24. A Truck Full of Furniture

One afternoon as I happened to pass by one window which faced our road, I noticed a truck pulling onto our driveway.  It was loaded down with furniture.  Pulling up the rear was an automobile with Hemma’s family on board.

I called Hemma to have a look with me out the window.  ‘Why is all this furniture coming to our house?’  I took a deep breath, ‘and your family too?’  Eyes lowered, she unassumingly answered, “I see my family, yes.  They sold their old house and they’re moving in here with us.”

See my jaw hitting the floornow!

‘Hemma!  You knew about this?’ Her eyes looked up at me and the answer was there.  ‘And you didn’t tell me, why?’  Now she’s crying.  “If I had told you about this, you would’ve moved out and left me here all alone.”  I couldn’t help but to look at her in disbelief.

She kept going, “I did not want to lose you!  I love you so very much so please forgive me.  I will do anything for you so please, just don’t leave me!”  Then she embraced me so tightly and wouldn’t let go.  I broke loose from the lady bear and said simply, ‘Okay.’

As I was pulling away from my wife’s grip, thoughts raced through my mind like a hurricane and on top was always, ‘God, what is going on?  Why is this happening again?!’  It was like something is trying to make certain that I know 100% I have to separate from Hemma.

Well, I do know now we can never truly be as we were becoming over these last 3 weeks.  When I said, ‘okay’ to her, I had decided to play their game, staying on in the house long enough to formulate a plan.  I believed I could manage to avoid them for a little while, but not too long.

 
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23. A Mosquito Net and an Ice Cold Beer

At first as one can imagine, this was most awkward but we were able to push through that stage fairly quickly.  We both seem to want the same thing, to make it work.    

There was a lot of talk which is a good thing.   There were times when only a whole lot of beating around the bush on most topics took place.  

Eventually I was able to confirm at least in my own mind, the past actions of my wife were for the most part, the actions of her parents.  Only sixteen at the time, remember?  She was doing as they were ‘guiding’ her to do.  

Our new home was nice, it was spacious, it was in the right neighborhood and it looks like the place came with its own handyman because he was there regularly, painting this and repairing that.  

It took us a few days to be rightly settled in; groceries, bedding & linens, pots & pans, like that.  Oh yes, most important, must have the mosquito net!  That’s just as important as groceries!

And do you know what?  For the first time since the wedding, we felt married!  We did everything together; shopping for groceries? that was such a joy!  Lucky for me Hemma was a very good cook.  And she seemed more relaxed.  

We were starting to look just like what I thought in my mind a couple ought to be like.  What fun these two young people were having!

When I came home in the early evenings, she prepared fresh hot tea for me and after we had enjoyed our tea together, we’d go into the kitchen.  We worked together to prepare our evening meal.  She would stop for a moment to pour an ice cold glass of beer and we shared that.

After our meal we would settle back in the living room, almost always side by side and listen to an hour or so of the Indian programme on Radio Fiji.  This is how we both wanted our life together to be.  

Right from the beginning when we had those quiet, private little talks; to be together doing only what we wanted with no one placing their expectations upon us.  As husband and wife left to make our own choices, that’s how we both wanted it.

And yes for those of you wondering, we did talk about the loss of our son.  I asked many questions and understandably she mostly cried.  Well, at least there was some closure on that between this father and mother of a child taken away much too soon.    

We began to make plans once again for our future.

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About telling Noori of this new development; she was my dear friend after all and as before, she stepped back over to the side-line.  She knew I wasn’t really available to be with her.

22. Between A Rock and a Hard Place, the Courier Pigeons Returned

Quite some time had passed; Hemma and I automatically fell into the low-profile mode for a while.  Neither of us contacted the other.  Guess we really had nothing to say and I had so many questions all at once, but I didn’t.

Meanwhile Noori found more time to spend visiting my family and naturally that strengthened our bond.  We were not romantically involved, swear it!  

I’ll admit there was a whole lot of innocent flirting going on though.  It just seemed to happen, we’re young people here! and admittedly I was feeling very much unloved by my wife.  Hemma’s actions kept me at a distance.

My family didn’t stop or even suggest fewer visits from Noori.  I know it was because they saw more smiles upon my face and even some laughter escaped this broken young man.

One day the courier pigeons returned into my new-found comfort zone with a surprise message.  This time Hemma’s letter stated she had found a house for the two of us to live in together, sans parents aka no interference and about 3 kilometers away from either family home, in the town of Samabula.

This was her suggestion to try again, presenting a few choice thoughts I feel, in hopes of leading me into an agreeable decision.  I felt she was taking strides towards saving us.  

It was time for a family dialogue …what to do?  The closest members of the family to include, strong head on his shoulders mama, congregated shortly after I brought this proposal to their attention.  Clearly it was that important to all.  

After much weighing up, checks and balances, and most importantly my willingness to try one more time to make this marriage work, it was agreed, I should try again.  A couple of weeks later we moved into this house together.

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Mama    (mother’s brother in Hindi) for those of you who forgot LOL