This story about love starts with Anna who along with her younger sister lived the happy life of a 14 year old teenager.
She was wooed by tales of romance and finding true love dominated her fascinations. But when she looked around, she felt very disheartened as her own parents didn’t seem to be in love with each other at all. This had happened after a tragic accident that had left her mother on the wheel chair.
She had started noticing how her father was moving away from her and spent less and less time with her now and how he never came forward to help her when she struggled with house chores or to pick up things she had dropped, he just didn’t seemed to care.
Anna felt sad for her mother.
She noticed how they no more gave loving smiles to each other and didn’t even hugged and kissed like they did before. They did not shopped for expensive gifts for each other, not even on special occasions like birthdays and Anniversaries.
They didn’t wear fancy clothes when they went out and did not even organized flashy dinners and barbeques like the other parents of her friends.
I don’t think they like spending time with each other, Anna concluded. She feared that one day, they will realize how much they detest each other and decide to separate off finally. She trembled at the thought of being separated from her sister and having to choose one of her parents to live with.
She loved both and just wished they would start loving each other too! She couldn’t even discuss her concerns with her sister as she didn’t wanted to terrify her by breaking the horrible news of what she saw coming.
And just like a bad nightmare coming true , one morning when she got up early to get ready to leave for school, she found some noises coming from her parents bedroom. They seemed to be arguing about something.
When she peeped in, she found her mother sobbing sitting at one end of the bed while her dad was busy packing his clothes in a suitcase. This is it, Anna thought to herself. Dad will be leaving us now. She felt a gush of pain and ran to her room murmuring under her breath….’why did this had to happen?’
As she stood leaning against the window, absorbed in her thoughts she saw her dad leave with a suitcase and walk towards the car.
She rushed to stop him and ran towards the door but the car had left the house by then. She was heartbroken. She just stood staring out from the window for hours not knowing what to do and just as she turned to go back and talk to her mother, she heard her dad’s car nearing the driveway.
She ran downstairs as fast as she could and before he could respond fell in his arms , hugged him tight and pleaded “never leave us again dad, we love you and we want to be with you but we want to be with mom too.”
“ And what makes you think I am leaving you guys and do not love mom “, startled her father asked.
“Well, you never help mom or feel sorry for her struggle, you don’t even stay at home most of the time and yesterday you went out with a suitcase packed after fighting with mom. Don’t lie to me dad, I saw everything.”
Anna wept more after she had blurted out everything. It seemed relieving to have voiced all her complaints after keeping bottled them inside her for so long. “You need to love Mom more”, she concluded.
“And how do you think I can do that”, asked her father.
Well I don’t know, bring her flowers, gift her an expensive dress on her birthday, go out with her and so on”. “ And you think this will make her feel loved”?
‘Why not, it will surely make her feel good’,quipped Anna. ‘Exactly my point, my little sweetheart, her father said drawing her close so that she could sit in his lap. ‘All this will only make her feel good but to make her feel loved I have to get her back to loving herself first just the way she did before loosing one of her legs.’
‘I do not help her because I do not want her to feel she is dependent on anyone, I stay out for long work assignments so that she can devise her own ways of going about her daily life on her own without anybody’s help. I do not feel sorry for her because I do not want to make her feel sorry about herself in any way.
And the reason why I fought and walked out of the house yesterday was because she asked me to accept a ship tour that would need me to travel for six months. I wanted to turn it down because I didn’t wanted to leave her for so long on her own but she was insisting that I take it up since it would be good for my career and an upcoming promotion. People fight a lot sometimes just because they love eachother so much’, he grinned.
Anna stood shocked , staring at her father trying to soak all he just said. She felt ashamed to have doubted her parents who she knew now were the most wonderful and strong people she ever knew.
“But then why you went out with a suitcase sometime back”? She asked puzzled. Oh that, those were clothes and papers I needed to return to a colleague of mine before they set out on the ship tomorrow morning.”
So you are not going with them, Anna shouted in delight. ‘Ofcourse not, I cannot dream of being away from you all for so long, I love you all so much’, her father declared with a smile.
That night as Anna finally went to sleep she knew that true love wasn’t about gifts, flowers, surprise dinners and fancy barbeques, it was about over coming hardships together, helping each other be a better , stronger person each day and being there for one another even when you are apart.
And this was one lesson she knew she would remember all her life.