Her cold eyes engulfed me as she left, even without turning to smile or wave goodbye. Unknowingly, tears rolled down my eyes, as if I was aware of what was going to strike.
I composed myself and silently drove home as the September winds already sent chills down my spine. I had no clue what I was about to face.
When I reached home, my overly emotional family was eagerly waiting for me for the news. All I could do was hug my mom tightly and cry loudly.
After my heart lightened up a little, my mom, sister, and dad comforted me. They told me that time will heal everything.
That was the first time I had met HER. 12 years down the line, here I lay helplessly on my bed on the twentieth day of my spinal surgery. I await a single call or message from my husband's family enquiring about my health, but I know it would never happen. But the bitter coldness of HER eyes have already encapsulated my life.
It was a crime I had committed - to have come out of a joint family precisely 2 years back as I had no strength to put up with more of the misery. I had explained in detail to the main man of my life, but that was the greatest mistake. He judged the situation differently, thinking I did not like his parents or family.
I did everything possible for him and his family. Still, there came a time when I didn't feel like justifying my existence in that house anymore.
Is it a crime to accept a girl of your son's choice?
I wasn't handicapped nor incapable of looking presentable. The more accepting you are these days, the better life you live these days. Despite the separation, I did every bit of my duty. At the age of 70, you can feel for the maid working for you but not for the girl who married your son?
Never did I refrain from sending my sons to your house. I quietly sobbed alone at home on festivals and birthdays of my sons while you celebrated them with them. I was lonely at home, going mad, while my kids and husband wanted to spend the weekends with you. The love of my life had vanished, and it was literally an enemy I was living with for the last two years. I wonder if I had any inner strength to still embrace him with utmost love. He wanted you all to be there when we bought a new home, and I warmly welcomed you all over once again.
You literally said you did not want to serve me, and to cover up, I always said I'd had my dinner already so you could just feed my kids whatever. In my brief visits in the last couple of months, I have done everything to please you and make your son smile.
Now I want to ask you - why could you not accept me ever? Look, lady, the picture that your son had painted about you, you're the opposite of that. I accepted you, despite all the games you played in the initial days of our marriage. I never realized what you were doing until the way you reacted when I announced that I had conceived my first baby.
I still tried to correct my "ways" in every possible way to accommodate you and the large family, giving up on my dreams and individuality every single moment.
What strength could motherhood give you to put up with so much emotional abuse, ignorance, and hatred? Even my 14-year-old was forced to shout that I didn't belong in the family.
With your bitter coldness, you have changed my decade-old relationship that could blossom instead. Thank you.