by Himanjali

They were standing by the ocean side and the waves came hollering down to their feet. It was a wonderful evening and the sun was finding its way back home. They were taken back to the first day they met. It was the same beach, same day and the same moment 10 years ago. Jack thought about the feeling he had at that moment, a feeling of content and satisfaction. He looked at Chris, he knew what she was thinking too. Life had changed since then for both of them. They were married for 9 years now and had a small 5 year old daughter, Agatha.

When people say I am selfish Jack, I would like to believe that, I am a selfish being. You will say- it is very practical, everybody needs to be selfish and, there is nothing wrong in putting your needs before someone else’s. But, when I tell you, I am selfish that is because, I want you to love me no matter what happens to you. I want you to love me no matter what I end up doing. I may come to you, crying with a mess I created and you land up in trouble because of me, I want you to love me. That is what love is to me; selfish. I expect you to do the same, what I do for you. That is exactly not being selfish. But, then you don’t know that I do all of that without you having to explain your expectations, like I did. So, I am selfish because I make it pretty clear about my needs and expectations. Love is to me, nothing but being selfish. All of this time, these years, I kept waiting and waiting for that magic to happen. I always thought you were the one and the spark was about to happen. Even after being married for these many years, I knew something was missing. I knew we were never on the same page. Either I rushed on real fast or you never came onboard. I can not take it anymore. It’s time. We are done.

He gushed back to reality and looked at the farthest end of the ocean. It was done. They were signing the divorce paper tomorrow. The counselor tried addressing the problem, but they had come too far now and he did not want to change things. He wanted to explain that he loved her no matter how much she thought he did not. He wanted to accept that yes, maybe he is not that involved as much as she was. But, he has been with her all the goddamn time because what he feels for her was not something that he felt normally. He felt intensely, whatever that was. He still does not know if that is love. What else could be love? Staying together, sharing a house, a baby, meals, problems, happiness, life and what else could he do? He thought if he could ask what else could he possibly do to convince her that he too is involved. It was too late. He had taken way too long to realise that he missed the correct timing and it was too late to go back. He thought about Agatha, that sweet little dove. He will miss them, some good times, he thought. He will eventually get used to staying alone, having all the time to himself, sharing meals with no one, he was going to have the bed all to himself. It was done.

They turned towards each other and smiled. Somethings are just not meant to last forever. The silence persisted and no one managed to speak a single word the entire time.

She kept hoping that at least at this last moment, once and for all, he would fight for her, their love, their daughter, their home. Silence. He did not utter a word. He kept thinking how she would patch up after any fight and then things would be right, back to normal. Well, this was the new normal.