Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Angel with a heart of Stone

by S Raghunathan

Stone sculpture that’s what all my friends called me. If you were made of ice you would melt some day but stone nah! You will never move or melt that was their theory but I melted. Oh! I melted like a wax doll when I saw him. Please don’t think it was a Mills and Boon romance where my knees turned to jelly the minute I set my eyes on him. We met like most other students. I saw him in class, he said hi and I said hi and we became friendly with each other. There wasn’t much by way of chemistry, but by the second year, we were thick friends. We shared similar qualities. Confident, smug, overbearing, yet polite. We loved the same kind of books and laughed together at jokes. We made fun of each other and laughed at women and their fascinations. Well it wasn’t altogether a joy ride - he could never figure out how I could watch soppy romantic movies as he called them and I could never understand how he could be so fascinated by blood and gore. We always went together as a couple and where ever we went we always found the same things interesting and by the end of the third year we went to England for further studies. Every time I mentioned his name at home, an uncomfortable silence settled over the dining table but they refrained from further comment because… well, honestly I don’t know why they didn’t say anything.

In England, we both got admitted into the same university and we found it convenient to stay together. I kept that a secret from mom and dad and he did the same. His folks rarely called and if I picked up the phone, I told them that there was a party and that was why I was there; he did the same and though dad hinted that I was throwing too many parties, he said nothing. We were very attached to each other and we never realized that there was more to it. But, one day he was involved in an accident and then I realized that I loved him more than I was willing to accept. The rest just happened, one day we kissed and then we decided to marry. That was the toughest part. Convincing dad and mom that he was a nice guy. Dad looked like I had let him down. I wasn’t going to go into that because I hadn’t. Even if they tired searching the whole world for a person like him, they would never be able to find one in the closest likes of him. After a few threats, slaps and still more threats, dad finally relented. It was decided that we marry at the earliest date. On the wedding day, I was deliriously happy and my friend gushed and said this is like a dream I said well if it is, I don’t ever want to wake up.

Wake up! Wake up! It’s getting late for school, I heard mom hollering from below trying to wake that little brat up. My head felt terrible. I walked to the bathroom and washed my face. It was still foggy but I walked out of the house. I thought I was walking aimlessly to clear my head but when I saw where I was my heart fell. I always ended up there no matter what route I took. I walked over and saw the slab of stone. Matthew Hummel R.I.P. in forever loving memory Kitty Kat. He always called me that because my eyes would flare up when I got angry. I wished I had never woken up from that day after marriage. It was all perfect but one month later; I received the news at work. A car hit him, the driver was drunk. There was nothing left to do. I had nothing to hold on to. I looked at the grave it had grass on it spread evenly like a green blanket; mother nature’s own hand woven blanket, that’s what he’d have called it. How many years had it been? Five? Six? I walked back slowly and at the entrance, I turned and looked at his headstone. It was an angel; with an upturned face, the spectacular feature in the angel was its hands. It had a stone heart in its outstretched hands, as though in offering but there was no one at the receiving end. Only empty air.


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