Last couple of days were like nightmares to Robert. He could not sleep properly. He did not eat. After worrying enough for couple of days, his mother made him share what happened. She comforted him and told him not to worry. She said she would talk to Jennys family herself. If needed both of his parents will go to meet them. There are certain churches who allow and arrange interfaith marriages. It will not be a problem. After talking to his mother he felt a little relieved.
He waited everyday at the corner of the park, where Jenny usually came to meet him. But she did not show up. He was freaking out inside his head. He needed to talk to her. Sometimes he thought he should go to her home directly and ask for her. But the way her father treated that day, he was sure it will make things worse. Why did he behave so dumbly that day! You do not tell a priest proudly that you are a non-believer, when you are about to ask for his daughters hand. He was dying to meet her.
After eight days of waiting, Jenny finally came. Robert was sitting at their favorite bench like everyday and waiting for her. He saw her walking towards him. He felt a sudden relief. It felt like a big rock was mounted on his chest all these days and suddenly it was lifted and he could breathe freely. But as she came nearer, his heart sank again. She has aged couple of years in these eight days. She was not sleeping well too and it was evident in her face. He stood up and took her hand. Pressing her hand firmly, he sat down with her. She was crying before coming here, he could tell by watching her eyes.
– “How are you, Jenny?”, he asked softly. She was not looking at him. She was looking at the ground and took some time to answer.
– “I’m fine.”
They sat quietly for some time. It felt like they have reached to an unspoken agreement not to talk about the obvious and realistic subjects. Rather they were having a silent conversation just by sitting side by side. It is strange how we become clairvoyant in certain moments of our life.
Robert had thought that Jennys parents were angry with her and that is why she was taking her time to come and meet him. That is why he had been waiting with patience. Hoping that when Jenny comes again, she is going to bring some good news, that her father has reconsidered, everything is fine. But watching her in this condition, listening to her silence, he began to realize how naive he has been.
– “Your mother was at our home today”, Jenny broke the silence.
– “What! When? What was she doing there?”, he was very surprised, he had no idea about it.
– “This morning. She came to talk to dad. I didn’t hear it all. But she was talking about interfaith marriages and something about dispensations”, she didn’t have much strength in her voice.
– “Then? What did your father say? Why are you so upset?”
– “Because he didn’t like the idea. According to him it is a disrespect to our family history. He has already started looking for other boys for me”, her voice broke off. Robert couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Is it so easy, is it so simple, to crumble someones dreams like that? All those plans they have made, day after day, month after month, all those will be a lie just because her father told so! He couldn’t accept it. His temper was rising rather being sad.
– “It isn’t over yet, Jenny. I’m not going to lose you”, he told determinately, “I’ll meet your father again. I’ll do whatever he asks me to do. If he doesn’t accept us even then, we’ll go away from this place.”
– “I can’t Robert! I can’t. I cannot leave my parents. Both of them are old, I can’t hurt them like that. They won’t be able to take it!”
– “What about us then? Why should we accept their decision and ruin our life?”
– “Your mother told that to him. She was angry too. She said how proud she was about her son and she shouldn’t have gone their to dishonor herself. She said she couldn’t tolerate watching you suffer everyday and how you have been waiting for me here. That’s why I came today. I’m sorry that I couldn’t bring any good news. Forgive me!”, Jenny was crying and talking and Robert couldn’t even be angry because none of this is her fault! Why is she apologizing!
– “Please don’t cry! Listen to me. I have done some digging and asked around. I understand that why your father is not happy about us. But things have changed now. We just need to go to a bishop and he can grant us dispensation which means our marriage will be perfectly valid”, Robert was trying his best to sound hopeful.
– “I know these Robert! My father knows them too. He just doesn’t believe this system”, Jenny has stopped crying, but her cheeks and eyes were still wet. “I only got permission to come here today so that I can talk to you for the last time and say goodbye. I don’t want you to wait for me anymore.”
– “How can you say that Jenny? How can I accept that and forget you so easily! Let me talk to your father one more time. Please!”
– “After your mothers visit, I don’t think that’s necessary anymore”, Jenny was getting a little edgy now, “What do you think? Did I accept it that easily? I tried to talk to my father everyday. I tried to convince him. Last couple of days all of those conversations ended up in fights! I have never fought with him but now I couldn’t help myself doing that! And guess what, now he thinks that, our relationship wasn’t blessed and that’s why it has made me like that. He thinks if I marry you, our family won’t be blessed, our children won’t be blessed and I will be unhappy all my life.”