Devotion [ficlet]

We’re at the Taj Mahal today. I learned how an emperor had it built in memory of his third wife. She died giving birth to their 14th child. Apparently, the amount of wives and children did not pale the devotion that he felt for his most beloved. Struck by grief, he spared no expense to build the most beautiful memorial the world had ever seen.

I wonder how the other wives must have felt. If the emperor felt resentment for that 14th child, the cause of his sorrow.

Standing here on one of the two walkways that flank the reflecting pool, I reach up to brush the sweat forming in my hairline. I am amazed at how endless the Taj Mahal is. My friend Parul walks over to me.

“Isn’t the Taj glorious, Jen?”

But my eyes aren’t really focused on the Taj (as they affectionately refer to it here in India). All I can think of are my string of failed romances. How I’ve never been loved in this way. To the point of devotion. I wonder if I’d even be missed.

“You OK, Jen?”

I nod and reach up to brush away the sudden tears.

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