Mona looked outside. She and her twin sister
Dona were on Don Valley Parkway in Toronto, Ontario. It was bright and sunny
outside. Just bright and sunny enough to keep mild autumnal chill at bay. Maple
and other deciduous trees bled in all possible shades of blood. But they had
yet not shed most of their foliage. Individual leaves seemed unsure and
hesitated before breaking the bond and take the final plunge. The entire valley
looked crimson like the open heart of a patient at Toronto General Hospital
where Mona worked as a nurse. It was the time when a sweet melancholy descends
on the heart like fluttering dry leaves. One wants to leave behind all the cares
and snares of life and walk hand-in-hand, quite quiet, with one?s soul mate,
under the caressing sun on a dusty forest path strewn with dry crumbling leaves.
Mona felt suffocated in the car. She wanted to
be out in the sun, under the clear sky, bare feet, feeling the gently yielding
soft cushion of freshly fallen yet not crumble-dry leaves under her feet. She
did not belong to this car. It was unfair to keep her here. It was still unfair
to not let know the world and the family that she did not belong to them. Even
it was unfair that her husband Harry was so loving and considerate and she doted
on her two children. If it were not so, it would have been easy for her to
decide. Perhaps decided she was. She was only hesitating to gently let go the
twig and together with another leaf which came her way from nowhere waltz down
on the hammock of cool breeze awash in golden sunshine. It would be a short
time before they fell down to earth and perished with other leaves. But it was
enough. It was necessary. She had stopped to try to understand how and why
this happened to her. But she would not like John to ?unhappen' to her. At any
cost. Without knowing it she opened the door of the car.
Dona whispered in alarm without raising her
voice or taking off her eyes from the road, ?What are you doing!?
Blushing, Mona murmured, ?Sorry. I didn't
realize what I was doing.?
Now-a-days she did not know what she was doing.
She was living as if in a trance. She was doing all her household duties like a
robot?without thinking or realizing. Her thoughts were always hovering around
John. Her brain was busy in finding new ways to meet or talk to him. But meeting
or talking was not the solution. She wanted to be with him all the time!
?How could you ever leave poor Harry and
darling Mellisa and Anthony? How would they survive?? said Dona, as if all along
they were discussing this subject only.
?That's what bugs me. That's what's so
unthinkable and painful!?
?I'm so busy with my husband and daughters that
I don't have time to even die. They are so dependent on me that I cannot imagine
they can survive even one day without me. If God tells me at this moment, 'Dona,
your time is up,' I will have to tell Him, 'OK, Boss. But not so abruptly.
Please give me some notice period. I want at least one year to prepare my family
to survive without me.' At the end of one year, I may be again asking for more
?I know. I used to feel the same way. I used to
think that I'm the happiest married woman on the earth. My life was so complete.
Amongst my office colleagues, they cite our example when they talk of
made-for-each-other couple and stable marriage. In fact, they joke about us that
we are mad-for-each-other. I used to think that marital disharmony and divorces
are for others. They happen to others. Like accidents.?
?Then what has come over you, Mona??
?I dunno. I still love Harry and children. I
even don't know much about John. We came from Europe; he from Australia.
Yet.... It's so difficult to explain. It seems that I have known John all my
life. May be all my previous lives too. You know what I mean. It seems that all
my life was just a preparation for this moment. All what happened to me, what I
did, all was just to lead me inexorably to this encounter with John. This was
bound to happen; this was inescapable, inevitable, and ineluctable. At hospital
some patients suddenly die?without any good reason. We, for want of any good
name, call them, ?IWIK? cases?I Wish I Knew. I don't know how I lived without
John. How I considered myself supremely happy. How I didn't know that I was
living for him! Suddenly my husband of fifteen years doesn't mean anything to
me! My two children hardly count! No, no, they are always in my heart. But they
will survive. They will grow into fine young lady and gentleman. I am ashamed of
even thinking like this. It seems shameful and selfish. May be I will suffer for
my sin, if it is that.?
had gone to attend a church wedding of a distant relative from France. When the
guests knew that they were identical twin sisters they started talking of twins
and how similar they could be in looks and manners. Some said their emotions and
feelings also are the same. Mona always wondered, as did Dona too, how come
these people talk so much on the subject of twins when they themselves were not
being allowed to say anything at all! Similarly, now-a-days, when she heard them
talking of love, she wanted to cry, 'Shut up, stupid women! What do you know of
love?' But they never shut up. They talk and talk, and write books and make
films. Without knowing anything!
There was a guest who had come from France to
attend the marriage. She said, ?Have you heard the latest news from Finland? It
just happened last week. This is sort of first of its kind. Two Finnish
identical twin brothers, aged 71, were killed the same day in identical bicycle
accidents. One twin was hit by a truck and killed while out cycling early on
Tuesday in the first week of March on the west coast of Finland.
Before police could identify the body and
inform family members, his brother was killed on his bicycle by a second truck a
kilometer down the road.?
They started discussing similar cases. Mona and
Dona had heard all of them scores of times though this Finland one was new. They
excused themselves early.
Mona glanced in despair at Dona. Dona had fixed
her eyes on the road ahead. Dona was very careful driver. In fact, she was the
designated family driver. They both became eligible for the driving license the
same day. But Dona went ahead and got it. Mona delayed. It became established
practice of the family that whenever Dona was in the car she would drive the
family. Mona suddenly realized how beautiful Dona was. Even after two children.
Her light blue eyes were perfect foil to her peach face. Her shoulder length
blond hair encircled her oval face like a dark halo. Dona too had once long
hip-length hair. One day, within six month of their coming to Canada, a boy
kissed her in school. It was Dona's first full kiss on the mouth. Unfortunately,
the boy whispered, 'Mona, I love you!' Dona slapped the boy, wept bitterly, and
then and there cut her hair. Their mother ranted and wept and threatened, but
they did not tell why she had cut her hair. Dona looked exquisite in her short
hair. She recalled that while in college they had been jointly (what they called
?twinly?) declared beauty queen of their city. Before marriage Dona had no
dearth of boy friends. Mona remained more or less aloof.
Mona squeezed Dona's right hand and raised it
to her mouth and kissed it. Their eyes met in the mirror. Dona smiled and said,
?Those were good days, n?est pas??
Mona said, ?As twins we not only look alike,
our lives also have moved parallel to each other. We desperately fell in love
with boys more or less having same height and built and manners. We married
within the same month, had children approximately at the same time, and live and
work in the same locality. However, it seems that the similarities have ended
there.? She wanted to add, ?You will remain faithful to ?till death doth part
us?; I have to leave but have no idea how and when.?
Dona momentarily withdrew her gaze from the
road and fixed it on Mona. ?Exactly, when we had everything more or less the
same, then how come you alone fall in love? How can you leave your family when I
will always remain with mine??
Both fell silent. Mona?s eyes wandered over
the canopy of crimson over Don Valley while Dona fixed her eyes on the road.
[THE END! No, of course not! There is some more to come. If I were a shrewd businessman I would have stopped here and either compelled you to become a paid member or asked you to buy the story. I would not do anything of that sort. Only I would request you to become a free member of The Life Beautiful! Please go to Home page and become a member and come back to read the end of the story. Done? Yes. Go ahead. No. Well, still go ahead
[Read about and Order Accidental Love]