…Wedding in Philippines…

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..Wedding in Philippines...

…Wedding in Philippines…

“Slightly nervous,” Qia Bjurwald said in a quivering voice to Erik Wirldmark as she took her spot opposite to him. She has had such a feeling when she was a teenager; when she had boarded the airplane for the first time with her parents when they all went for a short holiday to St Petersburg whose sister city is Gothenburg. The nervous feeling springing from heart currently pleasantly surprised her. Also, nervousness over meeting a man whom she had known for over a decade but she could sense the cause, and convinced herself that their relationship was going to change completely, dramatically. Locking her eyes into his eyes, she added, “Also, excited.”

Thirty seconds before she strode into the café by the Palm House in Gothenburg Botanical Society, Erik reached prior to her and had ordered a coffee of her choice and brought to the table. Their tastes for coffee are different: one drinks a strong coffee without milk, and the other drinks a weak coffee with milk. Erik took a sip from his cup, and savoured the strong taste of coffee, and remarked, “Same with me.”

Their hands were freed from their coffee cups, and they locked their hands into each other’s by resting them on the table.

The intermittent acquaintanceship of a decade was moving towards an unusual relationship: a binding one unlike they had known, and unlike they had experienced before, and unlike they had heard from their social circle.

“What did your son, say?” Qia asked.

“If it is fine for you, do it, son says,” Erik replied, and asked, “Your daughter?”

“She has no opinion on this, but wants me to be realistic,” answered Qia.

∼ ∼∼

Qia and Erik have identified the obstacles and responsibilities, and borders and territories to draw in their relationship for a permanent fruition of the relationship. They have spoken to their early-teenage children about their relationship, and how they will respectfully manoeuvre in each other’s private space, and their shared space, in their quest to take their relation till to the climax of life. They considered, if plans would go as they planned, to take their children along with them to that distant country if their ex-partners allowed.

Past marriages, past divorces, past co-habitation, past-relationships of one or the other kind for short time or brief time or relatively long time starkly marked the lives of Qia and Erik. At a stage in life, not-so-early and not-so-late, they wished to cement their relationship into a permanent one. They have experienced the ease of terminating a legally-sanctified relationship from another person in a jiff, and the laws of the land and the current customs of the country allowed in snapping of a relationship unlike anywhere else in the world.

Previously they had taken stock of would-be sources of conflicts, and identified ways to mitigate them. They had listed down what had made them to divorce and separate from their previous partners, either wedded or unwedded, and not repeat them again but to feed to each other’s comfort and communion.

∼ ∼∼

“Have you checked?” Erik asked, taking his hand out from her hands, and took a sip of coffee and placed it back into hers.

“I did,” Qia replied. Erik has found out that unlike Sweden, and unlike in Europe, and unlike in many other so-called religious countries, Philippines laws are strict: once married under the laws of the land, divorce is almost impossible. Erik wanted her to cross-check and find out for herself what it meant to go there, and bind themselves. “It makes sense,” Qia added, affirming to his findings about the outcome, “to get married.”

Why to go in, and go out, and go in, and go out…it is enough…let us go in for once and all, they concurred.

Their gaze at each other, and into each other, intensified. The heat in the coffee in the cups had escaped. Coffee turned stale. Their eyes moistened almost unfelt never before this far in their lives.

“Shall we marry in Philippines, then?” Erik asked quaveringly, lovingly, expectantly. Philippines is trending as the hot country for soft and serious marriages for a lifetime. The laws of the land made it impossible for divorce.

Concernedly, affectionately, in a promising voice, Qia said, “Let us marry in Philippines.”

The grip of their hands locked into one another’s hands grew stronger, and they gently raised from their chairs, a little, and brought their faces closer, and closer, till they touched their lips.

—Lucinda Palme