Every relationship dies a thousand deaths before it can be called successful.
And even then, what is the definition of a successful relationship?
Every relationship has its own story of ups and downs. The constant need to find each other again and again. The persistent efforts to fall in love with each other and to rediscover each other in changing times. The dynamics of a relationship pulsate with each heartbeat. The continuous batting against the swings of life takes its toll. Theirs was such a relationship—full of energy and love and compassion, but covered with the dust of life over time.
They had been married for long now. The sex was delicious—pancakes and maple syrup delicious. The last half-hour had been exhausting for her. Before she could force herself to turn and face him, instinctively, she knew that he was gone. She was aware that his phone had been ringing. And just like that, she was left to fight her demons alone.
Her tears had dried up a long time ago. There were no more shouting matches as it did not matter to her anymore. It was more like an empty space that surrounded her like a blanket. It kept her cozy in ways she couldn’t explain. She hugged herself and tried to make herself comfortable under that blanket, searching for sleep.
He was aware of the missing shine in her eyes, and how her laughter, which used to resonate in the whole house, was just a small chuckle now. There was always that one more project, one more phone call, and yet another meeting. He promised a thousand times that after this next one, there would be more time for her and kids.
They both loved each other. He was attracted to her like a moth to fire. And he was still the love of her life. Yet, both of them were acutely aware that something was amiss. Sometimes their silence was deafening. Life had become an existential deadlock.
In the race to survive, provide, and be successful, they had lost themselves. Amidst all the socializing and mingling with others, they had lost their souls. The vicissitudes of daily life had washed over them like waves on the shores of life.
They were living a comfortable lifestyle, kids were good, happy, and healthy, but she felt lonely and dejected. Friends suggested therapy, spa sessions, or taking up a hobby. One even said it might be a mid-life crisis—she’d be okay in some time. She always smiled at these suggestions, and politely declined all the offers. She knew what she wanted.
She missed the conversations, coffee, and strolls. It was that simple. She looked around and everyone seemed to be just running without knowing their path or destination. Sadly, she had also become a part of that hamster wheel unknowingly.
Suddenly, the whole world stopped, and with it the hamster wheel too. The world was under attack by a virus. Lockdown was announced. Like everyone else, she wondered how an invisible virus had been able to bring the whole world to a standstill.
Interestingly, the one thing that every single person on this planet yearned for was there, freely available to all those who wanted to use it wisely—time.
There was time to fulfill all the promises.
There was time to play board games at night.
There was time to laze around in the sun.
There was time to just sit and look at your garden.
There was time to enjoy a ripe mango.
There was time to make jugs of lemonade and sip on it slowly,
as slowly as you could.
Because there was nothing else to do.
No more meetings, phone calls, socializing. Nothing.
It was like god had heard her prayers and answered them with this unofficial global holiday.
On one of these days, as he came back from his morning walk, she welcomed him with some awesome coffee, and both of them sat down on the front porch. They talked. They had a real conversation. She couldn’t even remember when was the last time.
There was really nothing to be done. Kids need not be awakened for school. No rush for breakfast, or for office. No phone calls.
He noticed a small smile lurking at the corner of her mouth.
She looked into his eyes and said, “I love you.”
And just like that, one hot summer day, sitting on the front porch, sipping cold coffee with him, she found her love again, amidst a pandemic.