Chapter 5

As October rolls around this year, with the clouds hanging in the sky only increasing every day, my mood which has only just started to get better dampens again. My engagement anniversary is approaching fast and I have no idea how I am going to face it all alone. We had always made a great deal out of those dates, sometimes we would go out to a fancy dinner or if it fell on a weekend, I’d splurge and take her to a ball in Miami. It was the things like these which kept us strong after all these years together. It had been the happiest few years of my life. But that was all over.

On the night of our anniversary which conveniently falls on a Saturday this year, I sit in our room and take out all our pictures and the keepsakes we had collected of the years past and spend the entire day drowned in tears and memories. Any progress I have made towards feeling human again in the past three months seems to drift out in the open sea as I sit there holding a picture from our engagement and tracing Eva’s features with my fingers. I still can’t believe she is gone.

I think back to the first year after our marriage. It had gone in a blur. We had rented a cozy little condo close from home, so we could visit often, since Mom and dad adored my darling little wife and she had become a daughter to them. Our house was small but tasteful and Eva decorated the place with her elegiac taste in furniture and things. Both of us were busy with work but would always find time to connect at the end of the day. I would complete all home assignments before 6 and Eva would whip up a mean hot cocoa and we would sit together talking about our day. Sometimes, when she was in a particularly good mood, she would read out to me, a hobby I had never been able to pick up myself. Reading bored me and tired me out like nothing else. But I loved hearing and watching her read. Head in my lap and a book propped on her knees, she would begin and I would fall in love with her all over again. There was just something about her facial expressions and the radiant glow on her slightly tan skin as she read, that was mesmerizing to watch. She would also do different accents of the different characters she read out. It was fun and always a treat to watch her read and somehow siphoned the exhaustion right out of my day.

As the room gets darker and darker and twilight falls outside our window, I break out of my reverie and clutching one of her custom cushions to my chest, I sit there in the dark, thinking about her. And then I find myself ordering Chinese food again. The tradition which I had been so keen to break only months before, now seemed like a lifeline I cling to in my most desperate moments. It is like holding a piece of Eva in my hands and I am frantic to never let go.

The food is delivered and I pay the boy a hefty tip, something Eva would have done on the eve of an important day. Not bothering with the rest of the food I quickly rummage for the fortune cookie and crack it open.

'Welcome the clouds in your life, rain will soothe your heart'

Another cookie, another message. Completely fitting my current scenario. The clouds I now hate, and yet here they are. Once again I am left speechless. I have no answers but apparently, the cookie always does. Always.

Has Eva somehow arranged for me to receive these messages? Had she known something would happen to her and I would need her support to get back to life? Was it even possible? After hours of thinking up possible set-ups in my mind, I rule them all out and once again decided that it was just a coincidence. A one in a million chance perhaps, but a chance nonetheless. I had never been the kind to believe in fate so it was just another turn of haphazard events with no true meaning at all.

And so October passes, the clouds, gloomier every day, but I do not complain and sit quietly through the days when thunderstorms litter the sky and the rain falls heavy, waiting for it to fall on my barren heart and perhaps soothe the throbbing inside.

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