Note: This story is the continuation of "When the stars aligned", focused on “Gaining perspective" from the daughter-in-law's point of view.
Let us recount the events.
(Ben and Claire, the septuagenarians decided to meet their son and his family after a decade; their son Alan the international student; married the love of his life, a Jew girl and settled in Canada; also, limited his connect with his parents due to fear of rejection.
A surprise call from their granddaughter brought back their life, alive. Their vivid imagination of their son Alan and granddaughter instigated them to travel from far off despite their old age meld with illness.)
“The best thing in life never comes easily. I covered several miles in the journey of my life to find my own path. This path would never come to an end yet I might not be their loved one. I set my sight on this day for a decade now that I would step into the dawn of the new life, I prayed” I pondered over my thoughts.
“What If they choose not to accept me....” I felt so strange; the jumble of hope and grief confused me as I still mazed with mind games. I recalled the days; where I was, when Alen spotted me; the moment I found myself on life boat; he was the man set me on shore; my days began to sprinkle the cheerful glitters around me.
“If there would be no choice, that was the end of me?” I swore. It was the day; I met my Saviour; Alan made his way in my life.
The flash of memories passed as waves; I went through the days I committed myself indefinitely as I feared that what would happen at the end of this journey. These thoughts made me bounce; I struggled to control it, and then I surrendered as I had no choice. I am clearly bewildered on these notions.
I heard the bell struck; my thoughts were dismissed; I wiped my tears; I stared at Alan and rushed to the door; cold feeling washed over me; I opened the door as my heart started to skip the beat.
“Hel-Hello, Welcome” I greeted as I quacked in my boots with mixed emotions.
Mr. Ben nodded his head; Mrs. Ben offered a slight smile. Their eyes did not show the sense of delight; turned to search behind me where Alan and Nora stood very still and waited. Then Mrs. Ben rushed to them, as Nora bumped into her; moment of silent was followed by the wordless whoop; she offered her many hugs and kisses; indeed, it could not be expressed by words.
Mr. Ben looked at his son; grabbed his shoulders and stepped forward slowly. I started to feel all alone. Alan kept a sharp eye on me, my tears escaped from my eyes and ran down my cheeks, but I smiled back as nothing of it. Fears and worries jumbled in my thoughts, encroached the mind; asked me that who cared about me; and stirred up trouble in me.
I offered them a cup of coffee, I wished to break the ice but they did not pay me any attention. I had no chance to talk either way, frankly I was not afraid but I stuck somewhere else to start.
"Do they hate me?" my strength and smile were about to fade.
“I deserve a chance” I said to myself. I felt like they were being unfair to me.
“How’s everything?” Alan asked them.
“Well... going well for now” Mr. Ben answered.
“Hope you are a good husband and a father” Mr. Ben added.
“Yeah...hope I am good at being.... but I am sorry Dad” he said with a trembling voice.
“Oh no, it’s okay, I am your guest. Let’s get things straight” he shrugged his shoulders.
“So how are you?” Mr. Ben finally looked at me and asked.
“Yeah! I am good, thank you. Happy about you visiting us.” I rushed to catch the words.
“Yeah! finally" he told me as both of their eyes glanced at me.
“Why do they both glance at me like this? What is there in their mind?" I might search in a dictionary to define their steady glance at me.
“Are they angry at me? Are they refusing to show their anger?" I talked to myself.
“Let me take you to your room” Nora said. She cut off my thoughts.
“Come on, you too join” Alan suggested me with the token of love and affection.
I nodded my head and walked behind them. Nora grabbed her grandma’s arm as she encircled her waist and Alan grabbed his dad’s hand as his arm wrapped his son’s shoulder. I was ignored completely, no one cared for me; they walked along the way deep in conversation.
“You know how I had been longing for your love....” Nora expressed her feelings.
“I love you more than anything else in the world dear” Mrs. Ben responded with love and care.
“Why could not they be kind with me? They all remain as a close knitted family adoring each other excluding me” I said in mute; I took a deep breath; continued to move their luggage to the room.
“You kept this room neat and clean” Mrs. Ben mentioned.
“Mom made these arrangements for you since this morning,” Nora praised me.
“Good” Mrs. Ben turned to me and spoke.
“Thank you” I replied her promptly with a huge smile on my face, the neurons in my brain passed a reflex.
“So, your good name?” she added.
“Cha-Chasha” I replied in a high speed.
“Chashaaaa!!” she pronounced my name and turned to Alan.
“Yes, you said it right, Chasha” I repeated.
Their prolonged silence was intimidating, took me by storm, I was holding those tears rushing out of my eyes.
“Take rest, let us meet at dinner” Alan said; we both left the room as Mrs. Ben asked Nora to stay with her. I was happy about it.
I was squeezing both my hands with each other as his parents were in pensive silence; it caused unrest in me whilst their expression on interfaith marriage flashed in my memory.
“Don’t worry” Alan held my hand and wrapped me gently with his arms.
“It seems like this would be the realms of impossibilities. Will they accept me whole heartedly?” I murmured with tears.
“Hope your parents are orthodox type; I cannot choose my religion; it was decided by birth; I am fond of our love not the religion" I confided him.
“No, no, nothing to worry, give it a time. This is our first meeting almost after a decade” Alan comforted me with his mindful words.
“But they could accept Nora within no time” I added.
“My situation is worst” I cried. I was terribly upset and started pacing the room.
I felt like the sky above me was blank and nothing guaranteed me to carry the world of ecstasy. Anyways, this is my family, these were the relationships I had been longing for so long and finally I had them. Still, I would look forward my big day though disappointment flashed across my face; I talked to myself and then, I was busy; prepared the delicious dinner; spent my time beside Alan as I could not stay alone.
I was in keen silence with racing thoughts in my mind.
“It smells delicious!” Mrs. Ben pointed out the roast meet, Is it a complement? I asked myself. I thanked her and smiled.
After we had a big dinner, I started, “I really thought it would be a big day, but it’s difficult to gauge it” I stated in a quiet voice.
“Is it a big day for you? Mr. Ben responded swiftly. I did not expect his words so early.
“Of course, I meant it” Please pardon me, if I had not lived up to your expectations" I said in low tone due to frustration.
“No dear, please don’t....” Alan tried stopping me.
I was not in a stable mind; I would like to dissolve my problems because the pain spiraled through me. I pulled all my thoughts together that entangled in tiny bits and pieces. I decided to talk it out rather than displacing my thoughts influenced by the internal agony.
“No, let them know my circumstance, I might have perished if I had not met your son” I continued.
“I lived in an orphanage after I lost my parents due to a civil war in Germany, I could never feel the warmth of love and care from any one, believe it or not this is the truth, no longer I would exist if I missed to meet your son” I cried out in pain as Nora cuddled me.
“You may not be satisfied with my explanation, haunting memory of losing my parents in front of my eyes had embarked in my mind and caused sleepless nights even in my adulthood until I met your son. I had spent most of my young age longing for parental love and affection. By the grace of almighty I have got my parents back in my life through you, I found their love and affection in you Mr. and Mrs. Ben. My eyes have sparkled with anticipation but my fearful mind is spinning away from love. I am not ready to leave the things up in air until you let me know, are you with me?” I expressed my gusty thoughts.
“Oh! no dear, please don’t hurt yourself this much” Mrs. Ben embraced me warmly and cuddled me close.
“Thank God!” Mr. Ben exclaimed.
“Yeah! I had nurtured the dream of this day so long” I exclaimed.
“Happiness finds its way” Alan cherished.
“I am on the top of the world and the most blessed among all!” I exclaimed.