Testing the Mettle of Love!

For all the fans of romance out there, I am back with the fifth installment of the Angela & Eric saga. We go beyond the mushy and romantic in this one - into one of those testing moments that pave way for the time to come. For people who just landed on this page, here's the link to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4. Go play catch up and come back to read this one.

I know romance sells. I know that when you write romance, you write about the happy stuff, the relationship milestones, the first kiss, the first time they make love, the confession of undying love. Yet, in real life, the fights a couple has defines the mettle of their relationship. To reach the point in time that Eric and Angela are at, they had to navigate several serious fights which tested their intentions and eventually made them realize what they meant to each other.

Angela and Eric loved to talk to each other. They could just sit there discussing this and that – their work lives, their life experiences, their family and eccentric relatives, food habits, sexual preferences, past relationships – they could just go on for hours. When you talk like that, you tend to go over everything in a very short span of time. So nearly a month after their first date, Angela knew about everything regarding Eric’s life, in broad terms of course. She knew his childhood trauma, his failed relationships, his impulsive shopping habit and also the fact that he was an ‘ass-guy’. 

This one evening, as they sat at one of their favorite restaurants, Eric was talking about how he was totally fed up with eating out and how he just craved for some home food. In the flow of the conversation, he mentioned the last time he remembered having good home-cooked food – at the home of this woman he dated nearly two years ago. By this point of time, Angela had cooked for Eric a few times and while he’d said that he loved the food, here he was singing praises for the meal prepared by someone who, he said, “didn’t even matter”. 

Angela’s face changed and Eric, in his panic, started explaining how the food she cooked was different and he just meant that the meal he was talking about was just nostalgic of his folks’ cooking – thus digging the grave further for himself. The argument quickly escalated as Eric was not sure how to deal with the situation since he had already said the thing and Angela stood up angrily and stormed out of the restaurant. Eric hastily followed after her as people looked on in curiosity or amusement. Eric felt eerily aware of the surrounding, the people staring, something he could at other times stay completely oblivious to. 

Eric tried talking Angela down as she waited for her cab, unsuccessfully. He looked on with desperation as her cab pulled away. Every time she left him, it felt like the world was ending and this time wasn’t any different. It was worse because within minutes of leaving, Angela texted, “Have a good life, Eric.” He didn’t know how to react so he responded with a couple of question marks. Then there was silence. Probably the longest few hours of Eric’s life passed before Angela texted, “I can’t do this.” Eric’s heart fell. His mind raced through a hundred responses, chiding himself for being insensitive like he’d been, before he settled for a simple surprised, “What!”

“There are already so many factors against us. Someone like her who can cook food you relate with is more your scene, Eric,” Angela texted, “I am just not cut out for these things. So I will just bow out and give you a chance to be happy.” As he read Angela’s texts, Eric could not help but wonder at the déjà vu of this moment. He had gone through something similar so many times. Every time, he ended up talking about an ex-girlfriend and making the current one jealous and insecure. What was strange about this time was that it wasn’t even the case. The ‘ex’ in question wasn’t even an ‘ex’, she was just someone he thought could be more than a friend and it had not worked out. So he marvelled at his own dumbness – how could he screw up a relationship by praising a failed one? 

Sometimes Eric found himself so jaded by life that he went into a dismissive fervour. He just sent a text saying, “Expected you to have more commitment than this.” This seemed to enrage Angela (and that was the intended purpose) and she called him out for being insensitive. He said sorry to her and told her he couldn’t imagine a world without her. That’s when the doorbell rang. Eric had ordered food, he remembered. When he opened the door, Angela was at his door. “I don’t know how to do it – how to be without you,” she said, shrugging lightly as she walked in the door. The food guy followed after her and handed Eric his order. Happy stuff!

As they settled down and had food, Angela said she had been thinking, “Children who were born during wartime are often spooked by the silence during peace. It’s not their normal. I feel like them at times, because you feel like peace to me.” Eric looked at her with confusion. “Let me get this straight,” he said, “You’re spooked by what we have?”

“It’s not normal for me – feeling like this. I find myself feeling possessive and crazy. I feel like too much is changing.” Angela replied.

“Angela, this is different than anything I have ever felt, but I am not spooked by it. Embracing change is the only way to evolve,” Eric replied.

Angela nodded. Eric continued: “I want to rise and fall with you,. I want to live and die with you. I know it’s soon but I want to be with you perennially, so that time loses meaning for us. I want to experience your good and your bad, your strengths and your weaknesses. I want all of you for all of eternity. There’s a hundred things that could go wrong in life – I want you to be the only right thing in mine. I know all this feels very intense but I want to laugh with you as much as I want to cry with you. I want the frivolous as well as the intense – and I want all of it with you.”

“I don’t know what to say, Eric,” Angela replied.

“Don’t say anything, “Eric replied with a smile and pulled Angela close, “Just be with me.” He pressed a kiss on her forehead and the night came to a close. There were many a fights to come but Eric prayed that all of them just led to moments like these, where he could hold Angela in his arms. He knew they still had a lot of ‘getting-to-know-each-other’ left to do. He also knew that he’d love most of the things about Angela and the things he didn’t love, he’d learn to appreciate and adapt to.


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