I never wanted to hurt her
and provide her with any pain but it was necessary at that time. She left
the room and ran. I could still feel her tears on my shoulders. Wanted to
hold her but sometimes we need to figure out things ourselves and Ryan had
to fight this on her own and get the best out of it.
It was never easy to raise Ryan all by myself after the death of my wife
Steffi when she was just 22. I was 24 at that time with a good job, ample
money but this is the time when you need someone to stand by you during
your hard times and to celebrate with you your achievements. I had my
daughter, my few days old daughter by me. The ways in which I was going to
take my life was going to affect her too. I had no time to morn for
Steffiís death or to get confused about my life without her presence.
I had a life to take care
of and not easy though, I decided to leave my past behind and fight
against all the odds in order to give my daughter a perfect world which
would be full of happiness and joy. The few things which remained away
from her mother and me. I belong to a very orthodox family where the elders have all the rights to
take all the vital decisions for the younger. Steffi was raised in an
orphan and she had no information about her parents. We met each other
through a common friend and soon fell in love. My parents were not happy
with my decision of marrying Steffi so I had to opt Steffi out of Steffi
and my parents. One day I just packed my bags and left for Steffiís room.
We got married. She was 20 at that time. We were very happy, the same
happy feeling when you follow your heart and donít let your brainís or
otherís brainís reasoning rule your actions. It seemed as if we were
victorious in a war. We never knew that a much bigger fight was waiting
for us. Soon we realized that love was not enough to support each other. We needed
money. I was in final semester of my engineering degree. Steffi had just
started her college. It was completely her decision to take up job and
discontinue her studies so that we could manage our household and I could
continue my studies which would get over in a period of 4 months. She
started as a receptionist in a telecom industry but her earnings were not
enough for both of us. So I decided to take up some part job apart from my
studies. I joined a call centre with flexible timings so that I could give
time to my college too.
We met twice a day. Once during morning breakfast and the other during
dinner which we usually had around 2:00 a.m. after I returned from my
night shift. We never had enough time together but it didnít affect our
feelings for each other. We never lost connection. Just a look managed to
make each other feel better. This was the time when I learned how to read
Steffiís face and eyes. They were so transparent and beautiful that
everything which bothered her appeared to me through her expressions or
through her eyes. We woke up early in the morning. Most of the times I was
the first to rise because of the college assignments I had to finish. For
sometimes I kept on looking at her face. It seemed to be so peaceful and
calm. The best thing I could ever see in my life was Steffiís face when
she was asleep. Whole world seemed to be so beautiful at that time. During
my classes or at work whenever I felt stressed out, I used to sit silently
and visualize her face. It provided me strength and peace after which I
was able to concentrate at my work.
This continued till I finished my college and got employed by a
multinational company with a handsome salary. Steffi had to work no
longer. She started with her studies apart from taking care of our home.
Now we lived in a fully furnished rented house. There was no scarcity of
money now. We had all but still we didnít have much time to spend
together. I got busy with my work and she with her studies. The face
reading and eye reading still helped me to know Steffiís feelings. For
sure we took out some time to celebrate special occasions and sometimes
for vacations too.
I remember it was 22nd May, our first anniversary and my birthday. We both
were not fond of grand celebrations so we liked to spend our days together
in our house with each other talking and listening to music. That day
after dinner we sat with a glass of wine each and Bruce Springsteenís
record playing. I don`t remember exactly but may be the song playing at
that time was ďmy hometownĒ when Steffi told me that she was pregnant. I
know the reactions that I gave were not expected by her or even canít be
expected by any to be mother. I panicked up. I didnít want a child so
early and then when we had just settled and still barely had time for each
other. I wanted her to get the baby aborted. Steffi again didnít say
anything but at that time her eyes didnít only speak but they screamed
using the tears that rolled down. She was hurt. No mother wants a word
against her child and it was easy for me to talk about killing my child
but very difficult for her to even hear that. I realized my mistake but
the bullet was fired. No one can take back oneís said words. The words
which I had spoken without giving much thought had done the job. There was
a strong bond between me and Steffi which was tied by a very week thread.
It was the bond of trust. She no more trusted me. She started thinking
that if I could be so rude to my own child then I could be no better to
her too. She became insecure about her and her child.
Once in my life when I thought that everything was moving fine and I had
no more wars to face, life played a game and I the one to start it and I
was going to be the one to lose it too. The little time we got were spent
in arguments now. We stopped even looking towards each other. I knew I had
to take some steps to improve the messed up situations cause I was at
fault but again the most common evil ďegoĒ played its part here too. I
started spending most of my time in office. During those days I tried to
remember Steffiís peaceful face too but of no use.
Steffi was 8 months pregnant. She needed me but I wasnít there for her. I
was aware of it and the feeling kept killing me so I decided to take leave
from my office for some days to be with her.
It was Friday, the day when I was going to complete the project I was
working on. After that I had applied for ten days leave to take care of my
wife and my leave was sanctioned too. In the evening while returning home
I bought a beautiful red rose for Steffi. It was one of the red roses
which helped me propose her for marriage and with the other I thought I
could mend the patches that were created in our relation.
When I entered our house I found I note there. It was from my mother.
First I was surprised to see my motherís writing in my house but when I
read the contents of the letter I had no time react to it. Steffi was in
hospital and her condition was serious. Throughout my drive to the
hospital I kept on thinking about what could have happened to her. May be
due to pregnancy at a very early age or something like that.
My mother was standing outside the I.C.U. I was not allowed to enter the
room where my wife was fighting for her life. I just had a glimpse of her
through the glass walls. Her face had the same serenity as it always had
while she slept. I sat on the bench. My mom sat beside me. She was called
by my doctor to my house as Steffi was not doing fine and I was
unapproachable. She along with the doctor, who was called by Steffi when
she found that something was wrong with her, took Steffi to the hospital.
Mom told me that Steffi was taking cocaine. I was startled. No words
flowed out of my mouth. She unable to bear the loneliness. The whole
picture was clear in front of me. I had noticed some changes in her time
table since last few months but I never bothered her cause I was scared of
the fights. I wasnít aware that a bigger fight was waiting for me.
According to the doctor she was using lots of drugs and that could affect
the child too. I sat there unmoved with my mom holding me.
In midnight Steffi opened her eyes. I entered the room after taking
permission from the doctor. She was on oxygen cylinder. Her mouth was
covered by oxygen mask. Again the same eye talks as we always had. Tears
rolled down her eyes. I was unable to control mine too. We continuously
looked towards each other. I was sitting beside her bed holding her hand.
Suddenly she felt sudden loss of breath and I shouted for the doctor. The doctor sent me out.
Later when he came out he told that they needed to operate Steffi,
probably a premature delivery so there was a chance to lose either the
child or the mother or both. He was there with a document which I had to
sign in order to grant permission for the operation. With my shaking hands
I signed the paper which could result into death of either of my loves, my
wife or my child.
When they were taking Steffi she kept on looking at me and once again I
was able to read her eyes. She was saying Good Bye to me. I was trying to
hold my tears but they continuously rolled out. Just before the door of
the operation theatre separated us, I gave her the red rose and I could
see the same peaceful face once again in front of me.
After around two hours the door opened and a nurse came up to me with a
small baby. She gave the baby to me. It was my baby girl. I held the baby
close to me and cried. I wanted her to feel my heart which was apologizing
for the behavior I had against her. Her touch gave me the peace I was
searching. I was happy till the doctor arrived with the news that he was
unable to save Steffi. Steffi lost to death and I lost her. I had no time
to morn for my wifeís death. I knew I had her part in form of our daughter
to take care of and this time I didnít want myself to lose.
Next day after my wifeís funeral I stayed at my parentís place. My mother
wanted me to get married again. It was not her fault, I was her kid and
she couldnít imagine me fighting for my daughter and myself all alone. But
I never needed anyone for this. I knew Steffi was with me as my conscience
and she will help me raise our kid properly. This time I was not going to
repeat the same mistakes that I did with my wife. She was going to get all
my time and all my understandings.
I named her Ryna after one of Steffiís favorite band. Ryna and I were best
of friends. We had nothing to hide to each other except one thing. I never
told her about her motherís cause of death and the situations we were in
that forced her to opt for it. I wanted her to have a beautiful picture of
life and that she was going to get by seeing the one that her mother and
me had, no matter whether it was fake or not.
We both were very happy together. We celebrated all our occasions in the
same ways as Steffi and I did and missed Steffi together. It was the time
when I really felt some comfort. In the mornings I sat near Rynaís bed and
stared at her face. It gave me the same strength what her motherís face
gave. I was able to read her face and eyes too and she did the same but
this time there were words too which helped us communicate with each
Everything was moving fine till the day. It was when I returned home after
completing my work at office. Ryna opened the door. She didnít appear to
be the same. I felt her body was not in her control. Her eyes told me that
she was getting involved with the same things which separated her mother
from me. At that time I didnít want to embarrass her. So I just finished
my dinner, kissed her forehead and left for my bed room but the whole
night I was in a great dilemma. Did I do something wrong this time too
that I could see the devil entering my house again. It was difficult for
me to make myself understand that my daughter was moving into drugs. I was
scared again. Life again posed a war in front of me and this time I was
not going to lose it. Once I did, and I lost my love, this time I canít
let it win again to lose my daughter. At night when I slept I had prepared
myself till then for the fight awaiting me the next day.
The next day I didnít go to office and asked Ryna to accompany me. I drove
her to the hospital where her mother died. We walked to the operation
theater where her mother died while giving birth to her prematurely. I sat
and told her what really happened with Steffi and me.
I said,Ē This was how your mother left me. I lost her then and till today
I am unable to console myself. It is you who made me live. I died the day
Steffi left me because I know I was responsible for her death in some way.
Yesterday when I saw you following the same path I got a way to free
myself from the guilt. This time donít let me lose this fight.Ē
Ryna bumped into me. She held me tight and started crying. She left the
room crying. I never wanted to hurt her but sometimes when you lose the
right path, you need something to stir you up and I did the same. She
needed to know her motherís and my fate which was due to the same thing
she was getting involved into. I wanted to hold her for some more time but
then it should be her decision and I wanted her to fight this herself.
I left the hospital alone
as Ryna had already gone. In the evening when I reached home I found my
daughter sitting at the doorsteps. She had her face buried in her legs. I
knew that my daughter has finally arrived home. There was a relief. I sat
beside her and hugged her.
Then Ryna said,Ē You were not responsible for her death Dad. You never
lost then and this time too I will not let you lose.Ē My baby girl managed
to make me a winner again.
Contributing Story Teller
Amit Mohan is an Engineering (Electrical & Electronics) student