Love’s Hidden Boundaries


Love can be like a burglar don’t you think:  steal up on you and take your heart without a sound; presence unnoticed until  you discover happiness is no longer yours alone to grasp, But life is not always getting what you want, but involves sharing with another  whose breath is central to your happiness is it not?  We were as different as two people can be, with different approaches to life, culture and religion but at the heart of it I felt you would always be true to me, and so I opened the door and let you in.

Can  Love be like an emissary from Heaven, who makes a journey once a lifetime?  If you are too busy to receive it, “Love” may leave your side forever, never to return, but I was not too busy, and nor were you I always thought; once we realised that meeting each other was a blessing beyond  measure. We were chaste, because you said it must be so and I understood. In your culture, you told me, a girl cannot be familiar with a man before marriage and it was a formality I was happy to respect and understand. I loved the courtly sense of life it echoed but this I did not fully understand.

It seems you were already engaged to be married to a man you had met only once in your mid-teens and this voyage through university was your parents concession to modernity. They would trust you to maintain your innocence until your studies were completed when you would fly home and marry your betrothed, according to their wishes. It was your custom and your culture that this would be so and you made it plain that respecting the wishes of your parents was more important than any private dream or urgency. In a sense, with me, unconsciously I’m sure, you were displaying what could not be offered, and I was banging on the shop door with a currency which would not be accepted.

Neither of us were especially religious, but I discovered that custom and expectations can hold you to a behaviour as much as any faith, and disappointing your parents was not  in your lexicon of conduct: your choice could not be personal.

As what you meant to me became clearer and more urgent, you shared the sadness we both felt, but I could only watch you board a plane and take my grief at your parting as the price of my past happiness, dwelt on in solitude, until, bruised it must be said, I realised that “Life,”  Humorous without pity,” had played a trick on me and I must move on if I were ever to breath again  and so I did.

Two children and a lifetime later I saw you on some Indian TV channel, rounder and more solid, can I say, but clearly still quite beautiful. “Our Political Correspondent” the words read on the screen, and I wondered how “My Meera” had become so serious. When young, what we cared about was literature, and “inner meaning” and integrity and other vapourisms with which students fill their intellects.

I wrote to you, care of your TV station saying,

“Darling Meera,

I do not wish to interrupt your life, but we are both old enough, are we not, to recognise everything our parents told us was genuine but not necessarily right, and the feelings I had and have for you are true and real, and would have value in any culture in any era. Contact me please and save me from myself”

I have not received a reply.

 

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, creative writing, Fiction, Life, Love, Relationships, Romance, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Love’s Hidden Boundaries

  1. I must say that this story really resonates, and I can identify with your lead and his emotions. The phrase ‘custom and expectations can hold you to a behaviour as much as any faith’ is key, I feel, as Youth begins its nervous journey through new experiences. Funny how time too, with all the freedom that Youth affords it, has a habit of holding one back, sometimes until an opportunity is lost.
    Slipped into a bit of reminiscence there, sorry!
    A wonderful piece, Peter.

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  2. An interesting concept. You explore it well in fiction.

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  3. Once again, this story is so very plausible to me. Janet:)

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  4. A wonderfully poignant tale, beautifully executed. I know of such an actual experience… up to the point of the plane leaving. One abandoned their faith and family to please the other’s. I hope they are happy, but only time will speak the ending on that tale. But, as often happens, I fear it is the unrequited nature of such love that keeps it blazing. Once the candy shop is opened up, currency accepted, it becomes… just candy. Heady and sweet for the moment, but not enough to sustain one through famine. I loved this story, Peter! Mother Hen

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great piece Peter and very real

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  6. gotham girl says:

    You always amaze me with your writing. …”involves sharing with another whose breath is central to your happiness…” So true and how few people get it.

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  7. judithhb says:

    I love your writing Peter and the way you can tell a whole story in just a few lines. I wonder what would have happened if Darling Meera has responded. Would the bubble he has been keeping alive, burst at her response. Thanks for keeping us in suspense.

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  8. Love is such a sticky wicket. When you find it; you’re elated. When you lose it; you’re deflated. When you’re in it too long; you think it’s nothing. When you been without it too long; you think it’s everything. We sure do make things complicated! I think the reason dogs can love unconditionally is because they don’t think about love; they just feel it.

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  9. Wow, that letter just had me.. wow. Peter my friend, your talent never ceases to amaze me. Never.

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  10. megpill says:

    So realistic and brilliant. I like how the final sentence says “have not received a reply”, almost leaving the possibility of a response in future, as opposed to a different choice like “he never heard from her.” Or maybe that’s just me, trying to find some hope in the situation haha.

    That’s the problem with relationships that never come to be. You’ll never know if it’s the connection that enthralls or the mystery What If.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ksbeth says:

    loved this story, and sadly, happens in real life in many ways, when two people find themselves on opposite ends of a rope and one lets go.

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  12. As always, thought provoking and beautiful. xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Debbie says:

    I really enjoyed this. It resonated for some reason, probably the fact that it was delightfully written! Nice 😊

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  14. nelle says:

    Our wish to touch someone who played an integral role in a fond memory. Time moved both people forward, and rarely do we reach back to touch in the same way at the same time. Nice one.

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  15. elizabeth stokkebye says:

    “but I discovered that custom and expectations can hold you to a behaviour as much as any faith,”
    YES. Have lived by custom and expectations throughout my life and have fallen in love in between but have not crossed the bridge to the unknown.

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  16. I wonder how many young lovers have looked back at that same bridge….

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  17. ASH says:

    Love is a modern notion.
    An evolutionary offshoot not well adapted to human history..
    A mutation of compassion I think.
    But love is not yet enough and not without debilitating consequences.
    Like a Pug puppy.

    Like

  18. Casey says:

    One of my best friends went through something a bit similar; I imagine this portrays the feelings well. Really enjoyed the piece!

    Like

  19. “Love can be like a burglar don’t you think: steal up on you and take your heart without a sound…” what a great opening line.

    Liked by 1 person

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