Choices. A short story

She was a very angry woman. Her father had abandoned her sister and her, when they were very small and her mother was forced to go back to her maternal home, where they were given a roof over their heads but not treated very well.

However, she persisted in her studies, hoping to rise on life and did well too but when an offer for marriage came from a man many years her senior, she thought it wiser to accept. Her mother was getting on in years, her sister had found a job and moved to another city and the rest of her relatives in the maternal home were clearly indicating that she too should move on. So she accepted although no one forced her to and since the suitor was a well qualified doctor with a house of his own, it added to her status within the family.

Her children were born in quick succession but her husband, a quiet unassuming and meek man, did not do as well in his profession as she had expected. There was enough money for luxuries too but it didn’t pacify her. As the years wore on she grew increasingly angry. While she ran the household capably, her husband fell back on many fronts. He lagged behind his contemporaries, he didn’t generate either social recognition nor any scale of ambition. She fretted and fumed, unspeakable language spewed from her mouth directed at her husband, who became increasingly reticent and withdrawn. He retired prematurely from work, fell sick and his wife took over the running of their finances and their lives, all the time raging about the unfairness of life and what it had brought her.

Her son and daughter both got married but continued to prey on the parents. Both had grown up seeing their mother as a role model in the presence of a silent, passionless, ineffectual, spectator who was their father. The daughter had a baby but the son in law sought a divorce citing uncontrollable anger in his wife, while the son’s wife suddenly died, it was said of asthma but the truth was that the son, in a fit of rage , had pushed her violently leading to a fatal astmatic attack.

The mother sat rocking the child in its crib and thought, all I ever wanted was that my husband should be like what I’d heard about my father. Strong, bold adventurous, fearless. If he hadn’t left us then life would have been so different. If I had studied and got a job somewhere, then I could have carved out my own life, my mother should have stopped me from getting married. The anger in her bubbled and grew, until it reached her head and spilled over. She wondered detachedly why the baby’s face was suddenly receding and growing dimmer as a sharp pain tore through her head and a red mist slid over her eyes, as she slumped over, hardly conscious.

Far away in the distance she could hear the baby crying and her daughter screaming at her for smothering the baby. Unknown to her her husband sat on a rocking chair nearby and watched the scene, motionless,silently dispassionately.

Choices, made and to be made.

Published by Diti Sen

An independent writer and author, currently exploring blogging, tracking life from India and ready to explore anything from the tried and tested to the wierd and the eclectic. You will find, nature, travel, food, children, folklore, customs, myths, festivals, reflections, inspirations, hope, amongst many other things here. Anything that makes me think and ponder and want to know more about, shared in an informative and entertaining sort of way.

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