Stella did not particularly hate her husband. He was not unkind to her. He was not forthcoming and affectionate. He was not abusive or ill tempered. He was not caring or spontaneous. He did not keep her unhappy. He did not keep her happy. There were many-a- Nots in the relationship but then there’s that one knot of marital vows which she could not undermine. She was unhappy in her small compartment of a house-wife. Never in her life had she imagined herself being captivated in a frugal house hold of ten pounds a week.
Secretly in her heart she had wanted out of this dungeon so many times. She had wished to escape. But that was before Martha was born. Then Marta grew up and started her schooling, leaving Stella lonely again, but she still hasn’t had that wish in a long time.
As mundane as this life was, one ordinary afternoon charged this forever. That day a letter arrived on her name. This was her very first letter ever since her marriage, and that was odd for there was someone in this world who cared for her existence. A sheet of paper was never so formidable a force to topsy turvy her life. This was a letter of her estranged lover, who separated 12 years back, when join joined thw war. He had found her after all these years and wanted her back. Stella was sobbing the way she did the day his ship left the shore.
Images, one after another, began to slideshow in her mind. The human mind is indeed a puzzling maze of surprises. Even with all the disgust which she concealed in her heart, she couldn’t convince herself to rush out at once. His ship was leaving tonight, she must hurry.
Stella folded the letter in a rapid jerk of her fist. Her sweaty palms crumpled the sheet, marred the correspondence with chagrin of forgetfulness. Twelve years are but a hundred and forty odd months. Old love like wine become expensive, the cost in this case was to be her family. After all the years half kept promises came back to haunt her. She had wanted out of this cold marriage, this dingy household and this suffocating bondage, yet, this letter gave her the most prominent reason of vigorously embracing her family.
So long she had lived a life free of motivation, dedication and destination. She now suddenly felt the urge to be a great home maker, a nourishing mother and a comitted wife. As she meditated this in her heart, her upper lips stiffened with resolution. She felt ill in the stomach, just like she did at sea. For once she was being pragmatic.
If you pick through the trash bin of this household on 4th street, you are sure to find two torn subway tickets, some broken crayons, a half light cigarette, some medical vouchers, an unused rubber, a torn sheet of handwritten paper and a broken heart.