Liana telling the story in a nutshell

Love is the twin of a beautiful dream that survives birth to reality; but my love was a reality that survived arduous parturition only to remain a beautiful dream

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May 18, 2008

71. "Say it for God's Sake, Say it" Part XVI

Despite its enfeebling blow, the encounter with mum seemed to have unencumbered me of the abominable sense of guilt that had been beleaguering me for the past few months for hiding the secret of my romance with Martin from my parents. And despite the worrisome uncertainty of my parents’ reaction, I drifted into a tranquil and peaceful sleep the moment my head touched the pillow, totally oblivious of the roughshod treatment that Martin was designing for me, and which was going to make everything else seem relatively light and bearable.

Having brought the interrogation to a close, mum was anxious to take me home, but I escaped her persistence by claiming exhaustion and fatigue. Dina supported my excuses, sparing me yet another weighty encounter, this time with my dad, which I, given the already charged situation, was desperate to put off as long as I could.

Mum, anyhow, left tight-lipped. And from the little she had breathed, I gathered that she was going to discuss the matter in depth with dad. Mum’s conservative stance and her conspicuous reluctance to reveal her feelings about what she had heard of the romance was pretty much understandable, particularly at this point, where things had reached such a critically decisive point.
I set off for work the next morning tingling with excitement, as I took pleasure in savoring my anticipation of a grand dream about to materialize. Martin and I were getting closer towards achieving family recognition, and possibly acceptance, as a couple in love.

I sat restlessly behind my desk, waiting impatiently, but the man I was preparing to fight the whole world for finally showed up as late as ten. And much to my surprise, he stepped over directly to Tom’s office, and sat there with an air of unwonted indifference.

The lengthy session between the two men lasted for over an hour, and was punctuated by a couple of visits that he made to the coffee machine, both of which were concluded with him not casting the merest look to my side. The mantle of normalcy that I was endeavoring hard to assume was worn thin with rage at the disregard and neglect that was piercing my femininity.

The offices quieted down some time later; mine, in particular, was wholly deserted when the last of the advisors left for the headquarters. I could sense my ears and face blazing up with my mounting rage. Avoiding looking at the other side seemed like a wiser alternative. So I grabbed my papers and opted for the farthest desk in the rear of the office. I turned my chair, and sat with my back designedly facing the door, hoping to derive some oblivion from my papers.

My bruised feminine ego was engaged in fighting back some hot burning tears when I flinched at a hand touching tenderly my shoulder. I turned to see him standing behind me, a little to the right, smiling, while his eyes screaming, as ever, their love out. “How’re you?” and a couple of other insipid statements were all he said, after which he just turned and left the office with the same nonchalance with which he had entered, and vanished for the rest of the day.

The harshness of the situation just blew me out of the water, and the whole world around me began crumbling. The air seemed to have suddenly died, and the shock that tightened its grip crushingly around my throat was getting yet tighter. I felt like plunging into deep water, seemingly losing consciousness, momentarily. Fury, my guardian angel, who must have been witnessing the cold encounter from the other side of the window panel, appeared to have landed in my office in a flash. When I came to, I sensed her hands patting my face, ostensibly, trying to revive me. She flew to the water cooler, and returned with a cup of water. I downed one, and asked for another; my whole body seemed to have wholly dried out. “What happened?” Fury asked. But I couldn’t talk; words were beyond me.

Right until this day I don’t really know how I finally managed to get back home. Dina fell into an extreme rage upon seeing my appalling looks. “What’s this man done to you?” she screamed scolding me. “Are you insane, or stupid, or what Liana? What’re you doing to yourself for God’s sake? Look at you. You look like a dead body that’s been just pulled out of the grave. What would the people at work, who must have seen you in this condition, be saying about you now? Don’t you care about your reputation? Don’t you care about your parents’ reputation? What’s got into you, girl?

I didn’t have the least interest in talking, or arguing, or even justifying my appearance. I just dragged myself silently to bed, hoping to sleep off my anguish, my worries and, above all, the painful numbness that the shocking event had spawned. But the extreme mental and physical fatigue forked me up to a fitful sleep that was pregnant with hellish nightmares. Martin’s indifference alone would have sufficed to knock me off balance, but the problem was that the matter was no longer something just between him and me, now that both my parents had got wind of the romance. The awkwardness of the situation placed me between the rock of Martin’s abrupt and inexplicable transformation, and the hard place of my parents’ knowledge about our romance. Everything around me seemed to have keeled over. I was befuddled, and my mind utterly paralyzed. Through the night, I shuttled between nightmares that occupied my sleep and the torment of wakeful reality in which I cried my eyes out.

The very little remaining judgment that I still possessed helped me drag my debilitated body out of bed in the morning; I was determined to get back to work and figure out what lay behind Martin’s behavior. Dina flew into another bout of rage on seeing me getting down the stairs, ready to leave. I must have really looked terribly awful, for Fury followed suit, and took me to task as well. But I brushed them both off.

Despite the phony smile that I endeavored hard to wear, my appearance drew from my work colleagues repeated enquiries after my state of health and well-being. Jack and the rest of the guys followed with similar questions. Jack even suggested that I take a day or two off. But I reassured him that my malady was nothing more than the insomnia that had hit me the previous night for no apparent reason.

The fraught weight extended to nearly mid-day this time. I was at the photocopier room when he stepped in with his cup of coffee. He must have seen the outcome of his indifferent cruelty drawn evidently on my face. He continued to demonstrate the same torturing apathy, this time graced with a slightly warmer smile. My instinct, however, detected interlaced there something subtle, something that my jumbled thoughts and confused emotions couldn’t really figure out, or catch. Following a few perfunctory remarks, he left, only to disappear again for the rest of the day, leaving me a prey to anguish and disarray.

This tormenting attitude went on for about a whole week. I was melting down like a burning candle, shedding weight and getting paler. My parents’ pressure to get me out of my “hiding place” at Dina’s further exacerbated my quandary. “Just come back for a day or two, and you can always get back anytime you want,” Mum would suggest attempting a lenient approach that would usually follow upon a stricter request. “Your dad and I need to discuss the matter with you.” No need to mention that my parents could have always forced me to get back, or alternately come over to my grandpa’s house to have this discussion. But despite mum’s urging, she and dad must have realized, they being my parents, that after her “confession”, their Liana needed some time away to cope with her inherent shyness in facing them regarding the matter of something as private as her love for Martin.

Dina and Fury, trying to alleviate the situation, suggested various reasons that they thought might lie behind Martin’s transformation, none of which, of course, remotely touched upon the possibility that I was being taught how to give a loud tongue to my feelings and emotions. I, on the other hand, was engrossed in reckoning another possibility: Martin was having a reversal of feelings. Quite often I heard that men change heart easier than changing their clothes," I thought, "So many girlfriends came out of love relationships broken-hearted. Why should I be any different? All this time I thought he loved me. But what do I know of men? This, after all, is my first experience of loving a man. How do I know he wasn’t faking love all this while? And besides, why would he need a naïve, shy, and inexperienced wife? Cherchez la femme was yet another axis around which my mind kept rotating, "Perhaps there’s another woman back home to whom he has decided to return, someone who’s not as inexperienced and green as I am. "

Stewing and simmering in speculation, I was aware of another anxiety. Martin, like any other departing advisor, would usually have only two weeks to finalize his departing formalities. One week had already lapsed.



AGA said...

I know I'm selfish, but this "to be continued, hopefully soon" business is going to be the death of me. :)

eda said...




網頁設計 said...

hooray, your writings on theater and writing much missed!

網站設計 said...

hooray, your writings on theater and writing much missed!