A Wife’s Last Gift

Ram wanted to tell Fritha that their relationship was no longer working for him and that he already found someone new. But how to tell her?  Will she understand?  Furthermore, will she ever forgive him for being unfaithful after he has promised that there will be no one else in his heart, but Fritha alone?  Then he asked himself, “How can I abandon her when she needs me the most?  I can’t leave her like this.  But I love Neha, and Neha loves me.”


          He remembered the day he met Neha.  He was going to the pharmacy to buy some medicines that Fritha needs.  Neha, on her way out of the door, bumped into him, which sent the things she bought flying.  Out came the snacks and vitamins, the latest Vogue magazine, and the pregnancy kit.  Embarrassed, she knelt down and began gathering them quickly.  Ram also knelt down and helped her gather the items.  Their hands touched accidentally as they both reached for the pregnancy kit.  He withdrew his hand and looked into her face quickly, surprised to see tears gathering in her eyes.  Then his surprise turned to shock as more tears came that finally she was crying earnestly.  He helped her stand up and said when he saw the crowd gathering and staring at them, “Do you want to go to that mini-restaurant across the street where you could have some privacy?”


          Neha nodded meekly and allowed him to lead her across the street.  She didn’t know what came over her, but she began to tell him her whole story, how her boyfriend dumped her when she told him she thinks she might be pregnant with his child.  Then he also told her his story, about Fritha, how much he loves his wife.


From then on, they became good friends and trusted confidants.  And then friendship blossomed into romance until they found themselves in each other’s arms one night, kissing like they’ve always been lovers.  They kept their relationship to themselves, but Ram’s guilt kept niggling at him.  Fritha, it says constantly.  What about Fritha?


Now, as he looks down on the bed where his wife rests, he cried out, “Tell me what to do, Fritha?  I love you so much, but I can’t bear this anymore!”


As if answering his heartfelt question, the machine that monitors Fritha’s heart suddenly flat-lined, loud beeping came out of it.  Doctors pushed him aside as they begin to resuscitate Fritha, but Fritha finally let go of the tentative hold she has on life.


Fritha, till her last dying breath, loved her husband enough to let him go on with his life, guilt-free to be with the woman he now loves.  At least, she can go to her death knowing that somebody will take care of her husband now that she’s gone.


“Free.  You’re free to love,” Ram heard the whispered words in the wind as Fritha finally rests forever with a smile on her peaceful face.          


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