Connie woke up with a headache. Glimpses from last night’s argument with Patrick clogging her brain. For the past twelve months, troubles and quarrels had become a major routine in their marriage of four years.
After taking a quick shower, she trudged towards the living room bracing herself for a sight of filth as was the case on all weekends with Patrick glued to his couch munching popcorn while football played on the screen.
To her utter astonishment, the television was off, her cozy copper English country house style sofa was empty and instead bright fluffy cushions adorned its beautiful corners. The chaos in the bookshelf behind was replaced by neatly stacked rows of books, artifacts and frames. The other couch by the window wore a luxurious look.
Bemused, she called out his name, “Patrick?” But no reply came. She screamed his name again heading towards the kitchen and the adjoining dining room where a similar sight welcomed her. She checked the bedrooms, lawn, bathrooms and even the basement but the usual muddled display of stuff in all the rooms was replaced by order and cleanliness. Patrick, however was nowhere to be seen.
She quickly dialed his number as panic started building in her. It said his cellphone was unreachable. She checked with their friends and neighbors but none of them knew about his whereabouts. She even called his colleagues but they were like “their organization stays closed on weekends.”
“Where are you Patrick,” she said out loud before grabbing her car keys and hurrying her way towards her car, planning to manually look for him on every single place she thought he might go to.
Jamming the key in ignition, she recalled the contents of last night’s fight which was nothing different from the one that happened a day before and so forth. They always bickered on the same issue “she not having enough time to wrap her chores and office work and he never even once bothering to help her with anything while being peevish.”
Suddenly her mind went down a memory lane. ‘It was summer of 2010, when they first met. She was a part of the committee, organizing the alumni meet of her college. Patrick, an alumni, was one of the speakers at the event.
The geeky blue eyed man had instantly fell for the intense redhead beauty. At first, she wasn’t very fond of him and they seldom agreed over anything but with time Connie got to see the real person behind those ugly glasses and plain clothes. They were soon head over heels in love with each other and it wasn’t like anything they had both experienced with other people.
Within two years, the besotted lovers exchanged vows. Their love grew deeper with every passing year. Everything was perfect until Connie decided to start working to deal with financial problems, they were facing. The overwhelming amount of household chores and official tasks took a toll on their loving relationship. Patrick too had to drown himself in work to make ends meet.
Their love suffered without them realizing first and exhaustion overtook any desires to overcome this rocky phase in their marriage.
Connie pondered over this pulling over at the local library, where he often spent hours reading. By now she had already been to their favorite spots, parks, local lakes and several other places she could think of. He was nowhere to be seen. Despair had taken over stress in her mind. She called one of her neighbor friend to ask if he had come home.
“He isn’t home yet Conns. Why don’t you come here, we’ll figure this out together, “Lily said. “No, let me check a few more places, thanks Lils,” she said hanging up.
After two hours of constant disappointment, Connie headed home with a feeling of fright and sadness.
Hope flashed in her eyes when she saw her front door unlocked. She raced up the steps leading to her house and rushed inside screaming,” Patrick dear, is that you?” Her stomach grumbled as tempting smell of Italian food wafted her nose.
Not able to contain her feelings, she ran to the kitchen knocking down the elegant vase at the corner of her dining table. Patrick turned his head, flashing one of his most adorable smiles, the one she hadn’t seen in months. “You’re home. How was the meeting?”
“What meeting?” she asked panting.
“Office meeting. Why are you so white and running?” he asked with worried expressions.
“Oh shoot,” Connie said. Today’s incident had made her realize what mattered the most in her life, him and nothing else. It had also made her miss an important meeting but she didn’t care.
“Forget the meeting, I did not get any calls, it might have went well without me. Where were you Patrick? I have been dead worried, looking all over for you? And what’s with the clean house and the food?” she said everything in one breath looking at the food he was preparing.
“Looking? I was only at the bakery, buying fresh bread, you love garlic bread. And it’s Valentine’s Day my dear, there is nothing I would do today than spend the time with the woman who made me the happiest person in this world,” Patrick spoke with love.
She was about say something but he waved a hand stopping her,” My love, in order keep our life going, we forgot what life was for us. It was us. I had promised to give you every happiness and yet you had to work so hard to make a living. As it is you have to manage our household without any help and on top of that you had to make time and energy for more. I ought to have helped you but it killed me to see you like that, so I drowned myself in work. Yesterday’s fight kept me awake for the entire night like it had been happening for several months.
I knew I needed to do something to save our marriage. So I have decided to share our chores. I also wanted to do something special for your today, so that explains the arrangement that you saw today. I also have a surprise for you.”
Tears trickled down her cheeks. She raced up to him and hugged him tight. “Don’t blame yourself Pat, it wasn’t your fault. I like being employed and doing household work too but howsoever I tried it came between our love and I’m sorry for that. But I still love you and would not let anything come between us anymore.” she said.
Before she could finish he spilled the beans, “Except for the interruptions by our new domestic help for a few hours every day?”
“We can afford her?” she asked, wide eyed.
“For the rest of our life princess,” Patrick smirked.
“Now hurry up, I made you Italian lunch and then we’ll catch the movie we first saw together. How does that sound?” He asked.
“Heavenly,” she crooned in his ears, as sense of security, love and happiness washed over her nerves.
“I love you Pat,” she said.
“I love you forever love,” he said lifted her in his arms.
~ By twinklingwords
(Picture by Nas Kamui, freeimages.com )