Why she went away
It was unusually silent today when I got back from work. I thought she might have guessed that I was coming back early to surprise her. It has been more than a year since we were married - many months of thinking that I had made a terrible mistake. Of marrying someone I didn't enjoy being with.
She was different from me. I liked to talk and indulge freely in conversations. She, I will conclude in retrospect, liked to think in solitude. I liked to go out, she shied away from stepping outside the house. Maybe it had to do with her upbringing, very different from the urban lifestyle that I had been grown up being exposed to, even while being in a very strictly conservative family. I don't know how to explain this. My parents were very orthodox. They looked down on the very characteristically young and urban indulgences of partying, smoking and drinking ; even just going out very often. Like many second generation Urban Immigrants, I didn't share their views, (I don't smoke, I drink ocassionally, I go out very often) but lived at peace with them. Outside of home, I was a different person, and that was that. Seemed like my marriage, arranged by my folks, was to continue my double life.
I tried to get her to open up, to talk, but it seemed like swimming against the tide. I think she only wanted to be the good wife, cook me good meals, serve me - but I wanted a companion, a friend. She didn't see that. I don't believe she understood that. Even whenever my friends came over, she was only preoccupied with preparing the dishes and serving everyone. And then standing in a corner, taciturn, playing her role of the demure housewife.
On our anniversary, I had asked her that morning if she would like to go out in the evening. She said she did not. I took it that she was not interested in celebrating the occasion. How was I to know she had plans if she wouldn't tell me about them ? I went out with my friends and celebrated anyway. What I remember of the next morning were the stifled sounds of weeping, but it was too late to say or do anything.
But I do regret that day, when that ominous phone call came. Some friend of hers had called. I'd handed over the phone to her. Her face brightened when she learnt who it was. And she transformed into someone else - someone I knew not. Enthusiastic, excited, lively. I don't know what came over me, maybe jealousy, maybe rage, maybe both. At the fact that she could be a friend to someone else, but not me.
I still regret that day. That I am only human is not an excuse. But I want to save our marriage. The person I saw on the phone that day was in some way the person I was looking for all along. But maybe it was too late. I came home early today to talk to her, or try to make her feel with me the way she does with her older friends.
But its eerily silent today. Her silence is missing.