Theodora lay on her bed, sobbing uncontrollably into her pillow. Another Valentine’s Day had come and would soon pass, but she was still alone. How long would she go on like this? She had asked herself this question time and time again. How many more loveless, boring years would mark their time on her calendar?
Ever since she had experienced the first fluttery feelings of infatuation in her adolescence, she had spent her days dreaming about the tall, dark Adonis that would come to sweep her off her feet. Today, more than two decades later, she was still waiting.
Theodora was an accomplished professional in her chosen career, currently very high up on the corporate ladder in her organization. Her friends and colleagues admired her focus and dedication to her work, a quality that had earned her the status of a “high flier”.
What they didn’t know was that Theodora was so dedicated because she had nothing and no one else in her life. Her life was empty outside her work. They didn’t know that she would cheerfully give it all up just to be loved. Just to have a man find her worthy of his heart and home. She wanted a ring. Yes, that piece of jewellery that, to her, symbolised true womanhood.
Of course, the few close friends she had scoffed at her desires, calling her orientation warped. Marriage is not an achievement, they had all quipped nonchalantly at one point or the other. The only problem was that they were all married. It was like a woman with six children telling another who was struggling to conceive that having children wasn’t such a big deal. Besides, how could they presume for her what she should view as an achievement and what she should not?
Each year, these same friends set out goals for themselves which they worked towards and celebrated meeting or surpassing at the end of the year. So what was wrong about her own goal and why would she not celebrate achieving it, when it had taken so long and had cost her blood and tears to achieve?
Theodora was certain that her friends pitied her in their minds. They probably even gossiped about her single status in her absence. She had seen them watch her like a hawk whenever she was around their husbands.
She wondered why they would think she wanted another woman’s sloppy seconds, let alone try to break her friend’s home. Father, she cried in silent anguish, I want my own oh!
Hours later, Theodora wiped her tears and got up to microwave the pizza she had ordered since morning. On her way to the kitchen, she crossed the mirror in the hallway.
She paused to tug her gown down over her exposed thighs, studying her reflection. The years of finding comfort in junk food were taking their toll. She was obese now. Her double chin and massive limbs aged her beyond her years.
Theodora sighed and moved on. She was still hopeful. Her Adonis would find her before this year ran out and he would fall in love with the beautiful woman inside.
This year was her year, Theodora prayed as she wolfed down another slice of pizza. She wondered absently, whether she had mistakenly ordered a “medium” instead of her usual “large”. The pizza suddenly looked too small. Maybe the current recession had finally hit her favourite meal.
Photo Credit: Felix Mizioznikov | Dreamstime.com