The Old Mansion - contd...
by Anita Bhattacharjee
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I visited Angelina often with Mr. Bhowmik and gradually she underwent some major changes. She held my hand one evening as I came to meet her and looked into my eyes as if thanking me for everything. I could not hold back my tears. I wanted to tell her about Sophia. Sophia died in a car accident but I never accepted the fact that I was the one driving the car. Today life had provided me an opportunity to correct my misdeeds.
I settled down in the remote village, joined the village school and started teaching the poor children. Angelina recovered gradually and I was a pillar of strength to Mr. Bhowmik, in those days. We both had lost something in life for which there was no replacement and Angelina was our only hope. We hoped and waited.
Days passed into months and months into years. After five years, the doctors finally released Angelina. We both went to receive her. She was beautiful as ever but perhaps her passive nature made her more beautiful now. In a few days she joined hands in serving the poor villagers. We together worked with dedication and patience for years and finally we were able to establish a reputed school in the village. Thus, one of our most impossible dreams came true.
Finally came the most awaited day when Mr. Bhowmik called me one evening for dinner and said,
"You changed our lives and I am so glad you are here to support
us. Angelina is fine now but you are an inspiration for her. She cannot think of a life without you. I was just wondering....if you could take care of her for the rest of her life."
I had no words to express my feelings yet I was uncertain if Angelina too felt the same.
"Mr. Bhowmik,I am honoured that you thought I am worthy enough to take care of your daughter, but before taking any decision I would like to speak to her". I said.
We sat quietly in a cliff near a pool of water. I told Angelina about my past life, my wife Sophia and how she died in a car accident and I was the one responsible for her death. Angelina took my hand and looked into my eyes.
"We all make mistakes in life and it takes years to heal up the consequences. Yet we have to live till we die even if we don't want to and if we have to live why should we not live in a better way. And if we have to live why not live in a better way. Live with someone who can share, care and understand you and your weakness. Your weakness will be my strength from now onwards," said Angelina.
She never told me that she loved me, yet she became a part of my life. We celebrated a silent wedding in the country church and led the rest of our life in peace and harmony serving the poor villagers. ***