Love Me Back
I was sitting idle in the living room when I saw her struggle with the heavy suitcase on the top shelf of her cupboard. I approached her and asked if she needed any help and like always, she denied.
“Tell me if you need me, I’ll be around,” I said and went inside my study room.
I was scribbling in my notebook when she entered my room. I got up from my chair, and offered it to her. Unable to figure out what to say next, I stared at her blankly.
“Why do you keep trying to talk to me? I have already told you that I can not love you. I just don’t feel that way. Why is it so hard for you to understand?” Her words hurt my heart like a shard, only I couldn’t see my heart bleeding.
I lowered my head, trying to hide away my tears. I so badly wanted to talk to her, nonetheless wasn’t able to utter a single word as she stood in front of me.
“They got me married into this house deceitfully. No one ever told me what was in store. Do you realize how hard is it for me to accept you?” She continued hurting me. Perhaps deliberately, but I just hoped it to be unintentional. Apparently, it hurts more intentionally.
I knew she was right. She was actually lied to. It had been two months since the day she had first entered our place in her maroon bridal outfit. She is indeed beautiful, I wanted to tell her. But I couldn’t, and I still can not.
“But I am ready to do all it takes. Please don’t hate me,” I finally managed to say.
“It’s not like I hate you. I just don’t love you like they expect me to. I am sorry. I think I can’t; at least not right now,” she said bluntly.
“It’s okay, but I will always love you and hope that some day you would feel the same,” I told her.
“Don’t be sad, Maa. I hope I can call you that?” I asked puzzled and scared of her reaction.
She nodded and my heart pounded.
“They hid the truth from you because they were afraid if you’d even agree to marry Baba after knowing that he has a nine year old son who is desperately in need of a mother.
I know it is hard for you to accept someone else’s child, who’d ever want to? But I.. I love you since the day they told me that I’ll be getting a new Mom. I couldn’t wait to place my head into your lap and sleep peacefully. I haven’t had a sound sleep since my mother left me. It has been six months. When I heard about you and Baba, I had thought that the wait is finally over, I would get to call you Maa. I would have someone to assist me with my homework, I would have someone to cook me my favourite meal, someone to take me to the park, someone to scold me when I would unreasonably insist to sleep five more minutes in the morning or when I would insist on watching my favourite show during the exams. But I hadn’t thought about this thoroughly. Obviously you don’t love me, and I shouldn’t expect you to.
But tell me Maa, what is my fault? Don’t I deserve to be loved?” I choked. I think she could hear my sobs.
She got up from the chair, wiped away her tears and said, “I don’t know how long will it take to love you, I can just try. I don’t know what else to say.”
“Come downstairs for dinner,” she commanded and left my room.
I stood there, watching her leave. She could have, for once, turned back or smiled at least, or is it as hard as loving back someone who yearns for you.
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