Saturday, September 14, 2013


                   It was Gwendolyn's first enormous view of the once great matriarch of the Sanders' household. She held her breath momentarily in awe of the exquisite beauty staring back at her in dead silence. Stepping closer into the silver encrusted wedding frame, Gwen let out a few, halting gasps and murmured to herself. "So this is you Farrah Mishael...the one woman Phil dearly loved and beheld for nearly a decade.
                    But for sure, Phil loved her as much, Gwen pondered like a little girl bereft of parental affection. "For after all, I'm his second wife..."
                    Did her husband, who was well reputed and held highly by the Danish Society, really did care about her greatly inasmuch as she could fool herself into owning the idea?Gwen brought down the silver frame gently on the dusted desk so she could get rid of an up close view of the revered Mrs. Sanders the First.
                    Gwen has pressed Phil for countless innumerable times about how much he did love her. And Phil has consistently given her reassurance that he'd be hers for life and the life after that.
                    "How many times do I have to remind you that you measure up to no one?," Phil would playfully stroke her aquiline nose with his. "It is only you my darling."
                    Gwen would kiss her trustworthy husband with equal ardor and flair but midway their simmering kiss, she would retreat and ask again, "But why did you whisper the name Farrah in one of our lovemakings?". She tilted her head slightly, her face full of swirling doubts.
                   "I was feverish that day darling. You must understand sometimes..." He caressed her melancholic face and kissed her again and again to wash away all hidden fears.
                   And then as she saw the clandestine image of his elusive muse, she raged inside and longed to burn the damned frame before her.
                   In a few seconds, the door creaked open. It was Phil, steady and calm as a river.
                   "What on earth are you doing around here?", Phil slowly started to lose his composure upon the sight of an intruder. "This place is off limits."
                   True enough, the mysterious attic has had no occupants whatsoever for the past ten years. Except for Phil who alone had the access to the locked enclave. He could freely come and go out of the attic whenever he pleased and usually unbeknownst to the insiders of the Sanders household. Everybody thought that when Farrah had gone, so had the attic-which was once the couple's favorite love nest.
                   "Now I know the cause of your nightmare.Now I know the real  intruder!".
                   "She is not like that. She was once the love of my life. And I will and can never forget her."
                   Gwen buried her steamy face into her weakening hands.
                   "She's been dead for long. It's time for you to bury her memories. I'm your wife now."
                  "Do you have any idea how she died?, Phil queried purposefully.
                  "No, you never told me." She wiped her wet nose with her bare wrist.
                  "Well let me tell you now," he drew closer to Gwen and gave her his blue hanky for wiping fresh hot tears on her dumped cheeks. "HEPATITIS KILLED HER."
                 Gwen jerked her head in utter surprise. "Hepatitis?" she reiterated mildly.
                  "Yes. Hepatitis B & C are silent viruses because people may experience no symptoms."
                  Gwen's aura lightly cleared up. "But I heard from the other occupants of this house  that she died of a liver sickness."
                  "Yes indeed. If left untreated, hepatitis B or C can lead to advanced liver scarring, liver cancer or liver failure."
                  "Is that so?, Gwen muttered, her normal sweet voice breaking to pieces."Why didn't you inform me sooner?".
                  "Because you never seemed to care."
                  "Well thank you for bothering to tell me the truth. I was gonna die of extreme jealousy you know."
                  "Gwen, 500 million people are living with chronic hepatitis nowadays. And these people need help," he stated firmly."And I believe I was helpless at that time. Farrah owned the disease. In a way, I blame my ignorance for her untimely death."
                 "No you shouldn't my love. It's the deadly virus to blame."
                 Gwen gripped her husband's shoulders. And this time, she hugged him as if it were her very last.