In the lower drawer of my office desk, I still have our picture in a frame. The one taken on the evening which followed, the morning pour. I thought you won’t come, you hated the wet road and pavements covered with sludge and debris, but you came in a yellow dress, flowing down your body till the knees. You were like sunshine piercing dark clouds.
We strolled in the rose garden. I knew you love to dance. So, I practiced some moves. I pulled you closer in the middle of the park and you leaned in, a mellow music played on my phone in the background. After few steps, you said, “You can't dance, right?” we stopped. You laughed. It made me angry. But I wanted to try for you.
I don’t keep the frame on my desk anymore. It reminds me; things have changed. You have changed. We are living under the same roof. Still there is a distance, a silence. So, I wrote a letter to say things I want to tell you. Remind you of the good times. I know our love is disputed, but it’s everlasting, Ava.
I kept this letter in my wife's journal; it was placed on the bedroom fridge. She didn’t see me, luckily. She was sound asleep, like someone played the magical harp for her. I wanted this letter to make her realize how much I loved her, or she could also be mad. I touched her journal.
I went to the kitchen to prepare the breakfast, plain toast for me, and kale smoothie, and salad for Ava. It always baffled me. How she could gulp the ghastly drink; kale smoothie.
The phone buzzed.
Ava always puts reminder for my appointments. I don’t want to go, but I have to.
I didn’t like Dr. Roy or his office except for those ocean green sheer curtains, green, as Ava's eyes. The engraved Buddha on the wooden décor reminded me of my childhood house. My mother loved those wooden décor pieces, having shallow engravings of flowers, leaves, Buddha. It gave a peaceful shroud to the home of catastrophes (sickness, abandonment, deaths). I buried the memories of those parts. They were better caged, buried.
“Dr. Roy will see you next sir,” said the receptionist, looking at me through her glasses rested on her nose tip.
I entered the cabin.
“How you doing, Zayn?,” Dr. Roy addressed me in his usual manner. His tone and posture annoyed me. Perched in his chair, he exuded charm, confidence, deception.
“I’m doing good.”
“You did what I asked you last time, Zayn?”
“Yes, I wrote Ava a note expressing myself with words which can best explain me.”
“What you feel about your wife and your relationship with her now?”
I took a pause and gawked at the green curtains. “Whenever I think about her. I imagine her sleeping, with a blush on her cheeks. The tip of her nose turned red. Her mouth shut, not uttering the words of hate and disguise.”
Dr. Roy nodded to my reply and scribbled something on his notepad.
“How far you think you have come with the issues?”
“I feel better about things now, but I still don’t like your interest in my relationship.”
I sometimes felt he was interested in Ava more than necessary.
“Zayn, I am your therapist. I can help you.”
He kept asking me questions and scribbled the nonsense that made sense to him.
I went back home. I hadn't been to work for five days. I just took a sick leave.
I don’t need help. All I need is Ava.
People leave; mother eloped, abandoning me, when I was six, and father died after a year of heart attack, drowned in alcohol,sadness and disappointment. I lied to Dr. Roy; I wasn’t doing good. Every time I touched Ava, I felt cold, as freezing as our relationship. But she couldn’t leave. We would be together.
I rested my head on the fridge door, “It’s ingrained in me the sense of the knife blade vanishing inside your delicate flesh, and your warm blood spattered on me turning from red to maroon to brown, but you were trying to leave. Zayn, you are insane, you need help. I can’t stay with you. Those were your last words. But how could you leave? You were different. You would stay with me, near me, forever, as we were in the photograph, caged in the frame, but together.”
If her body would be too much to handle. I would just keep her head in a bell jar.
She must be feeling cold in the fridge. I opened the door. She laid there with a blush of pink on her cheeks.
“You liked snows and winters, right? You hear me, Ava.”
I carcessed her hair. She will be okay.