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.
Ihad 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
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
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
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 other.
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
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 from Karnataka