‘Patrick Nicholas Auben do you take Stella Jerome Kaye as your beloved, your other half, your wife?’
‘I do’, said Patrick
‘And Stella what about you?’
‘I do. I will always do.’
Such was the love and faith that both had in each other. Stella did not even wait for the priest to complete before saying I do. But all this was three years ago. Stella could hardly forget Patrick’s voice. It was with her. She could hear it again and again. She just had to wait now for Patrick’s letter from the frontier.
‘Very strange she didn’t even realise that she is pregnant. Couldn’t she feel the change?,’ asked the doctor.
I do, I do! Stella suddenly realised that she was with her mother and her gynaecologist.
‘Mum I have to go, I can’t have this child, I must talk to Pat.’
Relax dear, and do not fret. There’s developing news form the army head quarters, Pat would be shuffled.’
Patrick was on the war front, and Stella in his thoughts She had not even known that she had entered the first trimester, until her mother and her maid realised. She had always stood for her love.
‘It doesn’t matter if you are a Syrian Christian and I a Roman Catholic. Love sees no limitations. The chosen ones get an opportunity to live, to love and we are one of them, Stella.’
‘But where is love? I don’t see love anywhere Patrick. I find it nowhere.’
‘I see it in your search, I see it in your eyes and I see it in your belief. Your belief to prove that love is non-existent, proves that love never stays, forever just like a scent that cannot be seen but can surely be felt.’
Stella had ultimately found love. But she wanted to know how well did Pat love her.
‘I’ve been to different countries and continents and I used to wonder how would I relate to diverse people? After knowing their ways I realised I was too small to teach them co-existence, harmony and love. They once gave me a piece of bread. I couldn’t eat it properly, as I found a few black spots that the earthen oven had left behind. I did not savour the meal rather, I tried to remove them. In this way I lost an opportunity to enjoy a fresh and hot meal, as I magnified a small issue and never gave that up till I realised the mealtime was over.
She was up and awake now. Memories held her tight, she had to write to Patrick. Thuraya, gprs, satellite was everything useless now, a mockery of modernity. The remote country could not receive the Sat signals.
‘Mrs. Kaye, Stella’s case is getting complicated. She is still bleeding. We hope there’s no need for an abortion, but we fear we must give it a try or it would be too late. The foetus seems to be not implanted in the uterine wall. To be honest it is an ectopic pregnancy and it is not an easy one’, said the doctor.
Stella waited for Patrick’s reply. She wanted to have Patrick’s child, was he aware too?
A letter followed…
‘Dearest love, the day was as usual we had to roam around the town, another step as a confidence building measure for civilians. We still, are unable to win their trust. I had salmon and sandwiches but miss the turkey dearly. I can’t say when I will be “there” for you and our child. But a little bit of me is always in you. Lots of love…for us.’
Tring Tring Tring Tring Tring Tring Tring
‘Stella? Can I come over darling?’
‘I am absolutely fine mum; though I have a back ache and little morning sickness. Please do not worry. Bye bye.’
‘What’s wrong with this girl? She was so sweet and meek before her marriage. And now she is not ready to listen. Jerome, please ask your daughter to take care, please.’
‘Hermoine, she is growing dear. She is strong and she will be fine. My only worry is Pat not being around.’
‘Pat was to be shuffled, isn’t it?’
Another letter followed…
‘My love, the peace process is very fragile and the bombardments are an every day affair. i am fine and so are my colleagues. lots of love to you and our child.
And another one…
‘My love I know you would need me, there are others who can very well take my place in your life but I would not like to betray anyone right now. For you and for you’re my land, I can give my life again and again.
‘But what about us, you have already proved yourself. You have been to many war fronts. You have negotiated in the peace process of Africa well. Why again? Why there? Why now?’
Stella was right. She had waited for two years for marriage. And soon followed another parting. It was difficult for Stella to forget those moments when she actually started living.
She was re-reading the lines that were imprinted on torn piece of paper. The words in her mind. . Love understands love. Yes, it does but there are times, when you think your minstrel heart finds no resort.
‘Madam, your soup.’
‘I am sorry, love but I want to say that I love thudd! thaar! The dark silence arrives now. Aee-ooww, aee-ooww. I can barely see anything yet i managed to d/scribble a word or two. For
Nurse quickly come here! Its critical, no not second trimester….
‘Mum, those sirens and cries. What are they?’
‘Nothing darling, Pat’s letter…’
‘Congratulations, Mrs Kaye the twins are fine!
Dearest gal, friend, wife and mother.I know uncertainty kills but our life like a pendulum, sometimes belongs neither here nor there. Till the time this letter reaches you, perhaps I may not…
‘Stella, Stella, my darling you…’
‘I am sorry Mrs Kaye.’