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The Melody of the Name, Emily as Perceived by Russel

I have been in the writing field since 2015. I love to write and share short stories, memoirs and personal essays here.

Russel was on his flight towards his far-off home. He thought after settling down in a plane seat and looking out of the window, “This time, I am determined to find the girl of my choice. I will make her mine and bring her to Scotland. She will be my queen. I will love her immeasurably. I do need to find a twin flame at this stage of my life.”

He stepped on the floor of his parents' home. His younger brother had picked him up from the airport. He said to his family, "Ma, Dad, I am determined to marry this time." They said, "Okay, for sure, son."

Pic: Russel

Pic: Russel

Russel was trying to fight off jetlag. After a satisfying homemade lunch, he fell asleep. Russel had jumbled up nonlucid dreams so that he woke up with a start in the evening. He tried to spend time with family, but he was restless. Something kept telling him he should be doing something else.

By the evening, the next day, visitors among relatives started visiting him and his original family. Among them, somebody caught Russel’s attention. An attractive girl with short dark hair with golden shades whose face he couldn’t take his eyes off. He knew she was Emily, his cousin.

Emily was carefree, on the other hand, and moved about the place happily, talking to the older people and the youngsters. She was the teacher of a kindergarten school. She was happy with her job and life.

Pic: Cousin Emily

Pic: Cousin Emily

Russel tried his best to grab Emily’s attention. He tried to send her unspoken messages about his interest in her. But Emily showed little interest and wandered about, still carefree, and was gone when the later evening approached.

Russel became very quiet for the rest of the evening. He pondered on. "Maybe marrying a cousin wasn't a good enough idea." He wondered whether or not to share his feelings with family. But he decided against it and remained quiet. Nobody noticed anything was wrong or that Russel was in pain and heartache.

Later the next day, he announced he was going to the countryside. He needed to be nearer to mother earth and nature.

He loved everything about the countryside, the lakes, the small brick homes, and the greeneries- in fact, everything.

He went to his deceased grandfather's dilapidated home where his older cousin and family were now staying. They accepted him as their guest and treated him to homemade and village-like delicious lunch. The older cousin, Sohail said, “I am glad you are here. But my family and I had plans to visit deeper into the village where our distant Uncle stays. Would you like to visit him with us?”

Russel was excited. “For sure”, he said.

He, along with his cousin Sohail and family, took a battery-operated rickshaw where there was space for six people, and everyone got inside properly. It was a long ride.

Russel enjoyed the warm breeze of early summer and the chirping of birds. He noticed the butterflies going from one flower to another and sucking nectar.

Finally, they came to a stop because the rickshaw couldn’t go any further. Sohail’s family knew the place so that they got off the rickshaw and started walking in the direction of the destined place.

Yes, Russel felt happy about the place and trotted deeper and deeper into the village with cousin Sohail. Soon they came to a mud home belonging to the Uncle. The Aunt was cooking a pot of rice over the fire where she put in wooden straws. And then Russel met the most beautiful scene in his life.

Their daughter was carrying a mud pot of water, having collected it from a nearby pond. Her long black hair was flying in the air. And she carried an enigmatic smile on her face. She came closer and closer. And Russel kept watching her.

When she was near enough, he asked, “What is your name?” She said in a melodious voice, “Emily.”

Russel couldn’t believe his ears. “Emily. Emily indeed! Was it not a very enchanting name?”

Pic: Russel Finds Melody in the Name, Emily

Pic: Russel Finds Melody in the Name, Emily

Russel gave his introduction and went inside the mud home. As a village girl, Emily was rather smart. She brought Russel village sweets and tea. Her parents were very friendly. Finally, before leaving, Russel asked Emily’s father politely, “Can I ask the hand of your daughter? I think she will make a fine wife for me.”

Pic: Russel’s Real Emily

Pic: Russel’s Real Emily

Emily’s parents had already watched Russel’s interest in their daughter. And they were happy to come across a good would-be husband for their daughter.

Her parents nodded at each other in agreement. And Emily had gone hiding further inside their home.

Yes, there would be a marriage between Russel and Emily. Emily was twenty while Russel was thirty. The age difference didn’t matter to either party. They exchanged contact phone numbers and mail addresses as well.

Soon Russel would be coming back to his cousin Sohail’s place, but before that, he went inside where Emily was hiding and took a quick photo of her on his smartphone, and came out smiling.

He came back to his home still smiling. Yes, Emily and Russel were meant for each other in a twisted way. His cousin Emily would never be his. But this countryside Emily was his. So warm-hearted and charismatic!

It was strange that close to his home, the Emily he knew didn’t return his feelings. Yet so far away from home, he had to stroll a long enough distance to reach his real Emily.

After Russel reached home, he showed his parents the colorful photo of Emily. They were charmed and happy that he had finally found the one to marry.

There were rounds of phone calls and text messages. And it was decided Emily's family would come to their home and stay for a week a month later, and her parents would hand in her to Russel for marriage.

Both the families got closer day by day until the reserved week came into play.

Yes, Emily, along with her parents, reached Russel’s place. Invitation cards had already been sent to guests all over the city to attend the marriage ceremony.

The girl’s family threw a party. Russel’s family threw another. It was at the first party of the ceremony that a Kazi married off Russel and Emily. They were a very, very happy couple.

Cousin Emily was nowhere around to be seen. Anyways, Russel didn’t mind. His gorgeous and precious Emily was around him, and he hadn’t a care in the world as he was so blissful!

The Secret of a Happy Marriage Remains a Secret.

— Henny Youngman

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© 2021 Rosina S Khan