After all, this was what we had planned for past couple of years. Stan’s childhood had bloomed into adulthood in a conservative educated middle class Indian family and he was the youngest of the siblings. All his siblings were settled across the globe and remained well connected. His parents were adorably simple and highly educated. Mom was a house wife and father was retired government servant. They had built their cozy family house already and his parents often lived in oblivion that Stan will choose to live together and raise his family living with them. They were of course very community conscience, thus proposals for Stan trickled from marriage bureau every now and then. He was very handsome boy muscular and tall, curly hair, soft, and expressive eyes and artistic long fingers. He had a flawless wheat complexion that gleamed of his love for me and I felt so soulfully in sync with his shadow. But the best part was that he was more in love with me than I was. I so desired to be the one to love him more than he did , but he never gave me an opportunity to love him more than he did love me, he just took all trickling moments to shower me with his love one can only dream of.
Mating souls impeding obstacles unseen, blissful silence, quivering touch where would the final destination be? We had cherished every dance together and every trophy we won had carved a silver lining, yet there was inveterate loneliness dancing at every heart beat. Elevator door opened and we walked hesitantly to our room. Door closed, our eyes met, lust fret, and moment stood still. A blessed moment yet our feet struggled to the rhythm and trembling hands lost the grip to hold on tight. We sat at the edge of shame & lust, one bed for the first time with our bodies shivering to unite forever, our trembling hands gently caressing each other, wanting to feel the ripples in that sea of passion that lay between our love that night. A moment of deep silence awaited the sound of our breath. Heavens humming - “Take my breath away……..”. We waited for the storms inside to subside lest the passion would loose bounds and the world would fathom our love. We chose to hold on to that quiet moment for a while. After all mind lives in what it sees.
I finally broke loose, my tear journeyed my eyes & found an anchor on Stan’s lips. His hands reached my neck, fingers caressed my body, and I could not hold on to my hunger. The kiss oozing of passion, the touch brimming with lust, just love had the space between and nothing else. Our night was consumed by the lust of our desire to unite our souls as our bodies had united. It had never been so beautiful and I felt a complete woman as we made first love the entire night. I had always felt so sure of life and every challenge in life seemed fluid when I was with Stan. Stan absorbed every breath of me and voiced my mind before I could even utter any word. I had barely felt the need to voice my fears and doubts. His undying support & understanding parried between life’s hurdles & our journey of love together. We both spent that night in each other’s arms making love like never before and didn’t realize when dreams paved their way in. Morning dawned with a knock on the door; Stan’s friend was standing with bed tea for the two of us. This day would by far be the most crucial day of our lives, as we’d candor our alliance to Stan’s parents. A brief and heartfelt Thank you quickly bade adieu. Stan’s friend had been an absolute gentleman for the night’s arrangement. And now we were, finally fathoming into our reality.
As we stood on the huge entrance of Stan’s house our heart beats perched to skies, the sound of air around was deafening, fear was pounding with every breath. With an awkward hesitation we rang the door bell, Stan’s mother opened the door, dad was behind her and much to our shock they didn’t seem flabbergasted at all. I hesitated to broaden the corners of my lips and in a smack she took us in her warm embrace congratulating us with her shivering and cold palms. They felt emotional and I was absolutely awed, as Stan stood choked. She let us in as the maid put our luggage in Stan’s room. They both posed so normal that the suspense was now shrilling the fear. How on earth could this ever happen? Stan very hesitatingly queried the reason for their earlier disapproval of this marriage, but mom explained in less than two sentences –“Plans we make in our life eliminate discontent by promising us change, but ironically it’s only OUR decision to imagine a different future, if we had to follow this rigid plan we would only block our own connection with people we love!” I was sure by now that forgiveness is the willingness to begin afresh, and guilt only signifies the love of staying stuck. A second before she was an object we feared and now she is like a god with feelings of love for us with whom we felt protected. Truly there was no absolute for something as relative as a mother; there can’t be rules for something as gentle as a heart of a mother. However as for that moment the acceptance and first breakfast with family had relieved much of the tension we had both been through in the past couple of months.
Stan was quite settled in his job, and I had an offer to teach dance in the local dance studio alongside freelancing my designs to a fashion boutique. Since mine was a part time job I was able to strike good balance between my life at home, with friends, Stan and family. Most evenings when I would teach late Stan would wait outside the studio and after the last class, as my lessons would end, and my student would leave, Stan would play our favorite song and have the last dance as if it were our first. In those days every dance was like the first dance. Between our soul’s lay just two steps, I’d take the first step and in an instant my love would take the next and the union was complete. Our love wasn’t a substance of theology but significance itself. We could both listen to our inner rhythm of being. I had realized that once in awhile even in ordinary people’s lives it happens. We knew those few moments when suddenly one day we woke up in the morning and everything seemed to fit in perfectly. The birds were singing, the air was fresh, the sun was rising, all seemed quiet. That’s when I believed, whenever we fall in harmony with ourselves, we fall in harmony with our existence too, if all the inner conflict disappears even for a single moment then in that moment we are one, consumed by love. We knew the glory and splendor of our life; each step we danced together.
Just as life was dancing by, a moment of fated negligence changed the course of life that left us no earth to step onto. A still in the night, no breeze, no movement & a menacing silence filled in. I finished my last session with my students and Stan was waiting outside the studio as always. Slowly one by one all my students left & Stan played our music, he pulled me closer & held me, but something was different, his looks pale, his eyes drooping, his touch shivering, and his passion receding. His eyes met mine, and yet the magic didn’t happen, hints of passion deflecting in coy glances, I was worried he had never missed his beats and his eyes never failed to stare at me giving me weak knees every time we danced. Suddenly Stan fell in my arms, his body cold and numb. I held him gently and put him on floor. He had a blank out. I squeaked in a nervous rage, the guard ran in with some water, we splashed some water on his face and as he regained, he still complaint of feeling weak and was unable to hold himself stiff. I rushed to call dad and in few minutes Stan was with our family Doc. Dad and Mom were clam and serene, to my dismay. I just could not understand how his parents could stay so clam in the gravest of moments and there was not a frown on their foreheads.
The doctor took his time examining and then expressed the desire to talk to me and Stan alone. Dad didn’t look very pleased but co-operated as I insisted I go by wishes of the doc. The Doc stared at us and in a very grimly & trembling voice cracking in between, explained the reasons for Stan’s fall, we were now a couple and so I held the right to know facts. The entire world crashed in for me in one second, when my ears heard him say that Stan was born with a rare birth anomaly that would grow worse with age. His bones would degenerate with time and dissolve; chances were he’d often feel weak and numb for a few seconds and then regain himself back. It’s not sure what part of his body would suffer this adversity first. He had it couple of times when he was in school and his parents were in complete knowledge of Stan’s uncertain future. Although after that he was kept on medication for sometime, there was no routine medication or permanent cure for this, it was a rare disease that one in a thousand could get, and Stan just happened to be one of them. I died a million deaths in that one second, WHY my Stan? If he was the chosen one, why chosen for this? I knew then why his parents resisted our marriage and why they accepted it with equal dignity.
Stan was mum, my eyes met his. He was calm like never before. He held me close in his blink, and it didn’t take my heart a beat to know what I had to do. No science could demystify our life, to science love is just chemistry, but the grandeur and splendor of our love could not have been reduced to one answer. Our mind lived in what it saw or heard. Mom and Dad explained that in that moment fear was neither an intelligence we wished would lead us, nor was it a sin. We couldn’t still our fearful thoughts, but we could always bring into focus the thoughts of stillness and our love. Yet, between our hearts fear was the static at that moment, prevented us from hearing to our intuition. Anxiety paved a run, there was an image a thought at the corner of our minds and we didn’t want to eye it, just like a child closing eyes as it sees the ball come towards it. Yet awareness needed a free mind. Our inadequacy awaited a description of the fateful reality of our present. I knew why god chose me to belong to him, and him to belong to me.
I called my parents and as I disclosed the news finally they got the shock of their lives, as they had believed I was still doing my internship and will return back to them once completed. Given the circumstances they decided to fly down immediately. That week felt like a lifetime of wait. It was so hard for me to see my mother in front of me, I coupled her emotions to my present, realized what she’d have felt without me, how could I live without my Stan Ma? I left my whole world Ma, to belong to him, who would hold me & Dance a lifetime when he’s gone Ma? As she held me close, I sobbed in her arms for hours, our tears met on the way and her tears absorbed all of mine, the moment taught me, I was her weakness but she was always my strength.
They accepted my fate & what I was destined to live, and why not; after all our life was half way through creating a history. My parents lived with us for a few weeks, living a hundred lifetime’s pleasure in that destined togetherness. They did their best to conceal their hurts and applauded my efforts to live brave. In a few weeks after spending emotional moments with everyone they left thanking Stan’s parents for being considerate and promised to keep in touch with us always. They even insisted we accompany them to USA to get some treatment from best of doctors. We were all open to this idea but it was a very tough decision to make and time was the only solution.
As time passed Stan’s condition worsened slowly, He often worked from home when he felt up to it, and dad always brought him to the studio when I had my late evening sessions with my students. He would drop Stan so I could play the music we danced on always and Stan would watch me dance. His toes tapping to every beat, his hands reaching out to hold me, his breath feeling my heart beat, his tears melting with my sweat, his eyes drowning in my passion, his lips waiting to caress my tender hands & his body trembling in the sheer joy of my moves. Not a soul stood between us, when I danced for him those nights.
I was so proud to belong to Stan, and my life became an inspiration for many of my friends, who could ne’er have imagined how a girl like me could live this through. I can’t say who was blessed, I believe the love was blessed, and I was where I rightly belonged. After all who needed me more than Stan? At the end of my dance he’d always whisper to me “Sophie, I am your night; I will fade into the arms of the morning for you to wade.” Oh! Stan, “Please stay - Let me Belong to you just a little longer!”
When you call me yours