It was silent in the large, dimly lit office. Marcus’s eyes fixated on the couple infront of him. They were sitting at the far ends of the navy blue couch, their faces turned away from the other. Hostility burned in depths of their eyes.
Marcus was drained. For the last six hours he had been counseling this couple, their hatred for each other floated around the room, sapping every positive energy from the room.
In one gulp, Marcus drained the his wine, folding the files infront of him, his eyes darted across the room to the wall clock hanging on the white wall. It said 7:30pm.
He heaved. It was already 3 hours past his closing time. He yearned to rush home to help his daughter with her assignment but he knew that if he left the couple, they would cut the last rope holding their marriage.
He drew his seat back from the table and stood up. Walking across the book shelf hanging on the wall, he headed towards the couple.
“What exactly is the problem? ” he said, stopping two feet from them. His voice broke the silence of room but he had barely finished when the couple snatched the words from his mouth.
Their squabble began anew –
“He doesn’t make me happy! He is selfish!” she yelled.
“She just changed to someone else over night. Nagging! demanding! I can’t find joy anymore. I want a divorce!” the man shouted, slamming his hand on his lap.
“Me too.. I am done! ” the woman echoed, baring her fangs even though pain rose to the depth of her eyes.
Marcus turned to her husband, searching his eyes for the love he must have once shared with his wife. It glowed bright. Beneath the fire in his eyes and his labored breath – Marcus saw regret. He saw a love the man tried to hide.
Marcus smiled. He knew he didn’t need his psychological training to know that these two were meant for each other.
He looked them in the eyes and began –
“Love is not enough in a marriage. Knowledge is essential to the success of a home. Above everything you two have said here, one thing remains constant ” He said, turning to the couple who were looking at him with rapt attention.
“You are searching for happiness in each other’s arms and you won’t find it because it’s not there. Your partner can make you smile, can make you laugh but joy is something you must find on your own. ” Marcus said, his eyes on them. They had moved to the edge of the couch. Their analyzing his words.
” You, alone are responsible for your joy. You must come to this marriage whole. It should be two happy people forming a bigger happier whole. Not two broken people searching for home! ”
Marcus finished. His words were taking roots in their hearts, he could see it. The man’s shoulder had slumped. He was staring at his shoes. His wife shuddered. The tears she was fighting to hold, dripped from the corners of her eyes. Her husband looked up at her, emotions swam in his eyes. He reached into his pocket and offered his white handkerchief. She cringed, staring at the handkerchief like it was a scorpion.
“Take it, Cathy.” the husband said. His voice as soft as silk.
She reached for it but before she could take it his arms folded around her. They held on. Their bodies trembled. Marcus turned away. Their soft cries and loud sniffs echoed behind him.
Marcus smiled,knowing that today was the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.