• 16 Jun - 22 Jun, 2018
  • Ayesha Adil
  • Fiction

On our flight back to Karachi, I listlessly looked back at the two-weeks gone by.

I had managed to drag Fawad around London and had soaked in as much of the tourist attractions as I possibly could on such a short period of time. We even shopped for friends and family, and occasionally treated ourselves too.

We took all the credulously perfect pictures for uploading on Facebook and Instagram later on. The world needed to know how perfect our life really was. “Humph what a joke!” I thought to myself.

In all of our so many years of marriage, I honestly felt that we had hit rock bottom and I literally couldn’t see how I would reclaim any sense of happiness and joy that we previously enjoyed. Everything seemed effortless back then, eons and eons ago.

I perceptively sighed out loud. This is what life is. As long as we are alive there will be some challenge or another that we would constantly have to face, address and keep moving on.

Had we reached a common ground on our feelings or were we standing at the same precipice as we had started? I had to filter out these thoughts in my head. And what better place than 7500 feet from the ground, surfing through endless darkness and shining stars. Clarity. Epiphany.

But on this particular evening, I didn’t get any epiphany at all. In fact, I was hostage to my thoughts. I had no place to run. The bubble that I always kept around myself to shield me from the cruelty of the real world had burst. I couldn’t hide anymore. I had nowhere to go.

Fawad seemed more or less on the same page with me, having a few interludes of complete regress.

At least throughout our trip he indulged my passion for exploration of England for which I was grateful, but as I looked at his tired and sleeping face, I knew that there was still a lot of discovery and many more bends in the road before we could come back to the kind of comfort that we had enjoyed before Noor so abruptly and savagely left us.

I wanted to bring up the option of adoption again but remembering how we almost had a perfect baby kept me from going there. If we had come so close, I was sure that God would bless us very soon again. But we had to be ready for this blessing. If we went on and on like immature, reckless adults than that would not happen so soon.

I sighed again.

On the other hand, I was done feeling sorry for myself. It seemed like most of my life had been spent waiting for one thing or another and I didn’t want to feel that way ever again. Why couldn’t I just be happy and contented with what I had? Why did I always have to feel that a void existed inside of me that needed to be filled?

Why did I feel like a little less of a woman because God had not blessed me with a child?

I glanced over at Fawad. I knew he felt less of a man for the same reason. He had been very patient through all of this. So many years of questioning, taunting maybe, his parents’ telling him to remarry, mount pressures of adoption; the list was endless. Yet he stayed by my side. He didn’t deserve this.

That’s why he had become so testy with me and almost intolerant to anything I said or did. Instead of coming out and being honest with me he chose to torture and punish me with his biting remarks and insensitive behavior. Couldn’t he find any other way to deal with his feeling? I was just as blameless as he was.

Noor had been a blessing but so soon it seemed as if she had become a curse. A curse on our marriage.

I quickly shrugged off that thought. How could I be so mean? How could I even think that…

I hated Fawad and his pettiness, and I felt that being blessed with a child or not would not change what we felt for each other at this point in time unless we worked on our issues.

Or simply brush them under the carpet as most people do; as we had been doing for a long time now.

The cabin crew started to make their announcements for landing. I shook Fawad and asked him to bring his seat to the original position.

He looked at me without recognition; he had been zombied into a deep slumber.

No recognition, I was getting used to that look. It wasn’t long now that I thought to myself, we would hardly know one another.

No recognition. No connection. No warmth. No love.

I had a penchant for the dramatic, too late, what’s said is said.

I almost smiled inwardly at my stupid joke.

He finally got what I was asking him to do and thus we landed back to Karachi to face the demons of our past, present and future.

I knew I didn’t have the ammunition to put up a fight. I would stay quiet and leave fate to settle it between us and Fawad would continue to have his mood swings. At least I had this all figured out.

Irony. Life. •