The cat has moved on

They finally got married after a long time of persuasion and consistent arguing with their parents, sometimes begging and sometimes threatening. And when it happened it happened like a flash, the wedding day, the honeymoon came and went like a dream, and then they realised they have opened a Pandora’s box.

Marriage was full of challenges, of every sort, and sometimes they wondered if marriage was really what they needed. Being in each other’s company was the point after all but marriage brought unnecessary stress of being responsible for each other all the time. Was it not enough that they both felt and complied to each other and their love that now they had to get married to make it official.

Then one morning after an argument over breakfast choices, he decided to go out-of-town for that project he has been delaying for a long time. Hoping to clear his mind for good, he decided to take his car. she was still in the kitchen when he told her about his plans a six-hour ride and a four-hour work she calculated, almost an entire day. Still angry from the morning argument she just said… ‘be back by dinner I will be waiting’, and he knew he would have to make up to her this time.

He had gone only for an hour and she started to feel bad about being angry over petty things, it was an off day for her, so she decided to do the laundry. The day passed slowly and she decided to cook his favourite meal for the dinner, today she will make up to him. it was about time and she kept checking her watch, he would be home any minute. she called him on his phone but it was switched off, she always hated it when he switched off his phone, but today she decided to not let it spoil her mood. she decided to put on a movie to pass the time, and kept the food in the micro hoping to save a few minutes when he comes.

She woke up feeling cold and hungry in the morning, the same place she sat down to watch the movie. Confused, she walked to the kitchen, dinner was still in the microwave, she checked the bedroom, sometimes he would use his keys to open the door to avoid waking her up when he is late. He had not come home last night, this was unusual she checked her phone hoping to see a message from him or a call may be, letting her know, he might check in to a hotel since it got too late. But there was no message, no phone call, no email, the phone flashed just some regular annoying ads, now she started to get a little worried. She tried his phone, but it was switched off, she started getting mad on him for being so careless, he should have told her about his plans, he should have charged the phone well, he should have called from pay phone or something.

Her mother looked at her and wondered why she was cooking so much food, it was just two of them, she quizzed her for extra food. She smiled and replied ‘it is for him’, her mother looked at her in shock, she could not hold it and yelled at her with tear in her eyes, ‘he is dead for a week now what is wrong with you?’ unaffected from her mother’s emotions she replied her calmly, ‘I told him i would wait for him’. her mother froze, she could not believe what she just heard, her daughter showed no signs of insanity after her husband’s death in the car accident last week, and this was coming from her now. she took her daughter’s hand and pulled her to the chair and sat beside her, holding her gaze she said ‘darling are you alright? he is gone dear he is never coming back’ her daughter’s expression changed and she saw tears rolling down her cheeks.

All alone in the house, she sat in his favourite chair, it has been two weeks since she got out of the house, her phone rang and it was her boss, she needed to return to work she thought, it was the only way she could move on. she got up and got dressed for work, her swollen eyes were of no help, and everybody told her she should take rest and come to office later, she left the office and went to the park where they had their first date, she sat there for the entire noon and returned home in the evening. She entered the empty house and all of a sudden felt how quite it was, she took shower and went to kitchen, as if automatically, she pulled out two plates, immediately she realised what she did, smiling to herself with a tear in her eye, she didn’t put the other plate back and laid the table for two.

Every day she would cook meals for two, and put two plates on the table, and eat alone. she would not allow her mother to come and live with her or anybody else, she kept herself busy with office work most of the time, it worried her family more since they knew she was alone and they wanted to help, somehow she wanted to be left alone. A month has passed now, her mother insisted on coming over, she didn’t argue much realising her mother was not going to give up this time. her mother felt better seeing her daughter was okay now she tried to strike conversation about different things and she responded, she found it to be a great improvement in her. After her mother left she sat down in his favourite chair and started reading a book when she heard purring in her balcony, she avoided it first but when the purring continued she went out and saw a cat sitting one the doormat. the cat looked up at her and purred once more, wondering if the cat was hungry she laid out a bowl of milk in front of the cat, cat smelled the bowl and started licking till it was empty. she watched the cat, sometimes trying to touch her but retreated fearing it would scare it, cat purred licking the last drop of milk and stood up walking to her and started rubbing its back on her feet. she knew she had found a new friend, and from that day on, cat would visit her daily and have its belly filled. sometimes it would come inside and sat beside her for hours just purring and dozing on and off, they grew comfortable in each other’s company.

The cat never failed to show up on time in the evening, it would stay all night and leave in the morning, then she would go to office and the day would go on. the cat would not leave her side while she watched movies and read books in the night and be alerted every time her phone or the door bell rang. It would know the meal times and purr continuously until fed, and then grab its favourite spot for a long nap by her side. Sometimes when she would come late the cat would wait for her in the balcony purring and licking its claws.

It was almost a year now and life seemed to become normal once again, until when her boss called her to his cabin one day and insisted on taking up the offer to shift to london at the new company office where staffing was scarce, but she declined, scared of parting from the last of her husband’s memories. He emphasized warning that the offer would not last long and she should take it. she went home in the evening her boss’s words still echoing in her head asking her when she will move on in life?, she opened the balcony door to let her cat in only it was not there today. Finding it a little awkward she decided to wait and sat in the balcony for sometime, but the cat never showed up, entire evening passed while she waited for the cat. she left the door open and went to bed hoping the cat would come at night she also laid down its bowl of milk, in case it was hungry.

Next day she woke up to a bright morning, she realised she had left the balcony door open for the entire night, she got up to the balcony and saw the bowl of milk still full, she realised the cat never came home. She went to the office that day and told her boss she was ready to relocate to new office at london. packing her bags she looked around the empty apartment and picked up the last picture from the wall, it was taken while they were on their honeymoon, she held the photograph for a minute and then carefully placed it in her bag. She walked out of her apartment with her bag, some belongings and memories worth a life time … the moment she turned to press the lift button, she heard that familiar sound of purring coming from her neighbour Mrs. Verma’s house. For a moment, she thought about going to her house to see that cat for the last time but then she realised… ‘The cat has moved on’

Originally posted 2016-11-30 14:35:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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