The Journey

The Journey
….from
Nothing In Between to Nothing Between
*************
Martha finished her daily chores at
the kitchen as usual and came to the bedroom. Nothing different from any other
day, this had been her daily routine ever since she had got married some four
years back. Was it four or is it five, the thought surely struck her mind once.
She brushed aside the thought immediately as if it didn’t matter. It really
didn’t, any more for Martha.
The years didn’t perhaps, but for
Martha, the date still did. She stole a glance at the clock on the wall facing
the bed as if by intuition. She usually did that every night before retiring to
bed after a tiring day at home.
But that night she took a second
look. But it wasn’t for checking the time. Her glimpse fell on the little
corner which showed the date. It was indeed what she was seeing. She stared at
the clock for a while and then turned her glance to look towards the bed. Ricky
was fast asleep, snoring to glory.
Martha straightened up the pillow
and rested her back on it as she climbed on to the bed next to Ricky. She
couldn’t see Ricky’s face which was turned to the other side and all she could
hear was the shrill wheezes of his snorts.

Martha closed her eyes and she was
almost immediately transported. She was instantaneously conveyed back in time,
as if she had just climbed into a time-machine.
Just a few seconds and there she was
where her journey started. Exactly five years back, this very day, when her
journey began, the journey with Ricky.

The entire events started replaying
in her mind, her journey from that day to this day, her journey from nothing in
between to nothing between.
***************

Martha knew Ricky from college days
and they were friends too. As many of them were, both were part of the same
gang too. Martha surely had a crush on Ricky from the day they first met but
she didn’t really thought of it as love-at-first sight.

Ricky was the shy kind, but was
surely popular with the girl gang. Martha had always seen him hanging around
with one or more of those oomph-factor girls in the college canteen and she had
presumably deciphered that he would surely be dating one of them.
It was the last day of the college
fest and Martha was certainly taken unawares when Ricky, sitting next to her,
suddenly held her hand and professed his love for her. She surely knew how to
hide her emotions and though unwittingly, she had just tapped his shoulders and
had casually suggested that she would need some time to think about it.
Martha would have certainly said
yes, at least that was what her heart told her to do. There was no compelling
reason too for her to reject Ricky’s suggestion outright, but still she did for
that moment. Conceivably that was the girl thing to do.
*************
Martha’s thoughts were teleported
and had landed her exactly five years back that evening when Ricky landed up at
her door step fully drenched.

It was raining incessantly and
Martha was busy with her domiciliary errands that Sunday when Ricky had called
asking her whether she was at home. She had replied that she was alone and
bored and how much she wished they all friends could plan an outing if not for
the torrential showers.
The doorbell rang around an hour
later and as Martha rushed to the door and opened it, she was pleasantly
surprised to see Ricky standing there fully inundated and soaking.
Martha ushered him to come inside as
she ran in to get a towel and when she returned, Ricky was already on his
knees, still at the door. As Martha came near him, there he was holding a bunch
of red roses with water dripping all over. Just as Martha was making sense of
what’s happening, she could just see Ricky looking straight into her eyes and
proposing to her to marry him.

It was indeed one of the wildest
proposals Martha would have ever imagined and this time for sure, she did
listen to her heart.
As Ricky held her hand and kissed
it, her life was changing for the better, Martha had thought to herself that
day.
***************
One monsoon to another passed in
bliss and they had decided that they would get married exactly that same day
Ricky had proposed and Martha had agreed.
The one year of their courting,
Martha remembered how Ricky used to tell her that for him she was like a drop
of sunshine in the midst of a monsoon.

Exactly four years back, Martha
recollected when they had got married with all pomp and fervour.  Friends and family, all were there to bless
them and Martha could not take her eyes off Ricky even amidst the hundreds of
people assembled there in their best attire.
It was if there they both were two
bodies and one soul and there was absolutely Nothing
In Between Them.

As Ricky and Martha held their hands
clasped tightly, her life was changing for the best, Martha had thought to
herself that day.
*****************
Ricky had become relatively
irritated and enraged with whatsoever almost as early as just one year into
their wedded life. His exasperation had reached a zenith that almost everything
that Martha suggested would be refuted and instantaneously discarded.
Martha wouldn’t mind Ricky carrying
on his own way of handling matters but the total rebutting of any of her suggestions
propositions did surely hurt her. During the early part of the arguments, she
would sulk silently but then over a very short period, it was getting too often
and too predictable.

Tempers flew and ego rose almost
regularly and quarrels started ending up with both not talking to each other
for days together. Martha usually played the accommodating role patching up and
trying to get things back to normal.
Apologies and confessions later,
both would regret and sink their differences in assumed bliss. Matters would be
normal for a few months initially, then the lull shortened to a few weeks, then
to a few days and as it worsened, it became a few hours in just perhaps just
over three years of their togetherness.
*****************
It was perhaps a conscious decision
Martha had taken one year back. Imaginably annoyed and disappointed about the
almost daily bickering, she had decided that she won’t argue anymore.
Ricky would scream at the top of his
lungs till he tires out and then slam the door and go away. Martha would keep
the dinner ready and wait till he returns and there he would walk in well past
midnight almost in his all fours and drop himself on the bed.

Martha had assumed that anything
they talked or discussed would invariably end up only in arguments and so she
kept up everything to herself. She discontinued discussing and debating anything
with Ricky whether it was related to the house or even her health. Martha
learnt to figure out to do things by herself and, in this process, she too just
drifted away.
****************
Martha’s thoughts conveyed her much
closer to that night when she closed her eyes and teleported her thoughts to
the past. Exactly one year from that night, and precisely three years since
they had got married, and unerringly four years since Ricky had proposed to
her. It was their wedding anniversary night.
Martha had reason to believe that
whatsoever mood and temperament they both were in, this day would surely be
different. At least it used to be different all those three years when both of
them would go out for a candle light dinner and would come back late into the
night for a passionate togetherness.

That morning, however, was different
from what Martha had expected. They had a terrible fight last night before they
went to sleep but she woke up earlier than any other day, made tea for Ricky
and came to wake him up.
Martha called him and he woke up and
stared straight at her face. As she smilingly offered the cup of tea to him
gazing back, he just looked aside, turned over and covered his face with the
blanket. Maybe he is still a bit upset over the previous night, Martha thought
to herself and she prepared herself for the day ahead.
Martha was still in the kitchen when
she heard the sound of Ricky getting into the washroom. They generally take a
day off on their anniversary and so she was a bit intrigued. Maybe a busy day
for him at work, she thought, as she hurriedly started preparing the tiffin for
Ricky.
Martha had just packed the tiffin
and she heard the click of the main door knob. 
As she ran out of the kitchen, she could just catch a glimpse of Ricky’s
silhouette moving out slamming the door behind him. Martha just sank to the
floor holding the tiffin box in her hand. That whole day, she cried her heart
out.
****************
Things never improved between them
since that day. Ricky would speak to Martha only when he needed something which
he wouldn’t be able to find.
Martha would occasionally try
talking to Ricky but would get only a cold nod as a reply or sometimes just a
stare. Martha would have to figure out what that reaction meant since he never
ever responded with any reply.

Every morning, Martha would get up
before Ricky, prepare the tea and keep it from where Ricky would come and pick
it up. She would prepare the tiffin for him before she leaves for work and he
would take it when he leaves.
Evenings, Martha would invariably be
back before Ricky and would get herself engrossed with the household errands.
Ricky would most often than not, come home quite late in the night, sink to the
sofa while switching on the television set which he would keep watching for
hours without uttering a single word.
Martha would come and tell him when
the dinner’s ready and he would serve himself and keep the dishes in the
kitchen sink before he would retire into the bed. The distance just kept
growing.
By the time Martha would finish the
clean-up, do the dishes and come to the bedroom, Ricky would be fast asleep.
From that day to this, everything
had changed. Martha was surely living with Ricky in the same house, but as two
souls not connected at all. Now there was absolutely Nothing
Between Them.
*****************
Martha slowly opened her moist eyes
as the tears dripped down from its corner into her cheeks. It was exactly this night,
and precisely four years since they had got married, and unerringly five years
since Ricky had proposed to her. It was their wedding anniversary night.
She looked to her side as she wiped
her wet face and saw that Ricky was fast asleep absolutely oblivious of her journey…. from Nothing In Between Them to Nothing Between
Them.

Martha’s heart was crying aloud but
she couldn’t hear it herself. All she could hear was Ricky’s snuffle from the
bed and the lashing hails pounding away on the window panes.

Epilogue:

The Rain falls because
the sky can no longer handle its heaviness. Just like the Tears. It falls,
because the Heart can no long handle the pain.

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