CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE: TAMING OF THE SHREW
”Charles” she called him softly.
“Am I being too difficult?” she asked him suddenly. He turned to her fascinated.
“Should I really answer that, my dear?” he asked her, lifting one eyebrow and looking at her with comical eyes.
“It’s just that” she said, getting up and sitting next to him, looking up into his eyes with a pleading expression.
“I know how terribly I’ve behaved to you and I know that you read all the time because you don’t want to deal with me...”
“Should I be worried?” he interrupted her, as if she were starting a new issue.
“I am not so ill-natured, you know” she told him, pitifully.
“Oh, I know that dear. Look here” he told her with a smile.
“I know. Don’t fret about any of that. It’s too sudden, isn’t it?” he asked her sympathetically.
“You probably miss your friends and college and I know that” he said, pausing with tender eyes, “your parents were not pleased about any of this. No parent would be. You married before you even got a degree and paid no respect to their wishes, you probably have brought disgrace on them and they are also worried for you” he told her slowly, as if easing into something that was painful.
“But I still feel terrible about the way I have behaved to you. How you must despise me, darling. And I do, utterly hate calling you Charles” she told him, going off topic as was her habit when in such humours.
“You prefer sir?” he asked her teasingly.
“I love how handsome you look when you speak so gently to me” she told him, carried away by the moment. He smiled sympathetically at her evading her own topic, his wife often did that.
“Look here” he told her clearly.
“But I don’t like that tone of yours. You sound so harsh” she told him.
“Darling, I see that you don’t want to talk about it but trust me, time will heal your scars only if you admit that you are in fact hurt. I know you deeply miss your family, don’t you?” he asked her, patiently, holding her hands.
Jennifer did not reply but looked down.
“Even me, sweetheart, even me, at times am worried and uneasy in mind. We have so many differences to work out, we have very little common interests, don’t we?” he told her, laughing.
“But the only way we are going to get past that is by accepting who we really are. From now on, we shall decide to be ourselves no matter what, but we should always also think for and consider the other person. Now, tell me truly darling, why do you keep switching the channel when I come by? How long do you think you can do that?” he asked her jokingly.
“See now, I may not share certain interests but that’s why I love you darling. You are unique and adamantly end up doing just what you want. I love your spirit and your character, and also that you get your own way no matter what” he added.
Jennifer blushed and looked down.
“So you’re saying I make a splendid wife?” she asked him playfully.
“The best, darling”.
“Oh you charmer. How sweetly you call me.”
“My love” he went on and they both laughed together.
“But tell me truly” she said suddenly turning serious.
“Oh God no!” he exclaimed worriedly, making her laugh again.
“Do you truly love me?” she asked him.
He made a very doubtful face and put his hands on his lips, resting his chin between his thumb and fingers, narrowing his eyes and putting on a show as if he were thinking deeply.
“Charles” she said indignantly.
“Why do you ask that?”
“You only married me because I wouldn’t stop nagging you, didn’t you?” she asked sadly.
“Oh, Jennifer! If I were to marry every woman that nagged me, I’d be the most married man on earth”.
“No, please, tell me.”
“Jennifer, it’s no use thinking such foolish things as that” and he paused and wet his lips before continuing in his deepest of tones, “Such thoughts are going to make neither of us happy. I can’t prove it to you, I can only make you feel it. I love you Jennifer, truly and greatly” he told her.
“How are you so tolerant Charles?” she asked and in answer, he opened the book he was reading and showed her the title with much show.
It read: Taming of the Shrew.