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"Are You a Virgin?"

The Perfect Gentleman

Uncle Jack was the perfect gentleman I knew in our old village. He had lived most of his youth in the city, but he had married and settled in the village. He was handsome and the perfect features to be admired in the world of women. He was chivalrous, and he loved Aunt Bella to the core. I never saw a word pass between them in their ten years of married life. They were the perfect couple, an example how perfect couples should be. In their 10 years of married life, I never saw Aunt Bella complain of anything; she seemed the most satisfied of her sex. It was unusual for a woman to be so much in love after a decade of marriage. But then it was also the unusual charm of Uncle Jack that had bound her in the unbreakable knot. Uncle Jack wasn’t a man for no reason. His existence seemed to emanate from the love that he had for his spouse. And they lived in peace like one soul.
But the strangest thing that I knew of Uncle Jack was the way he had begun the conversation with Aunt Bella when they had first met. And I always wondered why she hadn’t kicked him out of her life. But then they were meant to be united forever, so maybe she had ignored his question.
One fine day when Uncle Jack had gone to the fields to drive away the nilgai herd that would destroy the crops, I chanced to stop at aunt Bella’s doorstep. She was putting the washed clothes on the wire. And I talked to her about how life had been all the years. She had never more been satisfied, she had never more been happy.
 The previous week, there had been a grand celebration for their decade anniversary. And then we all knew that her first meeting with Uncle Jack though had a bad beginning but had ended being awesome and she had fallen head over heels after their conversation.
It was strange to know that Uncle Jack had seen her on a matrimonial site and stalked her for some months.
It happened that Aunt Bella, finally, one eventful day, having been tired of all the background whispering decided to put her profile on a matrimonial site. There were many sites which promised soul-mate matches – the perfect union, the prince charming, or the perfect bride, etc.
 Aunt Bella lived in the city, and was a working girl earning a decent salary. What happens then? Your friends and relatives will pester you until and unless you lose your freedom to some desperate soul who is willing to lose his. And they will never let you live in peace unless you have (what I say) brought the misfortune at your doorstep. Yes, marriage what I would say is a misfortune for those who struggle in marriage; with added responsibility and restricted freedom.
But then we all crave for love. A love that is timeless, mysterious and surprising. Something that would wrap up the soul and take care in times of happiness and trial. And Aunt Bella was no exception. But she hated the lustful stares that she sometimes witnessed while going to work, and she knew she wouldn’t ever take any one of them as her husband. She couldn’t let marriage be only a contract in the name of physical satisfaction. Marriage was divine, the union of souls already made in heaven. It was a belief she couldn’t give up. She knew someday, her dream man would come to her like the river that was destined to meet the sea. Her soulmate would come like the flowing river with all its sweetness and she would engulf his love with hers like the sea with all its vastness and saltiness. Nature would rejoice at their reunion.
That was her beautiful thought. A world of dreams. However in the real world, dreams do not get fulfilled so easily as anyone thinks. Rather difficult times come out of nowhere. And hypocrisy is abound. Aunt Bella’s dad died of a cardiac arrest. And the marriage thing was left on her mother’s shoulder, who thought it best that girls shouldn’t work but get married and have their own family. Nothing weird, but pure motherly instinct of survival and propagation of the species.
Aunt Bella had many suitors, and her mother would have gladly got her married to one of them. But at the end of every meeting Aunt Bella couldn’t trust any of them to be her husband. Her mother was mad at her. “If you keep rejecting your prospective grooms like this, you will die an old maid,” she said. “And wonder who will take care of you in your old age. I will be long gone, cold in my grave.”
Aunt Bella was a working girl, and like a true working girl with high ambitions had in her profile mentioned that she expected her husband to earn more than her. It was wrong, she knew it in her mind, but then when life was making a contract with her, then she too had the right to make a contract out of life. She felt that marriage bringing the union of two families, happiness, making love, having children, rearing them up to be responsible citizens, was all but a contract.
After her father’s demise, she turned cynical. The prospective bridegrooms really annoyed her, because she knew she couldn’t fulfill their terms and conditions. Either there was a deficiency from her side or their side.
And tired of everything, she had closed her account on the matrimonial site, and thought of taking a break. It was then Uncle Jack appeared out of nowhere, like a hawk swooping down on its prey. Maybe Aunt Bella was the prey or maybe love was the prey. He was a fine decent man and had the perfect charm to captivate a woman’s heart. He was an illusion that any girl could have. It wouldn’t matter if numerous girls would have fallen for him before. He first met Aunt Bella’s mother, and she liked him. Then she invited him the next day to woo her daughter.
Aunt Bella was the least interested that someone was coming to see her. But her mother had arranged things perfectly, so that when Uncle Jack came with his parents, he felt like home. He stayed quiet and eyed the conscious girl from the corner of his eyes. She thought he was shy. But she knew his gaze was fixed on her. And she knew how awkward it would be to begin a conversation with him. But then the true woman instincts rose within her when it sees a potential mate, that all women can perceive and have developed acutely. And she felt her heart throbbing. She envied those he had talked to or had a romantic affair with. Their parents did the talking, and when they were done, Uncle Jack and Aunt Bella were left alone to do the talking.
It was a big deal. Aunt Bella felt nervous for the first time. And Uncle Jack wondered what he would say. They looked at each other waiting for the other to speak. Finally Uncle Jack out of the blue, said those four words that would enrage any girl in the modern world –

“Are you a virgin?”

Aunt Bella was shocked. She gaped in wonder. What the hell was he talking? Mixed emotions rose within her. At one point she wanted to scream and tell him – Go to Hell! The most ungentlemanly thing spoken by a man who seemed to look like a gentleman. He could stoop to so low a level. She wondered if she should show him the door. But then she reasoned herself to be quiet, suppressed her anger and calmed herself to think. Maybe he had trust issues, or if he had some reason whatever, if not convincing, she would throw him out.
So she asked, “Why do you want to know? Are you a virgin yourself?”
And that is when time seemed to drift very slowly, like everything occurred in slow motion. He looked into her eyes and said. “Yes I am a virgin to the core. Never had an affair with any girl. Haven’t even kissed a girl yet. The first time I saw your picture in the matrimonial site, I felt like you were my soulmate. But then your expectation of the groom earning more than you haunted me. I wondered if you were being pecuniary. So I searched for you, and followed you. I wanted to know more of you without your knowledge. I am sorry for the stalking, but then it was done purely in good faith. And every time I saw you go to work and return, I liked you all the more. I have loved you ever since I have set my eyes on you.
If you are not a virgin, I won’t mind and I won't care. Only I will lose mine before I marry you, so that you never have that guilt on our wedding night. And then we can pledge to remain faithful to each other for all our lives.”
By God, the speech brought tears to Aunt Bella’s eyes. They looked deeply into each other’s eyes and she could see the truth. They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. It is cent percent true. His pupils didn’t dilate, they were just normal eyes full of love, and deep inside her subconscious mind, she felt love gush forth like a torrent. She knew her man had come.
Aunt Bella remained silent for some time, and when she finally spoke, she said, “I am resigning from my job. And you needn't lose your virginity!”
And we all know that Uncle Jack and Aunt Bella settled in our village – or rather Uncle Jack’s ancestral place. Aunt Bella never regretted her decision. And Uncle Jack always remained a one woman man all his life. 

Yes, he was the perfect gentleman!      

"Are You a Virgin?" Reviewed by Polymath on 6:50 pm Rating: 5

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