by Vijayalakshmi Anandan
(Bangalore, Karnataka, India)
"Love's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom."
Read Sarah, the enthralling lines from Sonnet 116, written by the Bard of Avon, so besotted himself! As she read, she deeply cogitated about the feeling in Shakespeare's heart as he wrote those lines. As though the Sun appeared from nowhere amidst tempestuous clouds, the thought of Parker conjured up in her mind.
Sarah and Parker were in the sixth month of their blossoming relationship. Love is blind, they say. But either of them were so blinded that they lived in denial of the shortcomings of one another.
Sarah lived a life of lavishness and pomp, for what could a Landlord's daughter ask for, when she was affluent enough to take the entire world on a trip. Sarah's father raised her with one intent: to get her hitched to the wealthiest of men, so he could have enough fortune to drive a Rolls Royce down the lane to visit his neighbor living two houses away. But Sarah felt a total eclipse of heart towards her father for his avaricious ways.
Not until Parker, a man of gallantry and sensational looks came along, that Sarah believed sunshine existed. She enamored of his love and affection. They visited every quaint part of London and basked in the company of each other. They met upon one condition. With every meeting, Sarah must bring a pearl for Parker. Each of the pearls she presented him would be stringed together and worn by her on the day Sarah and Parker walked down the Aisle, hand in hand, embarking on a journey of togetherness!
Days, nights, weeks and months went by. The day approached. Parker strung the pearls into a beautiful necklace. He was going to ask Sarah's hand in marriage, as she expected him to in the Charity Ball destined to happen that evening.
Dressed in a sequined Valentino Gown, Sarah caught the eyes of men, but none stood a chance to win her heart. For all she knew, she belonged to Parker, body and soul. Parker arrived from behind her and scooped her in his arms. As their eyes met, they danced to the mellifluous tunes of Mozart. He took her aside to the balcony. Sarah appeared red beneath her powder-tinted cheeks as she couldn't help but feel excited about their prospective marriage. He tacitly whispered into her ears "I love you Sarah" and took out the pearl necklace from the inner pocket of his tuxedo. Sarah's heart skipped a beat.
She gracefully turned around and gathered her falling locks to one side making way for Parker to hook the string of pearls around her neck. Parker slid the necklace around her delicately. With such impetus, he smothered her with the pearls that stood as a symbol of their endearment.
Uncontrollably, Sarah fell to the floor with a part of life still left inside her. He laughed wickedly, for he wanted only the opulence she possessed. She flinched in pain, as he left her to die. Sarah failed to understand that the pearls were all that Parker ever wanted, while she idolized him as the Pearl to the Oyster of her life. She closed her eyes as she sang to herself a dirge in her heart, falling into the deepest of slumbers on the lap of eternity…