There were three laws in their lives-
- Their parents were old school. Things were done in their homes in the old school ways.
- Their parents had been planning their lives for them since they were in the cradle.
- And on the day after their 18th birthdays, they would be wed.
They grew up with that knowledge and fought it all the way. Till the day before his 18th birthday, he ran away from home. And joined the army. He wasn’t ready to marry anyone, let alone someone he had known since they were in diapers.
She grinned at his little rebellion and pouted for a few weeks whenever the parents were looking. Then started dating on the sly. Till she found a boy who wasn’t anything like what her parents wanted, and not even one of their own.
She eloped with him. And her path was set for the next few years. So was his.
When he came home from the army, he was shell-shocked and drinking too much.
She was a battered wife and trying to figure out a way to protect her kids.
When they met up again and had a long talk.
He sent her and the kids off to an army buddy of his to keep them safe. And he dealt with all the police and lawyer appts. And if they needed anything from her specifically, he made the arrangements. She used her parents’ address as the contact and lived with the army buddy and his wife.
She got full custody and a restraining order.
And disappeared. To all but him. She was tired of her parents blaming her for marrying against their wishes. He got tired of being blamed for leaving her in danger.
They kept in touch as they were healing from their injuries and trauma. After all they didn’t hate each other. And they understood each other. And bottomline, he had helped her and the kids when they were desperate. He was a good man, and she trusted him.
Slowly, they began to date and got closer as adults. And they went thru the steps their parents had wanted for them when they were teenagers. They now understood how important it was to have a similar background and ideals when you went to marry. And in some ways, they wished they had done them then.
But they were ready now and it actually meant now what their parents had wanted for them. They weren’t in love, but they respected, liked and trusted each other. And knew they were loved.
They found a different kind of intimacy and enjoyed it.
Finally they were ready to tell their parents the news. And bore out one more chat about how they could have had this all along.
As their parents booked all the wedding arrangements.
It was 10 years afterwards, but the wedding finally came.
And everyone was happy to be there on the day.
They went to their graves, closely together. Having born two kids of their own and he loved her children as his own. It was a happy home. When the time was right for them. There was love, of a kind.