Tedium #2 - The Present
By Rachael Joseph
"In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins - not through
strength but through persistence”
Staring the mirror, that evening she wondered if her life was going anywhere. Jean entered
her thirties and imagined a life something similar to what she had, if not exactly similar. But there was
something missing. Most of her friends had a complete family. Photos on social network sites, showing
how happy they were added to her misery. It was almost as if they needed a third being to complete
their lives. “He has been late these days. May be he is having an affair with that new office colleague he
keeps talking about”. Glaring right at her eyes she calmed herself thinking “No, he will never do that to
me. After all that we have been through, it’s impossible!”
Tring tring the phone rings. “Hi Honey! Sorry I got caught up in the meeting, I know I had
promised I would try to make it for dinner tonight” Its 9 pm and she cannot believe her life’s
happiness would revolve around her husband’s arrival time from work. Never did she envisage in
her wildest dreams that she would be so disheartened from one stupid phone call. After all it was
wedding anniversary. “How could he forget!” she thought wiping a tear dropping through
her right cheek. “What did I do to deserve this. Why can’t he understand, at least once…..” Looking
at the kitchen platform she saw the meal she prepared with great fervor, staring right back at her,
as if they were mocking and laughing at her. Disappointment turned into anger as the minutes
passed by. She picked up the vessel intending to throw the dish into the sink as a result of her fury.
“Ting Tong” the bell rang at that very moment. “Who could it be at this hour!” she thought.
“Surprise! Happy anniversary honey” behind the large bouquet of flowers and her favorite
chocolates stood a tall man she loved. Giving her a peck on the cheek Robert whispered the
three magic words- I love you. All the anger and frustration vanished out of that door in a second.
Perhaps it had been so long she heard those words that she had forgotten how what it felt like.
That tiny voice inside her head that really wished that this would happen came true. After all who
does not love surprises? ”You actually thought I would miss our anniversary, how could you!?”
“You look beautiful sweetheart. As always!” She knew he meant it! He always did.
After a while of romantic, mushy talks and dancing to her favorite jive numbers Jean smiled as
she laid the dinner table, and served the food prepared with such vigor.
“So, how was work?”, she asked.
“Just the usual. The meeting was okay. They just can’t get to the point, I tell you. But after that, I
wrapped up pretty fast.”
“I can see that.”
“So what did you do all day?”, he asked.
“I waited for you and got all this ready.”
“By the way, you still haven’t told me where you went this morning or even last evening for that
“By the way, you still haven’t told me how the dinner is and this is your second helping now!”
“Its shoo goo! Can’t you shee my mouth full as I talk!?”
Jean was grinning thinking that she had managed to change the topic for now. “Not yet!” she
thought to herself.
“So, what’s the plan next?” she asked as she was clearing up the table.
“Dessert, right? Where do you want to go?”
“Grand bakery, of course dear ! But before dessert can we stop by and just take a stroll in the
garden for sometime? I feel pretty full just now.”
“Sure, I wouldn’t mind that either. Even I am stuffed!”
Strolls in their garden with the hubby at night especially when it was slightly chilly was one of her
favorite things these days. She felt cozy in his arms, something that no sweater or blanket could match
up to. But today was way too special than just a simple, romantic walk! She had to give him his gift. She
looked towards the sky and the stars glimmering at her. She was blushing and was wondering how to
put it. Cheeks pink matching the color of the roses she had planted. The words just wouldn’t come out!
“You know what Jean I have been waiting to tell you this, I think it’s time we think of adoption now,
“Are you sure?” she asked, her heart hammering in her chest.
“Perfect! Now!” she thought to herself.
“Is there any other option you can come with at present? You are already 32. How much longer? I
really think it’s time now.”
“There is another option”, Jean looked straight into his eyes. He frowned in confusion. She put his
hand gently on her stomach. “Remember the last time on the night of my birthday in November? Guess
where I was this morning now.”
Realization dawned on him slowly and she could not help seeing tiny flicker of hope and fear in
his eyes. “It’s been 3 months already!” I explained. “There’s no danger now. It’ll work for sure this time!
I am totally positive about it.”
“Why didn’t you………………”
“Because I wanted to be sure myself. Even I was afraid………but now I am not!”
He slowly smiled, with disbelief as he could not believe what he just heard. Tears of happiness
filled her eyes. The same happened with him. He hugged her gently. They stood there for a few
“That was the best gift you could’ve given me today!” he whispered in her ears.
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