She almost lost it. He had been acting very cold towards her for the last three months. He would come late, take a few bites of dinner and then he would drop on top of the bed in his shoes and work clothes. She tried to help him take off his shoes the first time he did this and he pushed her away disgustedly.
After 10 years of marriage,this tore her into pieces. They had been ok, just a few fights now and then which would end up being resolved. But this,this came from nowhere. He just changed out of the blue.
The three months were like a bad disease to her. She lacked the energy to put food in her mouth. Nothing was palatable anymore. She worked even harder to keep the house spick and span,maybe the little specks of dirt were putting him off. She bathed thrice a day,maybe the odor of her sweat was irritating him.
She tried to take him back to where they had been . She cooked his favourite food but he would only sneer at it. She would sit down with him to watch his favorite games but he would switch off the television and walk away. She wore the lingerie he had bought her but he would snort and look the other way.
Food that he once ravenously attacked looked like poo to him. Grace’s company that he once yearned for seemed like sewage company to him.And a body that ravished him to ecstasy was looked on as muck.
She had never felt so dejected in life. She cried alone. She remembers sitting on the bathroom floor, torrents of water pouring on her as she sobbed until her tearbox emptied leaving her snivelling with no tears. She tried to recall where she had hurt him. Had she said something disrespectful?Had she been rude to him? Had she embarrassed him in any way? Greg was the type who never hid his feelings,especially when irked. Probably that was why they never went for days angry at each other.
This time it was different. She had dressed him to work, prepared his breakfast and he had kissed her goodbye with the usual”I love you,Great day!” However,he did not arrive at around 7:00 pm this time. He came home at 9:00pm with an impolite attitude that went on for days.
She looked in the mirror and noticed that she had lost a lot of weight. She wished he had just whipped her. That pain would have vanished by now. The emotional pain was worse, it went deep,deeper to the bones,to the nerves , ran through the veins leaving her numb.
Then he came early one day. Her heart skipped a beat. She hoped against hope that his tantrum was over. She would scold him a lot and make him pay for his behaviour but she would eventually forgive him and help him through with whatever was his problem.
He walked to her and politely asked for her attention. They sat on the dining table facing each other. He held her right hand and looked in her eyes. Her legs were now trembling. Then she got a premonition it was not going to be song and dance. Her tearbox unzipped.
“I want a divorce.” Those words cut so deep in her that stabbing her with a knife would not have been as painful.
“Can you at least tell me why?”She managed to ask.
“It’s just that…It’s just that I need to explore life more. I…I am not in love with you anymore….I..I can’t pretend no more…I…”
She slapped him as he searched for more hurting words. She walked out. She could not stay in that house that night. She had to share this pain with someone. She drove to her sister’s house,shrilling and banging on the steering wheel regretting the day she had met Greg.
The sleepover at her sister’s house served as an antidote for her,at least for that night. When she went back to her house the next day,there was no sign of him. He had taken all his clothes. His pictures were no longer on the walls. He even had not forgotten his knickers in the bathroom. Not even a sock was lying anywhere on the floor. She lay on the bedroom floor and wept.
In the next few days, calling Grace a mental case would have been nodded at. She would disguise herself and watch Greg from far at his workplace. She would pay a cab to follow him to his whereabouts. She would drive to his parents home and watch them from a distance ,silently cursing them for bringing forth a bastard to life. Then in the evening,she would cry her eyes dry, screaming his name. She would run round the bedroom,chanting his name until sleep would stealthily steal her.
She progressively stopped griefing and when she finally did,she was like a caged leopard released to the park. She went to the best salon, dyed and permed her hair,cutting it to a gorgeous bob style. She passed by the gym and registered for daily visits. She went to a high end boutique and asked the stylist to sell her clothes that spelt sexy. Shoes too.
Grace was single again,in good shape and happy to be alive. Suitors started to pursue her and her heart fell for one. Marc and Grace became the twosome people called power couple. They loved each other genuinely. Marc helped her heal her wounds. He even proposed . She said yes.
They arranged a simple wedding inviting just friends and family. Every one could see their love as they gazed into each other’s eyes. Many were happy that Grace had been given a second chance in love except one person in the audience,who,suddenly shot up and made everyone gasp.
“Grace! You cannot do this to me! “It was Greg, a shadow of the former muscular man he had been. He was intoxicated and one could tell he had not showered for some days. The people around him even pinched their noses as he stunk of alcohol and urine. He was now walking towards the groom and bride. Marc wanted to meet him halfway when she stopped him,making Greg more confident.
“Grace, I know you still love me…(hiccup)…I love you.(snifle)..Please come back to my open arms…(stagger).I know, sorry is all you want to hear. “
Grace was in tears . The memories came flashing in her mind. Her wedding with Greg. The nice evenings they spent together. His funny jokes. The baecations they had. Ten years.
She stared at him,then back at Marc. Marc tottered in despair. He prayed silently. “Please God,don’t let her chose him. I will die if I lose her.” She pulled her hand away from him ,lifted her Cinderella wedding gown and walked slowly to Greg. There was stunned silence. Marc could hear the blood pump in his ears. She stood inches from Greg and looked at him ,sympathy written all over her face. Then,in a split second,she garnered all her might on her right hand and delivered a forceful blow on her ex-husband. Greg staggered to the right, to the left and then boom! There was a loud applause from the audience. The ushers dragged him out and the ceremony continued.
It was a dazzling ceremony. They said their vows smiling but crying. They were oblivious of the audience who witnessed them seal their love. It was just the two of them, floating on a world of love. Those watching felt as though they were intruding in a private moment.
Grace knew that this one would last. She saw something in Marc’s eyes that she had never seen in Greg’s. Something that assured her that it was until death did them part.