She looked at the wig in her hand and remembered her long silky brown hair. Her hair had been an object of envy for many of her friends. It now lay in a heap at the bottom of a trashcan. All the things she had taken for granted were coming back to haunt her.
She had been steadily losing hair once the chemotherapy had started. Netra had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She remembered the day she was diagnosed and a shiver ran down her spine. Her life had seemed completely futile to her that day. On the outside, she had put up a brave face for her son and daughter. On the inside, she had shattered into a million pieces. The reaction ‘these things always happened to other people and now how could it happen to me?’ had kept echoing in her mind. Ultimately, she had to face the truth.
Her family members were supportive. Her husband was a pillar of strength in this crisis. Her sister was now staying with her to help with the children. Her mother and her sister took turns to be with her during chemo sessions. Her sister, made her laugh, regaling her with their childhood pranks. They spoke about movies, books, and even crushes they had while growing up. Her father helped with the grocery shopping and paying the bills.
Netra and her husband Arun were like many other couples. After the initial excitement in their marriage, things had cooled off and the stress of working and raising kids had made it difficult to capture the romance and spark of the initial years of their marriage. They had drifted apart, each involved in their own career. Her illness had now brought them closer.
Netra had shaved off her head and had started wearing a wig once she started losing hair. She had never taken it off, even while sleeping. Only time she took it off was when she was alone in the bathroom. She was scared that her husband would stop loving her once he saw her.
Today she had decided to take a step forward and not wear the wig. She did not want to hide behind the wig anymore. She walked in the room feeling helpless and naked. Her husband looked at her and said ‘Hey, how are you feeling?’ ‘How was your day?’ Netra was puzzled by his reaction. She finally asked him ‘Arun, have you stopped loving me? I am bald…if you have not noticed it’
Arun got up and stood in front of her. He said ‘Yes I did notice, but all I know is that you’re so beautiful and I am falling in love with you all over again’.