He could not concentrate anymore since she phoned him.
They were separated for a decade and half. They both felt already divorced. Her phone call reminded him that they were not. She sounded very mature and concerned. He could not cheat himself-he missed her.
‘Hello Robin! It’s me Lillian. How are you doing?....I think..we should finalise our divorce matter. When and where can we meet?”
Robin could not answer immediately. He was tranquilized by her voice. It was a long time ago. He had even forgotten her voice.
“Give me your mobile phone number, I will call you. Yes, this weekend, but I will call you.”
As soon as he graduated, at 23, Robin got married. Lillian was only 18, fresh from school, just completed her O-level. Love at first sight, they courted each other for only 3 months. They both shocked their parents when they announced their intention of getting married. Their parents especially Robin’s opposed. His elder brother was not married yet. Robin refused to understand. They got married. Parents, few friends and relatives witnessed their marriage at a small function at Robin’s house.
Their romance evaporated as quickly as it started. Robin-unemployed; Lillian- inexperienced housewife; young couple- depending on the parents for everything. They tasted bitter side of married life at an early age. Misunderstandings turned into distrusts. Lillian aborted her first pregnancy at two and half months. Each side considered a boon in disguise. Before they celebrated their first anniversary, they were separated.
Each drifted into independent lives. Robin got a permanent job and with in-job training skills, he climbed far. He had casual relationship with different girls. Slightest sign of the girl’s wish to get married was the last moment of each relationship.
Lillian had to struggle harder. Luck was not in her favour. Her parents were ageing; all the sisters got married and settled. Brothers –still no intention of getting married. She had to take physical care of the parents. For the care of the parents, the brothers rewarded her by sponsoring to complete secretarial course. She did well but to get a permanent job was impossible, she had to stay at home looking after the parents. After seven years of chronic illness, her mother passed away and her father did not live long after that.
After the death of her parents, she managed to get a comfortably paid job. Few months later, her elder brother got married and his wife was a civil servant too. Soon misunderstandings broke out in the house-everybody going to work, nobody willing to take responsibility of the house. Before things became worse, Lillian opted to move out of the house and started her life afresh.
All those days, she didn’t even think about having a man in her life again. She did not like to be dependant on somebody again. The bitter taste of life was still lingering on.
She was no longer young. Sometimes when she thought about her future, everything around her looked very empty. All her friends and female colleagues were married with family. Their talks of family life reminded her about her failed marriage.
She was well settled, “It’s time for me to move on, after 35 it would be difficult to get a stable family”-she spoke to herself. She tried to remember the remarks passed on to her by some of her male friends. She looked herself in the mirror. Few stray grey hairs jolted her thoughts. Angrily she plucked them out. Turned sideways and back-“Not a bad figure’ she mused herself.
Before she became involved with any man, she wanted to be free, a free woman. However short was their marriage still it was a legal marriage and they had not officially divorced.
She looked for her marriage certificate, held tight on her chest, lied down on the bed. Allowed few drops of warm tears to roll down on her cheeks. She found herself weeping. The soft spot for Robin in her heart was still there.
“15 years? No man will ever remain free for that long. Would he be thinking about me sometimes? Useless to fantacise.”
She picked the phone and dialed.
Robin thought about her the whole day. At night he dreamt about her. He blamed himself for their failed marriage, he could not keep his wife, they lost the child. He was wrong to marry before he could support a wife. “If only she can give me a chance. I am grown up now and affording. Legally she is still my wife. I still love her.”
He asked her to meet him at Kempinski.
Both were attracted to each other more than ever but controlled not to show. Talked about life, discussed about work and politics, expressed future plans, exchanged opinions, accepted criticisms-totally different from their past behaviour. Each matured so much in the absence of the other.
“Robin, to make things simpler, I asked my lawyer to draft our Divorce paper. Here it is. May be you should have a look at it.’
“It’s already late. I will drop you and will look at it at your place.”
When they reach her place, things changed. Robin touched her cheeks and slowly stroked her hair. Slowly she responded with soft hug. Robin crushed his lips on Lillians. The hug became tighter and tighter. The next steps took naturally at lightning speed. Each quenched the thirst of one and half decade.
After the renewed, explosive romance, he tore the divorce paper.
“Divorce is cancelled. Let us go for our honeymoon, better late than never.”
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