Prompt – On a foreign holiday, your character meets an extremely attractive man or woman. They don’t speak the same language, but they somehow find a way to understand each other, and your character feels a powerful connection that s/he has never felt with anyone before. Impulsively, your character marries this person after they’ve only known each other a very short time. Your character’s new husband/wife moves to your character’s country and begins to take language classes there. The better the spouse is able to communicate, the more your character realizes that s/he isn’t the person your character had believed…
John could not believe it… nor could he bear it any longer. Anya was nothing he thought she would be. Nothing between them were similar. The fights, which were not so much before, started going on too frequently now. He regretted the impulse for marrying her.
Initially he thought it was because they could not understand each others’ languages. They had met in Israel when John had gone there for an assignment. Anya did not speak English but John could manage a bit of Arabic. They communicated broken initially, but they fell in love. The love was so strong that they married and she came back with him. After coming here, she started learning English. It was almost 2 years into their marriage now. Anya could communicate properly in English, but that just resulted in more intense fights every day.
John was at loss. He could not understand what was going wrong. Initially he had thought opposites attracted. But this was not at all working. These opposites were repelling each other more than likes would. Many a times he considered a divorce. Now she has obtained citizenship by marriage, she can have a separate life. He was even ready to support her till she could stand on her feet in whatever it is that she wanted to do.
Today he decided he would breach the topic with her and talk about ending it. Just the previous day they had a huge argument over really nothing at all. He waited till Anya came home.
“Anya, I think we should end our relationship. Our fights are getting more and more intense and frequent. We cannot live our lives fighting like cats and dogs. Married life is not supposed to be like this. Maybe we are not fit to be together. Maybe there is someone else for us.”
Anya sat still for some time. She did not speak, neither did she give any reaction. Then she excused herself saying she need to freshen up before they continue the talk. John sat there waiting for her to come back. He was sure this was the only right thing to do.
Anya came back and said, “OK, if that is what you think, then so be it. I cannot disagree to it. Yes, we are fighting a lot now than before and if you are not happy in this relationship, then there is no point being together. But let me ask you something. Are you sure you will be able to find someone for yourself?”
“Yes, I will manage. If not, I do not mind being alone. In fact I think that would be better for me. I have given all my love to you. I do not want you to be replaced.”
“OK, but I do not want to be alone for the rest of my life. And since this is a new country for me, I do not know the ways of life here. So, if divorce is what you want, I shall give it to you on one condition. You should help me find someone. You know me well for this long. And since you think I would be better without you, then you must also have some idea as to who I would be better with. You can use that to help me find someone. Once we figure that out, I will sign whichever papers you want me to sign.”
Although John did not like the condition, he felt it to be proper for her. After all she did not have anyone in this side of the world and he did not want her to be left alone. He felt it to be a reasonable idea and agreed to it. Right from the next day, he started his search. He was searching for someone who is his opposite so he would be right for Anya. He set her up with many a dates but Anya did not agree to even going out with any of them. After speaking to them once, she would reject. “There is no vibe to this guy”, she used to say.
Then finally he introduced Alan to her. Alan was John’s colleague’s distant relative. And right on the day one, Anya and Alan seemed to hit off. After their lunch date, they started having a lot of phone chats, sometimes even late at night. John was feeling a bit uncomfortable, but he put it up to his nerves and did not do anything about it.
Soon, in a few weeks, Anya came up to John and said she was ready to sign the divorce papers. He could bring it up any day and she would let him have his peace. John could not react to that news. He said OK to her and left the house. He could hear her going back on phone with Alan. He went to the nearby bar and had a stiff drink. He could not understand why he was feeling terribly depressed about the whole idea. Anya was happy. She had found someone. He had found someone for her. He should be feeling bad now. After all, wasn’t he the one who suggested it? But he was feeling terrible. He could not bring himself up to getting divorced from her.
In these days, they had found a friendship between themselves. Their arguments were still there, but it did not bother him as much as it did earlier. Now, he realized he loved her far too much to let her go. No matter how much they fought, he did not want her to go away. But now she had Alan, and it was his fault. What was he going to do now? He had lost her. She was happy now and he did not have any right to destroy that happiness.
He decided to bring up the divorce papers for her happiness. In a few days, he brought the divorce papers to her. He thought Alan would be with her when she was signing, but was surprised to find only Anya waiting for him. She gave her a sad smile and sat down to sign the papers. After signing, she looked up to him with sadness in her eyes. “So John, this is what you had been wanting for a long time. And it is finally happening. I hope you be happy ahead of this.”
“Anya, before I leave, there is something I have to tell you. Over the past few days, I have fallen in love with you all over again. Even the arguments does not bother me now, as it did earlier. Since the time you asked to get the divorce papers, it is killing me that we are getting separated. But it was my idea that all this happened. Now you have Alan and I do not have any right to say all these things to you. I just want you to know that I am here for you as a friend for the rest of my life. And I shall always love you.”
This time too, Anya did not say anything for sometime and just sat looking at him. Then she took the divorce papers and tore them up with tears flowing down her face.
“How much of a fool you have been, John? There is nothing more that I want from my life than to be with you for the rest of my life. Even when all this was happening, I could not bear the thought of being away from you. But I thought that is what you wanted and that is why I agreed for it. There is nothing going on between me and Alan. Alan is gay. He had told that to me the first time we spoke. His family does not know of it and he requested that it be kept a secret till he is ready to come out. In Alan, I found a friend to talk. And I thought if I have a friend, I can go through my life without troubling you much in future. And had you not told me all this now, we would have lived our lives with a regret that could very well have been avoided. John, I love you and I want to grow old with you, even if we fight every day.”
By this time both of them were crying. They hugged and kissed and just forgot about the divorce papers. They had overcome the wrong impulse to go separate ways. It was time to celebrate love now.