The grey dawn paved the way to a rosy morning as the light creeping through the windows touched Frank’s face. Shuffling from the creaky bed, his head and spine drooping as he seated himself on the edge, Frank let out a large yawn, trying to soak in the morning light of the day. Outside the birds, chirruping their daily melodies, seem to sparkle up a life in the dying garden.
Beside him was his wife huddled in the cushions and the blanket, still deep in her sleep, unaware of the light creeping up on her face by now.
Moved by the calm atmosphere that reigned, the innocence of the scene in front, Frank couldn’t help but to smile to himself.
Looking at his grown-up cherub, her wispy white curls sprawled on her fair forehead; the world seemed so angelic each moment he stares at her sleeping face; the every day mundane problems vanishing into thin air, the memories of their young days, those long drives in the highways, the wine glasses they clanked in their Saturday picnics near the cliffs, all of those reviving again.
And then all of a sudden, out of the blue, kicked in the present scenario, just like reality tries to break the castle of your daydreams.
The reality that rang like the morning bell of the church nearby. Chronic depression it was. The anti-hero straining the moments they shared, the marriage that tied, the future they envisaged. And even though, depression could have been the villain, the antagonist painted in all of the wrong, depressing, melancholic colours but it wasn’t. It couldn’t be.
For all the time Frank has been frustruted at her fatigued soul, fed up of the daily chores, the everyday chaperoning of his wife, a tiresome job he found himself into, the more his heart liquified.
The young love, the joys of it, all the memories recollected flooded inside him. He felt in in the core of his heart; no matter how many tragedies that could appear, it falls short when juxtaposed to all the troubles that they have weathered through their strong 30 years of togetherness.
Yards away, the misty morning shroud unveiled, brightening to a blue-skied morning now.
Straightening up from the bed, Frank ambled towards the kitchen to make the morning cup of tea for both. Bending and raising, rummaging through all the heaps of packets in the drawers, the jars on the slabs, he was struck with a sudden realisation that he was running out of tea bags since yesterday.
“Love,” Frank called to his wife, who has now woken up, her wide eyes afixed to the ceiling. “I guess we shall have to take a walk today for a morning tea. You up?” A question met by a grunt, with no further reply.
A few minutes later, donned in the plain grey clothes, the old couple stepped out of the house; Frank’s hand gripped around Ana’s as if a tragedy may be looming in any second and he couldn’t afford to make it happen. Even though, he knew those tragedies, those explosions of melancholy inside her will remain unuttered no matter.
On their way, right beside the road, the Alabama Heartland, a small park in the neighbourhood stood, its banner draped by a bougainvillea arch. The blooming pink flowers curved like a bow of mini bursts of colours catching Frank’s eye as he stopped midway, marveling at it.
He asked, turning to his wife, whose uninterested eyes set straight forward on the road, “Mind strolling for a bit, Ana?” A big wide smile cropped up on Frank’s face, “We’ll kind of have our morning walk by today.”
Reckoning her uninterested ” Yeah, alright”, the old woman accompained by her husband walked quitely, each in their own headspace, to the path leading to the central lake, all the while the husband just beaming to himself, looking around glancing at the young lovers on the park benches, the kids scampering around, the loners invested in thier gadgets.
And, of course the doves on the willow tree.
How would he forget them? The daily spectacle of the Alabama Heartland’s , the birds branching on the willow tree every morning, flying farway to some distant lands at 7 a.m somewhat, in a harmonious symmetry, but unfailing for their theatrical show every morning, as if it had morphed into a ritual of theirs to present itself by the wee hours.
“Oh, the doves!” pointed Ana, with amusement in her eyes. Frank, suddenly taken aback, looked at her in surprise, “Ahah! You remember them?”
Continued here: Love, It Is