Chapter 7

Twain adjusts with me, quite well. In mornings when I am out at work, the lazy cat snoozes in a patch of sunlight on the kitchen floor. In evenings he sits with me as I fix dinner, telling him about my day, meows at the appropriate places and sometimes rubs against my legs or gives me gentle head bumps. On days, when I find the strength to pick up the phone and talk to Jenna during the dreary evenings, he jumps up in my lap and playfully bites my fingers until I scratch around his ear and pet his head. A few more months pass, picking up pace and I am often left to wonder what I would do without Twain and without the sweet little paws even though the darling is a downright demon but an adorable one at that and I can’t imagine a life without him.

The days creep by, and life does not change much except with Twain, it is easier on the tough days. Mom and Dad stop by the house almost every week, with baked goods and my mom’s exquisite cooking but as July begins and Eva’s death anniversary approaches, I find the days getting darker on me once again. An year has passed since Eva left. And yet I am alive. Is this what ‘till death do us part’ means? Did a couple and their love end with death? As usual I do not have any answers. But I do miss Eva extremely much.

I miss our long walks around the woods, and the incredible plans we had for the future. I miss the small picnics, the drives outside of town. Sitting under the skies, with a thousand stars witnessing us, talk all night long and laugh, and just… live. Everything with Eva had been so simple, and I loved her enthusiasm for the tiny things in life. We could do small things together like wash the car, or cook dinner and have it feel like the most important thing in the world. I had never even realized all that my happiness was, had slowly and gradually morphed into things that made Eva happy. Every day I would wake up thinking I couldn’t love her any more than I already did but time only did more to strengthen our love. We were blissful together and life couldn’t have been better. The more time passed after marriage, the more I realized. Eva was not just the love of my life; she was also my comfort, my confidence, my smile and my peace. In short, pretty much my everything. So missing her like the devil is inevitable and quite frankly beyond my control.

But I cannot deny the fact that I have still somehow come a long way from where I once began. The days immediately after Eva’s death had felt like being trapped in a living grave. I couldn’t breathe or move and the pain would just not stop. I had even considered taking my own life quite a few times but something had always held me back. And now here I am, a year from where I had begun, not so long ago, and yet still breathing, still alive.

The pain will never completely stop but perhaps slowly, I will learn to live with it, like I am learning to now. It would get easier and eventually maybe the pain would stop too. But for now, I am just trying to make it, one day at a time.

On the eve of 16th July 2011, I once again resort to my monthly rite of Chinese food and fortune cookies. They have helped me a great deal in the past few months and have contributed a great deal to my healing. I break it open impatiently and the fortune falls out.

'You’re doing well, love the new look'

The fortune slips out of my hands fluttering to the floor as I take a step back, a shiver running down my back. I am doing better. The new look? I had just gone out shopping the day before and bought some new clothes and had gotten a haircut almost about the first time since Eva’s passing.

Is this someone’s idea of a cruel joke? Or was Eva actually trying to contact me beyond the grave? I do not know. Needless to say, I get very little sleep at night. I decide to visit The Chinese Palace the next day, and ask them questions about these fortune cookies.

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