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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1358586-After-the-Sunset
by shadi
Rated: E · Prose · Women's · #1358586
The hard truth of a wife finding the other woman in her life.
        Many have told the tale of destruction, when a husband leaves for a younger woman after  twenty years of marriage.  He leaves you with his children and no hope to start a new life as the basic qualities of being young, attractive, and worthy have all demised.  My story is not at all like that. 

           We married when I was twenty-five, where he had been a wonderful friend throughout.  We had our quarrels like any couple, defined by financial stresses and provocations that tagged along.  Things eventually stabilized and we found ourselves cruising through life.  Couple of years later, we had a son, who was exceptional like his father.  Our child inherited his traits of being handsome, smart and intelligent.  My husband’s work required him to travel for weeks out of town.  Our time apart was not too difficult, as he kept calling me constantly, making the void tolerable.  Also, tending to the growth of our mischievous son kept me busy. As time passed by, we bought a house and made several good financial investments. Before long, twenty years had passed by.  Through out the whole tenure of time, he had always given me his love and affection as a lover would give his princess.

         Everything was fine, till that day he had a stroke, which left him in a coma.  My whole life stopped as I had never seen a life without him holding my hand through each step. Thoughts of what would become of me constantly played in my head.  As I sat next to his hospital bed, I wished him to come back to me, so we could live our life once again.  I hoped each day for some signs of life.  To my despair, he never woke up.  I never knew that I could be so close to him and yet feel so alone at the same time.  Then, things got complicated.

              It was a sweet November afternoon, when she entered into the room.  She was pretty – but around my age, as the wrinkles and dark circles were not well hidden.  She just stared at my sleeping husband and broke into tears not even acknowledging my presence.  I walked to her and placed my hand over her shoulder.  It seemed like the right thing to do at the time.  She just hugged me and started to cry.  I asked her who she was once she had settled down.  It was her piercing reply that made my heart fall.  She told me that she was his wife.  I then gathered whatever strength I had within me and let out a soft chuckle.  Her profound shock was unforgettable as I told her that he was my husband for the past twenty years.

              That was the first time she looked me in the face.  I could read her curiosity and anger from the expression on her face.  I know, because I had felt the same way. 
“How could that be, I have been married to him for the past twenty-three years.”, was what she said.

         She then narrated her story about how they met and how much he loved her.  She told about their daughter, who still did not know, that her father was in the hospital.  The shock of him being married to another woman subsided as her story unfolded.  It was not because I had accepted the truth.  It was due to the realization that I was the other woman and not her.  Were we both so blind, not being able to read him for all these years? Or was it because he loved us both equally, not wanting to lose either of us?  Why had he done this to us?  There were so many questions, but the only person who could answer it, lay there in front of us, silently.

         As we added up dates, it became clear, how wonderfully he had managed both our families.  The lapses of silence, when he sat alone, started to make sense.  We both had felt a hidden burden within him all these years, which he had never let us know.  In some strange way, we felt a bond being formed between us, as we continued to talk further.  I guess he knew that we were both good people and did not want to hurt us.  We understood together  the stress and strain that he had beheld onto him. It would have been the love for the both of us that had got him to where he lays now.

         As days passed by, we both sat in the private hospital room, waiting for him to wake up.  We were not angry nor proud of the life he led with us.  Telling our children was not difficult, as they were mature enough to understand.  Both my son and her daughter loved their father dearly– as they knew he did the same for them.

         It was on Christmas Eve that his liver gave up and he passed away silently at night.  We all attended the funeral where we put to rest, his prolonged burden.


Both the widows moved in together and had become best friends.  They loved talking about him, by sharing their fond memories. Both the children found the sibling they never had.
© Copyright 2007 shadi (intellifish at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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