For When She Wakes

by MW Cook

My wife is asleep right now, in Pakistan. When she wakes up, it will be our anniversary.

She’s been gone a week or two. I can’t really tell, truth be told. Living without her is like living on night-shifts. I can’t really gauge the passing of time well. So here I am doing night shifts and away from her. So, yeah, I hardly can tell what day it is.

What can I say about Ruth this year? What can I say about where we’ve come and where we are?

I never could understand poets and story-tellers who would compare their lovers to gods. I could never understand that idea of worshipping a spouse. It was distasteful. Worse, it seemed forced. Because, since I did not understand it, I assumed it was not nearly as real as they were making it out to be. Because any spouse, at best, is flawed. And how can you worship something that is flawed?

But I get it today.

Ruth, are you there? Are you awake yet, my beloved Devi?

I love you.

I offer my life and my heart as a sacrifice to you. I do not say any of this out of ‘oughtness’ or duty. No. My heart yearns for you, even when you are with me.

When you are away, I have trouble finding the point for anything I do. I try to write and my mind whispers ‘What is the point? Your Devi is away.’ I try to study and my mind whispers ‘What is the point? Your Devi is away.’ Suddenly I understand in what way you are my muse! The muse does not grant ideas and creativity. Those things are already in each of us. No. The muse shows the importance of those things. And you, Devi, are my muse.

What can I say? I look back over all the years that I have called you ‘wife’. And here I stand on the tallest mountain of love I have ever seen. It makes all the other years look like bumps and hills.

What can I say?

Remember when we used to joke that we were Sita and Ram? We are not really like that, because Ram drove Sita out in the end, because he felt his responsibilities as king demanded it. A kingdom is not worth as much as you to me.

Or when we joked that we were Layla and Mujnun? We are not like that, either. Because Majnun gave up when Layla’s father refused him. I would have never relented.

Or when we joked that we we Romeo and Juliet? We are not like them. Because our story is not a tragedy.

Who are we?

We are Matt and Ruth. We are the greatest love story the world has ever seen. Other readers may roll their eyes and think I exaggerate. But you know. I know. We have the sort of love that stories are made of. And that is the truth. That is the truth.

See you soon, Devi.

In kadmon mein saansein waar de
Rab se zyaada tujhe pyaar de
Rab mainu maaf kare
Rabba khairiya, haai mainu maaf kare