This week’s writing challenge:write on the theme of walls and barrier. The things people put between each other.
Ron and Sarah were married for twenty years and lived in the up-market area of Chicago, with their teenaged daughter, Cynthia. Sarah has a medium sized publishing house, where she joined as a copy writer, more than twenty-two years ago and came up through her hard work, eventually becoming its owner. Today, was a pleasant spring morning and as she drove to her office through the busy streets of Chicago, she recollected her first meeting with Ron. She was coming out of the departmental store in a hurry, with both hands occupied in carrying packages. A tall handsome man with a typical insurance agent look, bumped into her accidentally and spilled the items in the packages on the floor. He looked more upset than her, hurriedly picked up the items and apologized profusely
She distinctly remembered the nervous expression on his face and felt more amused than angry at him. After escorting her carefully to her car, he sheepishly asked if he could have the honor of sharing coffee with her at the coffee house. The sincerity of the offer made her reluctantly accept it and thus began a long period of courtship that lasted almost two years, before they finally decided to seal it with a formal marriage. Her reverie was suddenly shaken with the continuous honking of the car behind, as the traffic signal changed from red to green. She drove on to reach her office and re-started her reverie from where she had broken off, as she entered her cabin on the tenth floor.
Ron was a stock broker, studying to become an investment banker. The one quality she liked about Ron was that he never disagreed with her, although he might hold a different view initially, but, would gradually come around to agreeing with her. “You’re a poor debater,” she had once joked with him He had replied, “It’s better to be poor than be a loser”.
The first few years after marriage had been very blissful. They would often steal a few hours from their busy office routines and meet at strange places to share a few moments of togetherness. With the passage of years, the office responsibilities grew at a fast rate. Ron had become the Director of a firm of Investment Bankers. Now, there was a heavy pressure on the time they could spend together. They would reach home at different hours and after a quick dinner, they would be back in their studies to work on their laptops.
Ron usually had the last puff on his cigar, before calling it a day. Today, as he sat on the sofa exhaling the puffs of smoke, he stared at the ceiling and saw the individual puffs lose their identities as they went up and diffused into the air. He saw himself and Sarah as two puffs of smoke that have lost their identities and lived like strangers ‘keeping their noses to the grindstone’. He saw their giant double bed that would be occupied at night, but there would be an invisible barrier which divided it into two cocoons that cannot be penetrated. He pondered about the last time they enjoyed sex together! That is the price of prosperity, he thought. The clock struck two and Ron ended another busy day.