Abhai and Rachel had been married for three years now. It was a love marriage, at least that’s how they remembered it. Love hadn’t lasted as long as they had thought it would, if, it ever existed in the first place. Abhai had adjusted to the circular life that he was living each day, Rachel was living her own loop. Their daily activities collided with each other; when they woke up to get ready together; when they had dinner together; watching a movie over the weekends; each activity done together was an overlap of two lives that were otherwise separate.
They loved to call it independence. Abhai would boast how his wife gave him freedom to be himself, Rachel would proudly say how much space Abhai has given her to be herself. Their lives were separate but they loved to call it intertwined. After all, they do live in the same house, don’t they?
Delusion often starts like this. A small confusion that develops into a belief which then overshadows reality itself. Truth and lie become a single entity – a story. A story that doesn’t deal in truth or lies, it just exists for one purpose, to keep the sanity alive while keeping everyone entertained. No one wants their life to be boring after all.
For Abhai and Rachel, that small confusion was that they were together. Yes, they were married and living in the same house. These activities tend to create this confusion. It was further increased by having relatives who had attended the wedding – the proof of their love, the epitome of their togetherness.
This confusion broke the day Abhai touched a specific topic. The loops which were overlapping were thrown out of their order and the chaos started to breathe. They didn’t know it yet.
“What next?” Abhai asked.
“I think we should watch Frozen again,” Rachel replied. It was a Saturday – movie night. The time when their journeys coincided for a brief period.
“Yeah, let’s watch that,” Abhai said absent-mindedly. “I wasn’t talking about the movie though. I was thinking more about what next for us?”
Rachel looked at him blankly and then it dawned on her.
“Oh! I mean, yes, I think we can talk about it.”
“So, when do you think we can try?” Abhai asked.
“A kid would be a big responsibility. I’m up for a big promotion in three months. How about after that?” Rachel said looking at her calendar.
“Sounds good,” Abhai said and they both watched the movie.
The three months passed, Rache was promoted, it was a huge party, after which she and Abhai decided to try. A month passed and the overlap was strained.
“Nothing yet.” Rachel said.
“It’s fine. Any way my workload has increased so much that we would have struggled to give equal time. Guess we can wait a couple of months more.”
Abhai and Rachel had been married for six years now. The kid was still on the way. There just wasn’t the right time.
What happened to their loops? Are they still together, you ask?
Were they ever together? But yes, they still live in the same house, following similar cycles where they have their own journeys which overlap sometimes. The efforts to make them coincide had reduced a bit. The weekly movie nights were out and a monthly date night was introduced. Both were incredibly successful and growing in their companies rapidly.
“Yes, finally!” Rachel said. Abhai giggled. They were pregnant. Now, they would have a common goal. The goal to raise a kid. They would have similar loops. Right? Not really.
Now, they had three knots in otherwise free and disjointed strings – marriage, house, kid. The trifecta of a relationship.
Abhai and Rachel had been married for nine years now. Doing their own things, coming together for some activity here or there. The kid would start his own loop, his own journey soon enough. They had to prepare for that. The monthly dates were now a family outing. Three people with different loops coming together for a brief period.
Abhai and Rachel had yet to ask a basic question – Were they together?
The society told them they were. After all, they had the trifecta of a relationship. So, it was fine.
Abhai and Rachel had been married for 30 years now. It had been a long journey for both of them. They had made memories. Memories with each other, memories with their kid, memories with friends.
They decided to retire. After all, how much money does a person needs when they have earned as much as they had with their successful career and a kid who went to college on a scholarship.
Today was the first day of retirement. Both of them woke up at the same time, for the first time in years. Both spent the whole day watching the same thing on TV, and both talked for hours without any motive to reach any conclusion.
This continued for days and then months. Two people, after years of being in different loops, occasionally meeting at knots, at events organized with effort were finally together.
The knots did help. They helped in ensuring that the strings don’t sway too far from each other. But the journey begins now. A new loop begins with two people in it.
Together begins now.
Love fizzled in the beginning, together started at the end, habits sustained the middle.