Asha was speechless and surprised for a while. She didn’t know what to say. What does one say after Remi’s revelation? Especially someone who’d experienced the loss she’d gone through. She didn’t want her love life to turn into a cycle of pain and, really, she had no idea what she would be getting into.
So she asked Remi for time. She didn’t say much else – just that she needed time. Remi agreed and told her he understood, but truthfully he didn’t know what to make of that. Did Asha mean time to come to terms with his condition or time to create enough space for their relationship to die out? Doubts consumed Remi’s mind for the few days that followed but he respected Asha’s request.
Four days later, Asha called Remi and asked if they could meet. So that same evening they saw each other at the café where they’d had their previous date. There was silence for a moment but then Asha spoke. She started by thanking Remi for the time he’d given her. Then she told him that she’d spent it researching what MS was, the possible relapse triggers, diagnosis, the different stages, the treatments to slow its progression, and the benefits of healthy living. She told him she’d even joined an MS chat room to learn about people’s experiences with the condition.
That last bit surprised him. He had hoped that she’d get to know more about MS, but he never thought she’d go to that extent – one that he hadn’t even contemplated yet. When he asked her why she’d joined a chat room she replied, “Well if we’re going to make this work, I need to know as much as I can and I need people I can talk to without my fears and questions over-burdening you.”
He smiled. He smiled the biggest smile he’d ever smiled and kissed her. At that moment he realized that Asha had chosen hope over fear and uncertainty; that Asha had chosen to love. Because after all, that’s what love is: the everyday decision to believe in and be there for someone else; to put trust and hope above the unknown. And in Remi’s eyes, as he smiled, he saw love. At that moment, love was Asha.
*If you would like to read and/or listen to the previous chapter of this story, click on the next page.*