- 09 Feb - 15 Feb, 2019
A NEW TOMORROW
- 02 Jun - 08 Jun, 2018
There were good days and bad days. Some better and some worse than others. At times I would go about my daily business and the daily chores. Doing groceries and household work, making meals, and watching television or movie shows. Nothing really held my focus, for many times I went about them robotically. And then on other days I would find it very hard to leave the bed in the morning. I would have to dig deep at every ounce of my being to simply drag myself out of the covers. I guess this is what depression feels like, I thought to myself quite often.
Fawad was not any different. He had his moments. Days when he would shut off the entire world. Even me. I wasn’t hurt, only understanding. I had very little choice to be honest. Like I said before, we all had our ways to find closure. I couldn’t force it and neither could he.
Our parents were a huge help. My mom dropped in almost every day and helped with the home. She also took me out for shopping and lunch a couple of times. I would find myself gravitating to the infant sections more than once. I tried controlling the impulse sometimes in vain.
Fawad’s parents called every day and talked to us. We would feel spent after these conversations but being in a different city I think this was the only way they could help, also find some healing for themselves. I wanted them to visit but with us leaving soon this was an impractical arrangement.
There were days when I wished an angel would drop from the sky and touch my arm with a magical finger and heal all the pain. I was in constant emotional pain and I wanted to be relieved. I wished for it to go away. I wanted to laugh again and feel unburdened again. I wanted to breathe again. I wanted to feel happy again, as I had felt when I first received the news. For a childless couple being told that they were expecting is possibly the best news that they will ever receive. But then…
I wanted everything to be perfect for Fawad too. He was suffering more because I was suffering. I felt guilty and blamed myself for neglecting him. The typical cultural context beaten into the female mind. She has to be the stronger one keeping it all together. But the more I tried the more miserable I became. I had to give my heart some time to heal.
Life seemed surreal; it was going by in slow-motion. That’s fine sometimes; I can manage things better like this. I’ll get better in my own time. I kept reminding myself.
Suddenly, I was brought back to reality with the phone ringing.
It was Fawad.
“Saima, the office is asking for our preference to travel, before this weekend or after. If we go before we’ll get the weekend to settle into our new surroundings before I start work. What do you say?”
“Hmm… I don’t know. I guess that’s fine.” I said without really thinking about it too much. Little did I realise that Friday was only two days away. In my bubble, hours, days and weeks had very little importance.
I casually looked at the calendar after Fawad messaged me the confirmed details, flight number, date and time.
“Oh no!” I exclaimed loudly. “What did I just do?”
I had yet to buy so many things, and pack. Oh how I dreaded packing. A slight consolation was that it was summer and I could keep all my summery clothes, I wouldn’t have to dig out my sweaters and coats and that would save time.
Having said that there was still a lot to do.
I went into auto-pilot getting my act together and setting targets to achieve the goal.
In many ways I was excited about this trip. I had sufficiently numbed to my sadness and I really wanted to reconnect with Fawad. Whatever may happen in a person’s life, keeping the communication open in marriage is extremely important. I had neglected things far too much and now was the time to reclaim a lot of lost time and affection.
This trip was what we needed. It would be our fix. I mean one can continue to be happy even in moments of sadness and Noor would always be a part of our lives, she just wasn’t physically present and I could finally live with that.
Fawad needed me. He needed me to be there for him while he accomplished accolades in work, career opportunities that were only given to the chosen few. We were the lucky ones. He was chosen to spearhead these advancements out of hundreds of potential workers. I couldn’t let him down. For the future of my marriage I couldn’t afford to let him down.
One would wonder was marriage so weak? Did the cornerstone of marriage lie at such a shakable precipice that the slightest of irregularities would make it topple? I believed that being a relationship formed in the physical world it was always at threat of crumbling.
Let me explain further. A child is born into the world. It is a heavenly connection. So no matter how much one challenges this relationship it would still remain strong because it has come from a spiritual place. Same goes for the bond between siblings. This bond is threaded back to the parents, a biological connection. However, marriage is a legal arrangement. An arrangement made and panned out by the people of the world under the law of God. It’s still on paper. Nothing biological about it. Thus, it has to be dealt with care.
I was reminded of the play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee, this credits the need, the requirement of illusions in every relationship. Every relationship gives credence to the fact that it will only be successful if illusions are present. As human beings, we cannot handle the raw truth of any situation in life. In a nutshell, we have to pretend to love, we have to pretend to be happy. In other words, fake it till you make it.
I was willing to fake it for the sake of my marriage and my future happiness with my husband.
With these positive thoughts in mind, I found a renewed energy and began my work. I found myself smiling and even enjoying the mundane tasks. I was looking forward to a new tomorrow. •