In Memoriam

Disclaimer: Completely fictional. My views. The reader is entitled to his/her own views. Not intended to hurt any sentiments/beliefs/opinions. Let freedom of speech, thought, expression remain true to its meaning.

 

“I’ll talk to him,” she said to her son.

He looked at her with tears in his eyes. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t understand what he was doing wrong. And yet, he was convicted of a sin, much worse than others. But he had done nothing wrong!

She smiled at him. She understood him, his confusion, frustration and his fear. She was never judgmental, and when it came to her son, she definitely wasn’t going to be. She was proud of her son and was happy he had found the love of his life, someone he can spend the rest of his life with, happily.

She herself was in an unhappy marriage. She had to put up with a lot from her husband. He had many flaws, but she accepted them and made their marriage work. One couldn’t reason with the man. He was conventional and liked the natural order of things, hence the terrible situation their son was in. Her husband would never accept it. He was nothing short of cruel.

“Father, I am going to get married, to my college sweetheart,” their son had announced to his Father, after a lot of coaxing from his Mother. She was sitting right there. She saw the series of expressions her husband displayed.

“What!? That’s great news!” he had said. “May I know who the lucky girl is?” he had asked their son.

“He is not a girl, Father,” he said, after exchanging a glance with his Mother. She had looked at him, nodded and smiled, in encouragement. “He is the love of my life and I would like to marry him.”

There had been utter silence and then she saw her son being slapped by her husband. He wasn’t his Father at that moment, he was a hater. A hater of a lovely boy who was nothing abnormal. Their son was intelligent, charming and good looking. He was a complete gentleman. He was a son every parent would crave for, and yet, there was nothing but sheer loathing in her husband’s eyes for their son. He wasn’t his Father, she decided, he was a hater.

Heaving a great sigh, she walked out of her son’s room. She too didn’t know what to do.

A few days passed by. Their son had left the house in the middle of the night, disowned as he had been. A successful realtor, completely independent, and a caring son, had been kicked out of the house. She wasn’t worried. She knew he could take care of himself, but which son wouldn’t like the support of his Father?

The phone rang. Her husband picked it up. His best friend had apparently been arrested yet again for drunken misbehavior and domestic violence. “When will he learn!” he said, exasperated, to her. “I’ll be back, need to bail him out,” he said and left.

Her husband brought his drunk, abusive friend back home that day. She was aghast. He had no recollection of his misbehavior, nor of how he had beaten up his wife and daughter the previous night, both of whom she had met secretly, while her husband had been away. She wanted to help them, but they, for reasons unknown, were unwilling to just run away.

“I’m in debt, my friend,” said her husband’s friend to him.

“You always put yourself in trouble. You must stop drinking. Don’t you love your wife? Your daughter? You beat them, you devil!” said her husband, to his best friend.

“You lack the authority necessary, my darling,” she said to her husband. “Perhaps you should slap your friend? Who dwindled all his wealth, who beat up his wife and daughter, who is a pathetic drunk waste of a person!” she said sternly, looking right into her husband’s eyes.

“Look how your wife is talking to me!”

She ignored him. “You didn’t hesitate to slap your own son for telling you who he proposes to marry. Surely, my darling, having found the love of your life is a smaller sin than what your beloved friend has done?” she said, anger making it difficult for her to talk further. She left the room, with her husband staring after her.

Later that day, he came up to her and said, “Um, my dear, I have checked my friend into a rehabilitation center, he’s going to be a changed man soon-”

“Do what you want, my darling,” she said, cutting him off.

A week later, she found her husband yelling on the phone.

“Just give him the money, he’ll get the work done! What’s there to argue!?”

“But if we are found committing perjury –”

“Listen, we are buying the damn Judge, we won’t be found!”

“Thousands will be homeless, sir. It’s not a big loss for us –”

“Listen to me, you fool! It’s MY money. I’ll do whatever I want. And I want this deal! Don’t bring morals and sentiments into it! Who cares about the poor mouths on the streets? It’s their damn fault they couldn’t succeed in life! You do as I say!” he said and cut the call.

“Damn sentimental subordinates! Can’t do one thing correctly!” he said, looking at her. Hatred welled inside her.

“They probably want to do the right thing, my darling.”

“What do you mean,” he asked her.

“Well, they are against the injustice. They don’t want the devastation of all those families on their conscience. They care about those families too, along with their own. But what can one expect from a man who readily disowned his own, morally pure son, for simply loving? Ha! You are right, they are fools!” she said and left the room.

Her words had made him angry. He did not like her talking back to him. She was this subdued housewife once upon a time. He had tamed her well. He had been very good with her, unlike his friend. He had never hit her, yelled, maybe. But which husband doesn’t put his foot down once in a while, he thought. But he had had enough. He went into their bedroom and he crossed over to her, and yelled, “Look! I’ve had enough! Our son disappointed us! Do not make it as though I am the bad guy here! He is GAY! It is not a good thing! It is unacceptable!”

“How is it unacceptable? He is just in love!”

“With a MAN!”

“So? How does it matter? What is so bad about it? How has he disappointed you? He is independent, takes care of us, is doing really well for himself! Had he brought home a girl, would you have treated him the same way?” she asked, trying to reason with him.

“I..Don’t! You know it is unacceptable!”

“I know it is acceptable. You condone a wife beater, an abuser. You support corruption and yet LOVE is unacceptable to you?”

He had no words. He looked at her, silent. She continued.

“My son is more of a man than you will ever be. In my eyes, you are the one who is immoral and unacceptable. My son respects women, even if he isn’t attracted to them!”

He found his voice suddenly. “I have never mistreated you! You think I do not respect women?!”

“Wonderful defense, my darling. My oppression is proof to the respect you’ve given me, isn’t it?” she asked sarcastically. “I have had a voice in this house, isn’t it? I have been never been treated like a servant, right? I have never been raped, right?”

“Raped?!”

“That’s what you have been doing since the past 30 years, my darling.”

She left home that night, her bags packed. She did not care what society thought anymore. She had tried to keep an Open mind about her situation. She had dealt with it. She had tried to Open up the narrow mindset of her husband. Everything she did, she did for her son. If her husband had changed ways, she would have stayed. But, better late than never.

Numerous crimes are condoned every day. Corruption is what the world runs on. Women face violence and discrimination every day. There are hundreds of rape cases which go unreported and many more cases lost due to lack of evidence or simple partiality. Rapists are allowed to walk free. Marital rape is never even brought up. And yet, homosexuality is the greater offence.

The world is a funny place and so are the people in it.

P. S. In memory of the Orlando victims.

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