The Imperfect Relationship

Posted on September 7, 2006


This story is fictional, and bears just a wee but of resemblence to events in my life…but other than that it could be a story about me, my sister, my friends and a woman in Pakistan, USA or anywhere else in the world. Thank u to the wonderful people in my life for caring!

He sat on the aisle seat inside the modest interiors of the Economy class of the airplane. There was no one sitting in the two seats next to him. He looked out of the window, at the bright yellow-orange sky, yet could not get himself to change seats and be seated by the window. Idly, he looked at the white clouds and the sun playing around with them. He thought of her. Not pleasantly, not sadly. He merely thought of her.

Wondered what she would be doing. Would she be in bed, she was ill when she came to the airport to see him off. They had fought in the morning. Again. She had cried, he had resisted. She had to learn. He looked out of the window again and saw once again the manisplendour of a beautiful September day. He wondered again, what would she be doing? Days like this made him want to leave everything behind and just be with her, listen to her loud and unconditioned, unladylike laughter. It was when she laughed that he knew how much and why he loved her. She was the child he never was and she was the child he could never be.

Silently, he felt himself ask, why her, why me, why us? Would she smile today God, would she be able to fight herself and smile for herself and for him. He loved to see her smile. He was reminded how he kept looking at her when she smiled. A little coy, a little naughty, a little impish and a little sinister at times. She made him afraid. She made him angry. She made him oscillate quickly through various moods. He loved her.

She was his imperfect woman. She was his vice. She was his tie with another world. She was his partner to a dream of a new world. She was his. Sometimes he struggled with it, and sometimes he flaunted it. Sometimes he was amazed at it and other times simply tired of it. She made him want to live to see her again and she made him want to push her away for good. She was an antithesis. She was his.

He remembered the times she asked him to dance. She asked him to dance in the solitariness of his empty office at the end of the day, and she asked him to dance in the hall of her house when her roommates were away. The songs changed from romance to swing to pop. But their movements remained the same. They would put their arms around each other and clumsily move from side to side and then in a circle. He was not much of a dancer, she thought he was fabulous. He loved to dance with her, she made him feel special and like the best man in the world. He could look into her eyes and be in that moment forever. He remembered the last time she asked him to dance. It was a song that had made no sense to him then. Karma Chameleon. But now, as he thought of the lyrics he realised what she was trying to do. He put on his laptop and played the song again. It was a song on life, its but fragile momentariness and the promise for change. She was celebrating a moment of happiness that she did not know how long it would stay or when it would return. She tried to capture it with her favourite person in the world…HIM.

He then thought of her from last night. Sobbing desperately over the phone, begging him to come and get her. She had asked him to leave and he had. She had asked him to go, and he had. He had left her sitting in the food court of the crowded mall. He could not take her sadness. Her inexplicable bane. Her unsurmountable sorrow. He had to walk, for he almost felt her pain. Once again, she tired him. Once again, she had scared him. As he held the phone, her sobs grew louder. As her sobs grew louder, his anger grew. He was never angry, she made him angry. He screamed at her and begged for her to stop. He could not figure out what was hurting him more. Her hurting him, pushing him away and begging him to come back; or the simple helplessness he felt when she got like this again.

She cried often. She cried a lot. Often. She cried like an animal, howled like a wolf. She cried like a mother-elephant who had lost her calf. Her cries, there was something mesmerizing about them. He closed his eyes and saw her body convulse in pain. He saw her in physical pain and mental stress. He saw her fight, first herself, then her need for him to help her, again herself and her incapacity to deal with her outburst. He closed his eyes tighter, he could almost feel her arms like a little child around him, begging him to not leave her and go, begging him to help her. She asked him what was happening to her, why her, would she ever be happy. He merely shook his head. He wanted desperately to cup her into his arms and kiss her worries away. But he knew he had to leave. He knew he needed her to take a grip. He knew she was strong. He knew she was lonely. He wondered why he loved this animal!

He thought of all the times before when he had told her she was killing his dreams. He thought of all the times he told her he could not handle her. He thought of all the times in the privacy of his mind, he hoped that would make her okay or that would send her away. But she stayed. Calm for a few days, attentive, aloof, caring, yet non-commital. He remembered their dates on days like this. She was her charming best. She would talk intelligently of the children she worked with, or how she thought the world would be a better place if people stopped caring for money and began caring for the one’s they loved. She would sip on her wine and smile at him seductively making him fall for her all over again.

He smiled as he thought of their morning rides on the bike as he was taking her to work. She would sing. Loudly, sometimes in tune, sometimes out of tune. Yet he loved to hear her sing. She would sing of life and love and passion and waiting and she would simply sing. Sometimes she sang for him, but mostly she sang for herself. When she sang, he felt on top of the world. He felt full and re-energized. He felt like the day had begun. There would be no threat of gloom hanging. He went to work rejuved until he got a message or a call. She was blue again. Just like that. She hated her life. She hated her job. She hated him. She missed her old job. She always had reasons to feel that way. He knew he ought to hang up and let her calm down. Yet he would try to reason with her. He felt a stubborn feeling in his heart that one day she would be reasonable. But then she would cry. Just hold the phone and cry. Hang up the phone and cry. Call again and cry. He could hear her body heave in pain even through the cheap mobile phone in his hand. He would close his eyes, willing her to stop. He needed to do his work. He needed to change the world.

He looked out of the airplane window again, and wondered if he would see God taking a walk. He would make the plane stop, get out and shake Him up and ask him…Why her, why him, why! He knew he would get no answer. He wanted to ask someone if it would be ok to leave her for good. Would she survive? Would she find the happiness she sought? Would she ever recover? Would he be giving her the reason to hide that unabashed laughter forever? He could not bear to think of it. Even if he never married her, he never wanted her to stop writing, laughing, dreaming and most importantly living!

He felt guilty at times of being the reason of her unhappiness, and then he remembered how she would wipe her tears and look at him with swollen eyes and remind him that he was the reason for the few smiles she had in her life. She had cried for days in pain, she said. He numbed when she said that. She would then hold him for a long time, and he would give in. When he was strong again, she would make him promise, he would never give up on her. He promised. He promised himself inwardly to try at least. She was a good friend to him.

The last 2 weeks had been tough, and he felt relief when he thought of a week without her grief. He almost felt guilty on feeling excited to explore the world, but he knew she wished him to do it. Her love had once again taught him what it meant to be unselfishly in love. And he said a silent prayer for himself to be strong for their sake.

He closed his eyes, her face came to him. She was smiling. He felt elated. Today was a good day for her. It was a good day for him. Tomorrow was another story. Today needed to be immortalized. He felt love. He slept.

Note: Everyone feels “blue” at certain times during his or her life. In fact, transitory feelings of sadness or discouragement are perfectly normal, especially during particularly difficult times. But a person who cannot “snap out of it” or get over these feelings within two weeks may be suffering from the illness called depression.

One in four women and one in 10 men can expect to develop it during their lifetime. No one is immune from depression – it occurs in people of all social classes, all countries and all cultural settings. Eighty to 90 percent of those who suffer from depression can be effectively treated, and nearly all people who receive treatment derive some benefit.


1. Noticeable change of appetite, with either significant weight loss not attributable to dieting or weight gain.
2. Noticeable change in sleeping patterns, such as fitful sleep, inability to sleep, early morning awakening, or sleeping too much.
3. Loss of interest and pleasure in activities formerly enjoyed.
4. Loss of energy, fatigue.
5. eelings of worthlessness.
6. Persistent feelings of hopelessness.
7. Feelings of inappropriate guilt.
8. Inability to concentrate or think, indecisiveness.
9. Recurring thoughts of death or suicide, wishing to die, or attempting suicide. (IMP: People suffering this symptom should receive treatment immediately!)
10. Melancholia (defined as overwhelming feelings of sadness and grief), accompanied by waking at least two hours earlier than normal in the morning, feeling more depressed in the morning, and moving significantly more slowly.
11. Disturbed thinking, a symptom developed by some severely depressed persons. For example, severely depressed people sometimes have beliefs not based in reality about physical disease, sinfulness, or poverty.
12. Physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomach aches.

If you, or someone you know or love suffers from 4 or more of these symptoms, you need to seek help. You can either go to a Psychiatric Out Patient Department in any government hospital or consult your nearest psychiatrist.

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