It felt ridiculous that she should feel funny at her husband’s funeral. She couldn’t resist pondering over possibilities now that he is gone. Her face reflected happiness. Shouldn’t she be happy after getting relieved from 30 years of bondage? What is her story?
As a girl menial errands and chores annoyed her as she felt that she wasn’t made for it but for more in life. Till the age of 25, she was never loved much or pampered or prioritised. But that did not affect her. All she wanted was freedom to do what heart says. When she was flying high with dreams of finding a job and carving a promising future, her life met with a catastrophic failure called arranged marriage.
She wanted to stop but she wasn’t beautiful according to society’s standards. She could run off with someone she loves but nobody is in love with her. She could run away alone but she doesn’t have a job yet.
With all ways closed she consented to marry a stranger hoping for the best. Pity as it turned out that the in-laws offered no ray of hope but pushed her into darkness.
She was forced to do all the housework and was yelled at often by her mother-in-law. Her husband happened to be a dull and complacent man who didn’t seem to give a care about anything.
She felt like she made the biggest mistake of her life. She wanted to get out of this toxic atmosphere as soon as possible but divorce cost money and she didn’t have any. She tried hard convincing her family to help her but their only response was indifference .
She stayed strong some days hoping for a way out but on certain days she felt the weight of existence and heaviness of misery. She cannot take it anymore. She wanted to stop fighting but couldn’t because she was still alive even though that hurt her at times. Through her struggling storms she decided to make the most of it and prepared for competitive exams for employment though most of the days were spent on trying to stay sane.
One fine day when she had enough with everyone she thought of murdering her husband if that’s what it takes her to cross the threshold of her marital prison. She was about to poison her husband’s food when she heard the loud thud from the living room. She ran and saw her husband collapsing in a sofa.
Her mother-in-law came shouting at her indifference to her husband’s suffering and pushed him to hospital only to be declared DOA. For God knows what reason, Zoya could not stop vomiting and instantly even with her son being dead, her mother-in-law declared Zoya to be pregnant and tried to impose a new role of authority over her.
Zoya could see her life being doomed within four walls when one of the doctors came forward to check Zoya. Not being pleased with the way things are going Zoya’s in-laws left her alone in hospital and went to the cremation ground.
Meanwhile, Zoya went unconscious and was greeted with a pleasant pair of eyes when she woke up. She didn’t know who that is but felt calm and composed like never before.
“Hello ma’am, I’m Dr. Andrew, you’ve got food poisoning which is the reason behind your incessant vomiting. Now as the prescribed medications begin to work, you’ll feel better within an hour.”
His eyes communicated something more than the medical professional speaking. Maybe he’s that one person who can see her for what she is, she imagined and then scolded herself for thinking such thoughts, but his eyes spoke for itself, and she felt he’s feeling something too but reminded herself to be careful in this stuff with men as it comes with a cartload of complications.
While contemplating this, she forgot the fact that she was staring at the doctor for so long. She realised and wanted to say something, but Andrew understood her before she said anything and saved the embarrassment by asking,”No offense, but where is your husband being cremated? Don’t you want to go?”
She wanted to make up words fit to say to a stranger she met half an hour ago, but again his eyes did not seem strange, and she felt like she belonged with him. She said, “Don’t take me wrong, but I really don’t want to go. Please say my condition is not good if my relatives ask. I don’t expect you to understand but.. “, as she struggled to find the right words he held her hands, not in an advantage taking manner but a touch which gave more meaning than words and said “I don’t know how, but I do understand” and smiled.
Andrew agreed to let her stay in hospital a few more days and information came regarding her husband’s funeral. She asked if Andrew could come. She wanted to take revenge as bringing a handsome man like Andrew could turn eyes. But is it the only reason or is she trying to make excuses to be with him? Maybe. Maybe not.
They reached the venue of the funeral. She received an email which contained a job invitation she has been waiting for. She couldn’t believe her eyes. It was happy tears for her at her husband’s funeral. She then passed a moment to take a moment for the man who was deceased. She found that he never meant anything to her. He occupied a place in her life suffocating her and now that he’s gone she could only feel the freedom and cannot mourn. As she wondered how this man who did not mean anything in her life is assumed to be the important person in her life, she saw Andrew coming towards her with some refreshments. How thoughtful! She was admiring a new-found man at her husband’s funeral. She can’t help but feel funny. Still, who cares, after all her life began at her husband’s funeral.