As she looked out of the window she felt the cool drops of rain falling on her face and she felt a new awakening. Rachel had never expected anything good to happen to her after all the years of toil and strife.
Rachel sighed and looked back twenty years of existence. Every bit an accomplished person, Rachel was raring to reach greater heights when she got married to Robert. Ready to accept things as they come Rachel soon settled down to a life of home, commitment and targets.
Everything was going alright when she faced her first setback. She realized her happiness wouldn’t last long for Robert was an extremely short-tempered and difficult person to get along with. Rachel heard the bus come to a screeching stop and was shaken out of her thoughts. She adjusted her muffler a little closer to her ears and drifted back to her past.
Robert – a calm, cold and expressionless person on the outer front but only Rachel would know what he actually could be. She still remembers the day when the gatekeeper came crying to her saying Robert had hit him. Hit?? yes…Rachel now remembered with a wry smile…Hit..Robert had no control over his anger. Rachel was helpless and clueless how to handle this situation. Then there was the time when the family had gone to the shop. She recollected how Robert had yelled at the store keeper for telling him his credit card couldn’t be swiped. Then she remembered the day when in a public garden Robert had yelled at her for coming late.
Rachel soon became the mother of three kids amidst all this. Biology has a way of getting the right things done at the wrong time. Butt the kids did bring in a different kind of life for Rachel who by now had resigned herself to the fact that she had to endure her marriage. Robert on the other hand continued with his erratic behavior and Rachel had soon become the victim of physical, mental and emotional abuse. Whether it was a petty argument or a small tiff, it was always a piece of his mind he had to give or a whack. Rachel wondered how she had even tolerated all this in spite of being a free minded liberated women of today. Yet as she remembered that day when Robert hit her with a strong walking stick, Rachel felt a chill down her spine. And the other day when he had banged her head against a wall. Goodness! How many of them had advised her to walk out of her marriage and how Rachel would adamantly feel that it was not going to solve her problems anyway. She had three kids and Rachel was far too independent to go back to her parents or sister. Robert had no respect for Rachel’s family and accused them of driving her against him. Rachel slowly began to lose her freedom. She couldn’t meet friends, couldn’t talk on the phone and couldn’t as much do what she wanted to.
Rachel adjusted the muffler closer and looked at the trees speeding past her as the bus wound up the road. Nothing could ever get her out of the fear of Robert, for Robert yelled for everything she did right and anything that she did wrong. sometimes Rachel felt she was responsible for the entire thing. She felt that she allowed him to treat her that way. Whatever the reason be things came to a sudden turnaround on a Friday morning when Robert was on his way to office.
Rachel recalled that Friday morning when she received the phone call . The police had arrested Robert . For driving on the wrong lane. Rachel rushed to the police booth and all that she tried was in vain. For Robert had already been put in. As night approached Rachel started panicking. What would she do with her three children and how in the world was she going to sort out everything? Her family arrived and Rachel then went to her lawyer. After a lot of protocol and paper work Rachel reached the police station again. But what greeted her was something she would never ever forget in her life. Robert was ranting away , shouting and was extremely aggressive. The police officer came towards Rachel and said “You didn’t tell me your husband is psychotic?’ Rachel said he wasn’t. Mr. Boon, the police officer smirked and produced a report.
“Dr. Zcehle, ” It was signed by him.
“Who is he?” Rachel inquired
“A psychiatrist.” replied Sergeant Boon.
“A psychiatrist?” repeated Rachel. Sergeant Boon continued ” your husband suffers from a medical problem. He has something called paranoid personality disorder. Under the circumstances we cannot keep him here. The doctor would treat him first and he would have to serve a sentence for three months. Then he is free. However as he is sick, the doctor says we would have to leave him rightaway as he has made a mistake because of his illness.”
“Illness??” Rachel wondered. Anyway she met Dr. Zcehle and he advised her how to give the medications. The days that followed went in a dizzy as Rachel never realized that her life was finally taking a turnaround. Robert is still under medication but is a more mellow, and softer person. Rachel on the other hand has forgotten all the insults and insinuations that Robert used to throw at her and has decided to start a new life all over.
“Mommy!” Rachel heard the cries outside the bus. As the bus stopped, Rachel got down and hugged her children. Far from the distance Robert came down and hugged her.
” I missed you darling” he said. Rachel felt an emptiness as she heard these words for she was beyond all this by now. Yet the words had great meaning in her life and that is that Robert now meant each and every word of it. Rachel today is working as a consultant and Robert is at home taking care of the kids. Robert underwent all the treatment under Dr.Zchele and today the family is happy. All the unfathomable incidents of the past have been given a shove and as the family of four walked towards the setting sun, one can only marvel at how a small incident could change the adversities that Rachel had to face all through.
If you were in Rachel’s place what would you have done?