bear had come with her after marriage. It was not a present from her family. He knew that. It was from someone special, more special than him. It was a big cuddly teddy bear and he somehow had come to hate it. He had kept quite and tried to make her talk but she just wouldn’t mention it. She would try to stay away from him and somewhere he felt that she was not happy. She tried and he knew that she did but somewhere something was missing in that relationship. He looked at the teddy bear. Cute, cuddly and holding secrets.
“I will call you” He said as he picked up his bag
She nodded as he walked toward the door.
“Bye” he muttered
“Hummm” she acknowledged
The door shut behind him and she could hear his steps walk away from the house. The house became quite again. She looked at the clock. She would have to start getting ready if she needed to go to office on time. She got up tying her hairs. As she walked toward her bedroom she noticed the teddy bear, pink teddy with a satin ribbon kept on the wall unit. It was indeed big.
She had brought it home after her marriage. She had received it two Christmas back from ‘him’.
“So what are you giving me on Christmas?” She had asked him
“Christmas?” He had called her long distance “Why?”
“You should be giving me a Christmas present”
“Why?” His voice had the surprised tone at the other end
“Just like that”
“But you don’t celebrate Christmas” He tried to reason
So why do you want a present?” He was still surprised
“Nothing doing” She loved to demand from him “I want a present for Christmas and you better send me a present”
“How come you “Demand” a present”
“Because I can” She had laughed “And you forgot my birthday present too”
“Oh that?” He had not forgotten her birthday but did not send her a present either
“You have 10 days” She warned him “I want the present”
“Ok fine” He had given up “Give me your address”
She had smiled as he gave in to her demand. She enjoyed the right over him and he enjoyed giving her that right. She had forgotten about the conversation the next day just like she teased him everyday and she liked teasing him. She was surprised when she received the huge teddy bear 10 days later. Just a small message about friendship. Nothing else.
She was so happy and cuddled with the teddy that night. That was more than 2 years back. He was out there somewhere some part of the world. The “friendship” did remain that, a friendship. They never broke up because they were never “together”. He had choose to stay away from her and he was a past.
The problem was her “past” was creating havoc with the present. She was not able to give herself emotionally to her husband and that was troubling her marriage. She knew she was losing time. She looked at the Teddy again. Things would have been quite different if situation had turned the way they had expected. She was stuck in the past and she knew she had to save the present. She walked on to the Teddy bear. She had made a decision. It was time!
He walked toward the house with flowers in his hands. He was determined to make things simpler for her and easy for himself. Her silence was not making things easier. Six months after the marriage, there was still a distance between them, a distance he really tried to lessen and couldn’t. The morning conversation had him confused more.
He walked toward his home trying to built up a conversation in his head with her. He was determined to make her smile and then they would be happy, together.
As he walked to his door, he stopped. Just outside the door, beside the garbage bin was the teddy bear, big pink teddy bear. He looked at the teddy bear. Slowly he smiled. He didn’t need the flowers but he still kept them, for her.
He put the keys into the door. Everything will be fine from now on
Note: Based on a small incident that happened some time back with a lot of fiction.