Happily Ever After– “And they lived happily ever after.”
Grace thinks staring at her face in the jostling mirror. She likes the beginning of things.The beginning is always sweet. No matter how often she has rehearsed it in her mind she does not trust the middle. In the middle things always happen without any planning. She is determined to make the end more brighter. She believes in miracles.
In every summer breaks, Grace used to read, re-read and enjoyed each of her fairy tale books; Frog prince, Thumbelina, Rapunzel, Cinderella , Beauty and the beast, Sleeping Beauty. She carried the books in a wicker basket to the garden, sat on a cozy chair in one corner under a tree, read the books. After one or two chapters she used to close the book, tip her head, imagine herself as the main character and smile. Then on other times she went with her aunts and cousins to watch the Bollywood movies which were full of songs, dances, romance and had happy endings to them. In her youth, in spare time, she enjoyed the books on Cleopatra, Napoleon and Josephine, Odysseus and Penelope, Romeo and Juliet. All the beautiful and famous stories made her a strong believer in love, romance and a fairy tale life; a life happily ever after.
” Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.”- Voltaire
Every thing is so perfect. Grace falls in love with a very humble, kind, honest, confident individual; just like a prince from a fairy tale. She loves the ground under his feet, air over his head and everything he touches and every word he says. Her love bounces and touches each other.They sit in the garden chairs and read to each other Elizabeth Browning’s’Sonnet 43′, E.E.Cunning’s’ I carry your heart with me’ or ‘Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116’. Grace sits there with her right cheek resting on the palm of her hand, head tilts slightly, listening and offering the rarest of gift; her unequivocal attention. It has been amazing thirty-two years. But the life is not a fairy tale. In the beginning somehow everything seem possible, fair and right. Grace looks down and sighs. It starts slowly and creeps into their life, step by step, in a procession without any notice; small arguments, false promises, lack of time for each other. Her lips flutters, her carefully tended eyebrows draw together. Grace blinks her eyes, a few drops of tears gather and fall.
But she is determined and positive. She has to keep her promise to herself to always smile and make others happy. She brushes a loose strand of hair behind her ear. Grace decides to be more supportive, more patient, more appreciative for little things in life, to forget and forgive some aspect of problems so that they can build up their trust again. From the doorway she watches her husband. From this angle his face is obscured by a baseball cap and sun-glass. He is busy in re-potting the purple passion plant and the jasmine to a larger pot. Both of them need each other’s company and affection. Grace remembers the line of Jennifer Smith that, “ Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Millions of tiny moments that create your love story.” She relaxes her shoulder, a tentative smile plays around her mouth and brings a rosy glow to her skin. Grace knows that her husband is like a geode plain on the outside and gorgeous in the inside. She walks into the kitchen, makes her husband’s favorite Rooibos tea and pours them into the mismatched tea cups. She arranges the tea cups on a white tray and sales out the door into the back yard, to the garden.