The Thing They Call Love

Suzanne was waiting for James. He was the only man who had ever made her heart race.  She was a good 27 years younger to him and he was married and had children who were her own age. Leaving all of this aside, Suzanne had given him her heart. She did not want anything from him other than his love. He too tried hard to spend every waking hour of his with her. He did love her with an insane passion.

He claimed to love his wife and children too and no doubt, he did. But his love for his wife was different from his love for Suzanne. He loved Suzanne unconditionally and there was nothing in their relationship that had strings to it. Their commitment was based on just their feelings for each other.

His love for his family was born out of responsibilities. But that didn’t mean he loved them any less. It was just a different sort of love. Only, his romantic side came out fully in front of just Suzanne who was his completely, physically, mentally, spiritually in every possible way.

Suzanne constantly felt guilty about being the fault in his family life. But he always told her, that despite his love for them, he had never been complete; that his wife and he were not two halves of a whole. They were just friendly companions who were sharing the responsibility of bringing up their kids. Suzanne believed him and like I told you before, she had every reason to.

One day, Suzanne was alone at her house. She had been dreaming about James. Feeling quite bored and restless, she logged into her facebook account.  James’ children were her age. She sometimes enjoyed looking at them. She sometimes longed for the life they led but mostly she loved them because they were James’ children.

Today, she was again looking at their pictures and suddenly, she noticed that one of the tags in a picture led to the profile of his wife. Unable to resist herself, she went on to see her profile. She loved this woman too because in some way, James loved her. She had borne his children, given him immense happiness and partly shaped him into the man he was. How could she not love her?

Looking at her pictures, she noticed something else. James was happy with her. He was happy in his family life. And he could lead a good life, maybe a better one if Suzanne would not make him divide his love, affection and time. One of the most frequent themes of his wife’s pictures was his music, which he wrote only for her.  Tears were silently streaming down Suzanne’s face. She felt tired and old. It seemed as if she was causing his happiness to somehow crack and crumble. Feeling naked, Suzanne tried to hold herself in a desperate effort to remain whole. But it was impossible. There were only two ways to proceed now.

It would have to be done.

********

James was going frantic, calling Suzanne. For full two days, nobody answered. On the third day, her phone got switched off. In utter despair, he contacted her father and inquired about her whereabouts as if he were just an acquaintance.

“My little Suzanne, I don’t know where she is. She left for someplace 3 days back and just left us a letter telling us to not look for her. We have tried telling the police but they won’t help. I’m afraid Sir, we don’t know either, where she has gone. Her letter says that she would inform us often about her well being but that she doesn’t want us to look for her. She says she is happy and content where she is. Her clothes are gone from her closet , she has wiped her phone and laptop clean.”

“I don’t believe this Sir”

“I don’t know what we did wrong but Suzanne has tried to erase herself from our memories. She is a grown up girl, she knows how to take care of herself. I will do what I can to respect her wishes. If she contacts you, please, Please do inform us and tell her to come back cause we love her too much”

A devastated James hung the phone up. He didn’t know what to say or do. He just cried. For the first time in as far as he could remember, he cried.

*****************

 

Meanwhile,

Suzanne : (Leaving the house) Thanks dad, don’t ever let anyone know where I am. I love you and I have my reasons for secrecy. I’m glad you trust me so much Pa.

Dad: I do my baby, I love you and I’m always there for my little girl. Keep us informed and let us know if you need anything.

Suzanne : Bye Dad

Dad: Bye, my little Suzanne. God be with you.

***********

(Many years later)

Announcement

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m your commander on this flight to Paris, the capital city of France. My name is S. Allison. Please fasten your seat belts and read the safety manual that’s kept in the pocket in front of you. We will be in Paris in about 3 hours; that would be by 3:00 pm. We hope you have a good flight”

(Inside the cockpit)

Co-pilot: Why were you so insistent on doing this flight Sue ? You have never taken this route before.

The Commander: Well, there’s a first time for everything, isn’t there?

Co-Pilot: Sue, your eyes are shifty…..Tell me the real reason.

The Commander: (Sighing) Okay, I’ll tell you the reason. I saw the passenger list for this flight yesterday. There’s a couple onboard, by the name of Mr. And Mrs. James Harris. I wanted to fly them to Paris, which is the most romantic city in the world. They are there, seats F6 and F7.

Co-Pilot: Oh, I saw them. Are they related to you; they’re a very adorable and cute couple.

The commander:  (with a strange childlike smile) aren’t they?

The co-pilot saw Suzanne’s eyes turn misty but before he could be sure, she blinked away and didn’t speak to him anymore.

The next day, she handed in her resignation to the Airlines.

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