“Dad, it’s your 31st wedding anniversary, and you are sitting here, Just One call “DAD” JUST ONE CALL”
It’s been 31 years when i first saw Grace, she was different from all other girls, unique in her own way. Shy, well-mannered, optimistic, and smart. What made her more attractive was her short-height and her deep black eyes. She was simple, just concerned with her job. She was a Lawyer, who always encouraged the truth. I owned a shop in Munich (Germany), opposite to Saturn electronic showroom.
It was a coincident when i met “GRACE”, it was summer and i was Standing infront of “Rathaus – Glockenspiel“. Just 5 minutes to 12 and the bell ready to ring. I closed my eyes and prayed for only one thing. “To meet the love of my life”. People around me were busy taking photos and videos and i stood there wishing. All of the sudden, she appeared and there was a smile on her face, she closed her eyes and started praying. I had no idea what she prayed for. That was the first time i saw her, she wore a white t-shirt, and had a blazer in her hand, As soon as the bell rang she looked around for someone, and that’s how our eyes met. Within few seconds she vanished, and the people scattered everywhere.
“Xon – What are you doing here ? let’s go and have fun” – Jim said. Jim was my bestfriend, since childhood we were together, went to the same school (Phorms Campus), and spent most of the time in the “Bayerische Bibliothek” library. That day he planned to visit “Frauenplatz” and he wanted me to accompany him. People go there to enjoy the company of each other and that day was special for me so i went along. This time the area was crowded by Children, and there was a girl sitting in between telling them stories.
“Do you see how happy those Children are, they love stories that inspire them and give them hope” ~ Jim said.
“Yes, but who is the girl? Can’t see her face”, Xon asked.
” Let’s join them, It will be fun”, Jim replied.
“It’s better to stay back and listen to the story she says”
“Ok, you Sit here, i will be back”
“Jim, don’t do that, don’t leave me alone now”.
“Ok than come with me in front”.
The story was Amazing. I still remember it today. It was the same girl i saw at the ” Rathaus “.
“That was a beautiful story, I am Xon”
“Thank you, I am Grace”
“I visit here once in a month, to deliver stories to children, I love stories ”
“Can we have a ……. A Coffee”
“Why not” ~ Jim interfered.
That coffee gave a start to our relationship. Once Jim went into trouble with some accident case. Grace helped him out. After 6 month of our meeting we fall in love, and got married in ” Burgersaal kirche – church“.
After marriage life was going well, but than we became busy as the day passed by, She started working over-time with her clients, helping them out with the cases. And i got busy in the shop.
After 2 years we were blessed with Luke (Eldest Son), and for him we started to spend time together, the house-hold chores increased, our lunch time was never fixed. Most of the time, Grace would look after luke.
Luke was 2, when we were again blessed with Joseph.
The condition of the city was getting worst, financial crisis. It was hard for us both to earn for living. And now we had luke and Joseph to look after. They were too small and needed someone to take care of them. Grace, did all she could. But still it was not Enough.”
(As Xon was busy in his thoughts, Olivia interrupted)
“Dad, what are you thinking? it’s time to drop me off to college, We are already late” – Olivia said.
“I am Sorry dear,it’s my fault” ~ Xon replied, He stood up from the breakfast table and saw the cup of tea was already empty. He dropped off Olivia to college and went to his shop.
“Hello Dad, it’s me Luke”
“Yes, Luke how are you ? And Sophia”
“We are doing well dad, How is Olivia?, I am missing her”.
“I just dropped her off to college, she will be back by 7pm”.
“Take care Dad, Call you later”.
On the way, he stopped for a while, near ” Karlstor gate“. That where he and Grace met most of the time after they met at “Frauenplatz“. At night when Xon was done with his work, he used to wait for Grace at “Karlstor Gate”, And would drop her off wherever she said.
After few minutes, he continued to move towards his shop.
“Xon, You are late. It’s 9:50, and you said me to be here by 9” ~ It was Jim, standing behind.
“Though we have grown old – Xon. But i always make it on time.”
“I Agree” – Xon replied.
They entered the shop, and switched the board to “Open till 9pm”.
When luke was 9, Olivia was born. After our marriage, things started to scatter. It was not like i thought life would be after marriage. Responsibilities grew. Now we had three children’s to take care of.
There educational fees, other daily expenses, shopping expenses increased as they grew up and the financial condition here in Germany was getting more worse, than before.
After the long tiring day, when i used to return home, the food was never ready, the dishes unwashed, the clothes kept dirty piled up and the washing machine stopped working. Grace would return at 1am at night. For her, her clients were more important than family.
Daily we had fights about, who would leave children to school ? who will pick them up ? what about the house rent ? Who will clean-up the mess in the house ? And finally Who will take care of Children ?
Sometimes our fights would go on for a week, and sometimes for a month. But we loved each other, and things would work out after few days.
Luke was 17, when he received a scholarship letter from a college in new york. And we sent him there for further studies. He used to visit us in every one year. After 5 years of staying in new-york, this time when he came, he bought “SOPHIA” along with him.
“Mom, This is Sophia, my wife” ~ Grace stood there speechless. And i had to say “Nice to meet you, feel yourself comfortable at home “. He stayed with us for a month and went to New-York.
Joseph was 7, when we sent him to a boarding school, due to our financial conditions, board School was the best option. When he was 20, he received an offer letter from one of the company in Berlin. And he shifted there.
“Xon, Don’t you miss her ? It’s been so long you met her. I know what she did was not right, but what you did was also not good” ~ Jim said.
“Jim, It’s better if we don’t talk about this now” ~ Xon replied.
“It’s 9:00, time to close the shop”.
When he went home, he found Olivia sitting on sofa. With a Photo Album in her hand which read “Grace – I love you “.
“Dad, didn’t you said you don’t have any picture of mom ? Than who is this lady standing next to you in all of this picture. Is MOM alive ? Where is she ? why did she left Us ? ” ~ Olivia had many more questions in her mind, but she controlled herself and demanded answer from her Father “XON”.
“Yes, she is your Mom, “GRACE” , and she is Alive “.
“Dad, 31 years ago on this date you met her ? Is it your wedding anniversary today ?”
” Dad, where is she now ? Can i meet her? ”
“No, she is always busy with her work, and do not allow anyone to meet her”.
“Dad, is this her number on the last page?”
As soon as Xon heard that, he ran and took over the album from her. And said,”Don’t ever try to call her”.
Xon went to his bedroom and closed the door, and started to cry.
“Dad, it’s your 31st wedding anniversary, and you are sitting here, Just One call “DAD” JUST ONE CALL” ~ Olivia kept shouting outside.
Xon called her to the room and said “if you don’t believe me, than take this number and give a call, and say me what she replies”.
Olivia’s heart started to beat faster, and body started to shiver as it was the first time she would be talking to her mother in her entire life.
(Tring Tring) ….. (Tring Tring) …..
“True love exists, but sometimes it needs patience and care, and if doubt enters into life than it’s better to ask, and not bury it inside”.
To be Continued……
—– Abdul Gani Punjabi