She opens her eyes to loneliness. The room is dark except for the faint light which creeps in through the blinds, letting shadows of vehicles passing by adorn the ceiling. She shifts her gaze to the man she was sharing her bed with, only to find him in a deep and comforting slumber. He was what society defined a perfect man and if perfection was requisite to be happy, then she would have been happy. It has been 11 years since she realized she wasn’t anywhere close to that happiness, to that peace of living life the way it should be.
She crawls out of the bed before the alarm could fill the air with its harsh titter, and makes her way to the adjacent room. A child snuggled under a blanket with a gentle smile on his lips, makes her heart melt in ways she had felt only for one man. A man she had let go off when she should have hold on to.
Every day as she watches her husband read bed time stories to their child, she hates herself a bit more for wanting a different man in his place. Every night as he slides next to her and runs his hands on her body, she shuts her eyes and imagines another man touching her. She can’t help but loath herself for she knows, the present could have been different, if only…
She has a past she relives in her mind every day, a past she wishes every moment that she could alter. A woman in love she once was, in love with a man who returned her sentiments, maybe bountifully more. She was proud to be the one who loved less for she knew that he would never let go of her. The man loved her and fulfilled her desires, irrespective of his material constrictions and his struggling life. Everything he wanted to be was more for her and less for him, more for being able to keep her forever and less for living his dream. But he knew her too well to know that one day, she will let go of him for what she called, a practical life beyond compromises. He had warned her earlier.
And she did exactly what he predicted. She let go of him for a wealthy man, a better man which her father pointed out to her. He was perfect in her eyes and all she had to do next was to fall in love with him. A good house, a husband with a benevolent character and she believed that with time, she will fall in love with him. She left her lover for a life on a plate readily served to her. He loved her too much to hold her back.
A faint touch on her chin brings her back to where she was. She smiles at her son with her lips while her eyes mirror the pain her heart was going through. Why couldn’t she love the man she was married to? Her life was perfect society said, but why wasn’t she smiling? Why did she let go of him when all he asked was her to believe in him and in the love they shared?
Sometimes, she drives by his home on her way back after dropping her child to school. Where there was once a tiny studio apartment, now stood a mansion with a gold address plate on the gate screaming his name. He became everything he said he will, but he now shared it all with a woman who believed in him.
Now, her existence is haunted by questions, the answers to which she cannot ignore. If only she had believed in him. If only she had realized that he was the diamond which time could polish. If only she had stood by his side.
Life was now just pretence and she knew the blame was on her.