Blessings of a Curse
By Aditya Prasada Adrianputra
We met when I was only 18 years old; She was only 16. I was still in high school. Young and dumb, they say. I liked her, but love was not yet in my vocabulary. I liked the way she laughed at my stupid jokes, I liked her kind heart among many reasons. After getting to know each other a bit, there wasn’t a weekend spent when I wasn’t with her. We went to all of the cafes that all our friends would tell us about, we watched scary movies together where she would hide in comfort on my right shoulder, she always sat to the right of me. Call it a preference, but I got used to it quickly. When you’re beginning to love someone, you start to realize all of the small details. I began to realize that I loved her when she was 25. It was her birthday on a rainy afternoon at a beachside restaurant. During this time of the year, there wasn’t a day that went by when rain wouldn’t stop pouring.
I had just turned 27 and realized that my nails would stop growing longer. My hair would stay the same length, no matter how many weeks went by. I realized that I didn’t feel hungry or thirsty anymore, she would always do the eating while I sat by her just watching her and looking into her dark brown eyes. Every second finding another reason why I had loved her. My father told me about this. He once told me that once I reached a certain age, I would stop aging and become immortal. It’s been in our family since who knows when. None of us could explain it, nor did we fight it. We just accepted it and adapted.
He also told me that I could bring one person with me to enjoy (or to suffer with me, depending on how you look at it) this immortal life with. There was one condition though, if I ever stopped loving the person I choose to enjoy the rest of my immortal life with, I would start aging normally. At this point of time, I knew that this girl was the one.
During a picnic one day, I picked a nearby daisy and twirled it around my fingers. She was talking about some movie that we were planning to watch later in the afternoon. I wasn’t listening. I was thinking about our future. I then offered the flower to her in the midst of her conversation, “Will you marry me?” I whispered. “What did you say?” “Will you be with me until the end of time?” she giggled as she embraced me with the same loving hug that I would feel whenever I dropped her off from our dates together, as if she didn’t want to leave.
“I thought you’d never ask”.
As the years went by, just like my father explained, we didn’t age a bit. Her laughter was ever so happy and her eyes kept the same shine as they did the first time I met her. The flower I gave to her was framed and hung in our living room above the couch. Apparently the “condition” didn’t just affect people, but all living things that we shared together. Every single thing we built together and shared remained unaffected by time. We were living like a dream. Can you imagine keeping every thing you love and cherish forever until the end of time? We were living in our own world, a world where nothing left us and we would never feel the pain of losing something.
It was only after 50 years when the person I loved with all my heart started changing. When she would laugh, I began to notice the little wrinkles under her eyes. I realized that I also began to get older. My nails grew longer and my hair wasn’t the same medium length as it was. I explained a bit to her about how the immortality worked, but I never told her everything. She just assumed that we just aged extremely slowly.
100 years later, she found a few grey hairs on my head and asked me about them. She was confused. This time, neither of us knew what was happening. I did not love her less, and she did not love me less. I didn’t think much of it though, because after a few years we would stop aging again and would stay like we were for another 30 years or so. It seemed like every decade, we would visually age very slightly and then be back to normal. As the years went by, I saw my wife go from aging to standing still to aging again in a relentless loop. She never asked me about it, but it never left my mind as well.
As she lay on her deathbed physically old and weak, she grabbed my hand as I sit beside her “Sayang, why does it feel like I am dying? I have never asked you, but I need some closure before I go. Do you not love me anymore? I have never loved you any less.” With tears streaming down my cheeks, I gave her a kiss on the cheek and said to her “I have never loved you less. Not one bit. But I have always loved the idea of growing old with you the most.”