Month: June 2016

The Witch’s Prose

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                       ” Wasped by Nature”. Art By author. Taken from the author’s personal album. 

A certain forgetfulness crept over the slimy, old cauldron. She brewed and brewed and hoped that the fine steaks of her raspy memories would allow some disclosure. She needed space and time to think and work. She was confused at the mundane rituals of human kind. She pondered how and why the new disposition of a maid received such audacious inhumane words. She wondered why it was a crime to take a Sunday off. Although her hands spilled magic sometimes, and a few cracks on the walls of the house were a sign of her rising maturity- she grew careful and more hesitant before growing dormant. Every Saturday night meant dormancy. The cresten quarter had warned her of these unpredictable human conditions. She breathed in the flavors of the curry she was made to cook. Yet, she needed one Sunday off- to charge her charms and her molten bottle of spells. She needed to lay back and rest her crooked toe nails. A maid’s job was certainly the toughest human avatar she had taken up till date. Initially, she had wondered what job should she take up. She always contemplated about which job suited the most mediocre human routine?

She swarmed the colony a few days later. A sour, acidic rain led her to the house that she worked for now. She chose to dress up in a simple maid’s black dress. A white chiffon apron was always wrapped around her. Her mistress pondered all the time, whether she was using make-up or whether it was some secret home remedy. Innocently, she always replied how mother was away and thus, her family kept sending her the new charms they were working on. The inquisitive eyes and ears always asked her, who were ‘they’.

“Family.” That word always works. It somehow silences them all.

Curious glances always fell upon her as she walked around the colony, pickingup laundry or groceries. The men were asked to stay cautious and the women grew watchful. Their vigilant stares made her stumble and nervous. The older ladies acted primitive. She always wondered why the human condition proclaimed them to make every paranormal entity afraid of their presence. The dogs barked and hid. Even the domestics grew fragile slowly.

She was really scared now.

Afraid, she blinked her eyes often. The human hospitals moved her.

“I’m telling you.” She muttered to her cauldron every Sunday. “The house that I work for is haunted. The people ask me strange questions. They ask me where did I get my outfit from? They wonder how my nails are so shiny. They prickle at the staccato of my heels. They’re cautious of me; whereas I’m the one who has tendered and grown somber due to their dog-watch stares.” I mused into my cauldron every Sunday. I wished to form a union in the society, hoping that the maids of the other apartments would allow me lead them to some dignity and respect. I think that they think that my appearance separated me from them. We all were human, yet we needed to present ourselves as different creatures. The top-notch penthouses had maids dressed in the madame’s last year’s Fendi. The upper-floors had their maids dressed in Fusion Beats. The middle-floors always had an online delivery man at their door. The lower-floors were happy with discount bazaars.

And, then, there was I. Away from the aesthetic hierarchy and sticking to the seventeenth century potential maid dress. I was learning bit by bit though.

“I went around today asking if anybody would like to come over for a small get together. A wild fire spread and the hype went around labeled that I was having a party.” I kept brewing the cauldron and waited until the aroma had spread through the whole house. The small bubbles were making their way to the top. The soft magenta was forming a velvety stain at the side. I would need to remove it soon. Scrub it probably.

“And, then, well. I suggested why not? A party could be appropriate. I could make space for a few cushions and a few drinks.” The sweet scent was spreading throughout the house now. I deliberated on whether the candles should be lit or not, and decided to go with in. The cauldron, as if to sigh contentedly, gurgled and boiled a bit more. I mumbled again how they were treating maids as if they were inferior creatures- not house help. A ‘party’ is not a taboo.

I waited until the foam settled. Pouring the liquid into small perfume bottles, I cast them off into the small mahogany boxes mother gave me when I was leaving town. She knows how much I loved those. I shut the door, and waited. A second later the doorbell rang.

“These medicines are prescribed wrong. You got this- instead of this.” I pointed out on the man’s hand held screen. Accepting his mistake and apologizing, on his second trip, he asked me,

“How did you know though, that- I goofed up? Are you a medical student?”

I smiled my most charming smile and replied,  “I’m a chemist’s daughter.”

*Blink*

*Blink*

*Blink*

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What I learnt about myself from the dream I had.

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Amara had the weirdest dream she had, had in a very long, long time. She saw that the fictional TV star she had a tiny feeling of affection towards, appeared in her dream and well, obviously liked her. Never had she thought that such a thing could be true, and though it was the common convention that she should enjoy the dream- she just couldn’t. His co-star had also found her way in the dream and well,the lover’s triangle created a riot  something, Amara was not very comfortable with.

Amara thought, even though this was a dream- her dream, She decided that she needed to defend this person’s right to be in her lover’s life, even though the dream clearly wanted to run itself over its own cycle and want Amara to be with this fictional TV star, Amara wasn’t satisfied.  She twisted and twirled in bed, because this dream, which was supposed to be a fairy tale, ended up being a nightmare. All she could see was rain and thunder and more chaos. She tried to control herself from not falling off the bed and did all she could to pacify the voluptuous ego and suffering of the other TV star. A very profound thing happened in the dream though. For a minute, she was left alone with the TV star; – the person who she didn’t even know in reality- walked her back home. A small human gesture of him holding her by her shoulder and letting her know, that it’ll all be okay made her feel like yes- yes everything would be fine.

She woke up the next morning, trying to recollect why she had this warm feeling and why even though today was a very dull, monsoon day, she felt as if a thousand suns were glazing down at her. Her dream then came to her and although everything that she had dreamed about, was purely fiction and didn’t seem like it could ever happen in a million years, she wondered why did she have a very loving feeling in the pit of her stomach. She tried to forget about it and continued with her daily chores. Knights in shining armors could wait, laundry could not. However, that evening, when she lay wrapped warmly in bed and tried to just forget the day’s hectic schedule and refresh herself by doing something recreational, she realized that she could not concentrate on anything.

She needed to think about the dream and go back to it. She then, made a cup of cocoa and sat by the porch. The evening lights sparkled as the cars moved by and when she fixed my eyes on the porch light- she finally understood what was bothering her so much. It was the simple question of why even in her dream did she try to give up her ‘love’ for someone else, why did she let any other woman’s desire for love overcome my own simplistic wishes and dreams? Didn’t she deserve to be happy- even if it was a dream? Brooding over this thought, she then realized that, well, no matter what, her conscience was always playing with her mind and she would be guilty of imprudence- even in her dreams. She stayed up the whole night, watching as every piece of broken memory fit in the puzzle. A puzzle she was trying to answer she was trying to fix ever since she realized that she mattered in this world. She then understood why she let her best friend go out with her eighth grade crush, why it was alright when her sister spilled ketchup over her favorite white satin shirt when she needed to go out on the most important date of her 9th grade life, why it was alright to stay in on junior prom and nurse her younger brother, why it felt easier if she just chose a simpler college, why it was okay to not give that charming guy’s number a second thought when she wasn’t that happy with her dating life even back then.

Do you know why?

Because all her life Amara had been told that, well- she wasn’t enough. And, it wasn’t okay to put what she wants ahead of someone else’s wishes. She was plain Jane. And, she had certain boundaries to obey. Those boundaries made her think that another nerd was required at the prom, or another top could be alright to wear on the date.  Thus, that night as she sat by the porch, a tear dripped down her eye lids and she realized that all her life she held back from fighting for what she felt was right. Her guilt of not being enough held her back, but then, she did the unthinkable and uttered, “I am enough.”

A smile broke through her lips. She felt like she had just won a marathon. She felt excited. A yelp escaped her lips as she like a mischievous elf escaping from constraints and limitations.

She realized that she is enough, and she always would be.

She made her mind then that she would never let her guilt, ever stop her from being who she was. She also realized the bitter truth that day. All her life, she had strived to co-exist perfectly. Be a good person; a good human. But, then, today, she questioned why the human condition was so proclaimed to fix her into an emotional jar and keep twisting and toiling her until she decided that she had, had enough? That day, she found a certain solidarity in herself- for herself, for her fellow feminine community, for fellow humanity. She realized that if she lived her life well, she would be able to take a step ahead not only in her life, but also towards the growth and welfare of her community. With new found confidence, she sat there, admiring the morning sun; a dawn broke through the light, misty blue of the morning sky. She realized that she had found her platinum day of love, only it was love for herself; towards herself. She was the first person in her life. It was now, important for her that she knew herself much better than she knew anybody else.

Just as she put her feet down, and let her legs rest in the fur of her home slippers, a chiming sound made her look up. The ice-cream van had arrived. She thought, she might as well as have an ice-cream. She waited until the ice-cream van unlocked, and as she anticipated an ice-cream man, a woman walked out and asked, “Sprinkles?”

She just smiled and said, “Yes please.” And as they both shared a smile of empathy, she realized that they were becoming the men, they wanted to marry and well, that wasn’t such a bad thing now.

Stained Love (The final part- Part 4)

 

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The whole class stared at me in stunned silence. All the students seemed awestruck with my story. I stared at them for the first time, since I had begun my story. I could see that the narration of my story had led to a lot of tears and a lot of stony faces on the verge of a breakdown. My pale hair glistened in the afternoon daylight, as I completed the story.

“It has been 57 years since that day. 57 years. I was saved by some fishermen again that day. They had found my body floating and they rushed me to the hospital. It took Zen three months to recover. I took six. Though, I spent only 30 days in the hospital. I spent the next five months thinking about what had just happened, if it was all a dream, would I ever be okay? But, at that time, my mind raced back to the fishermen.  If that fishermen wouldn’t have introduced me to my karate teacher, I would have probably spent the past 57 years in heaven by now. Not that it would have been a bad thing.” I winked at the class, as a few laughs broke through the tears. Fresh waves of tears broke again, and I handed down another box of Kleenex.

“I did visit the Karate sir after that incident. He seemed to be pleased at me finding my strength finally. He then again told me that I could never forcefully induce strength and courage in someone. It had to come from the within. So today, I stand before you all, because I know you all have had tough childhoods. Having a less privileged home or having a disorder or having survived a war or even being a teenager in this modern age, is not an easy task. But, I urge you all young minds, to not give up. Today, is careers day, so hence I share my story with you. My name is Esmerelda Joecelyn Angelica Perme, the wife of Zen and the mother of two children and the grand-mother of three kids and counting-“ I winked again, “ask you all to try and stay strong and never give up on your dreams and hopes and aspirations. I run this school now, and I feel overwhelmed when I see kids your age strive for high ambitions. Please keep believing in yourself. If you have anything to ask me, you may do so. Others are free to leave.” The kids began pouring out and I watched outside the window for one last time that day. I looked solemnly at the grave which stood so uniquely in the school backyard. A tear escaped my eye, as a timid girl approached me. “Uh- H-Hi” I smiled back, wiping away the tear. She looked down towards what I was looking at and gasped. “Is that Z-Zen’s grave?” Before I could answer, she hurriedly began again, “Wait- no! you said that you were a mother too, so wh-what, h-how, whose grave is that? Is that Aunt Helen’s? ” She looked so horrified that I thought she would faint. I gave her a glass of water and asked her to follow me.

“Read.” I asked her when we were near the grave. She leaned in closer, but yet failed to understand anything.

“It’s in Russian.” She pointed out dejected.

I put an arm around her shoulder and took her hand, as she felt the cold carvings. Her finger encrypted the foreign words, as I translated in English.

“To the late and never welcome memory of Esmerelda Joecelyn Angelica Perme’s fear.” She gasped at the words and looked aghast.

“Y-you, built a grave for t-this!? Are you insane?”

“Yes, I did.” I replied calmly.

“Um . . . I don’t wish to be mean but, didn’t you go over the top a little? I mean, I understand that you went through a lot and you definitely needed to vent out your mixed feelings somewhere, but this seems a little bizarre.”

I looked at her calmly and asked her to open the grave. She looked at me blankly and then shrugged and did so. The contents inside astounded her and turned her skin cold. I sat down with her and touched my mother’s leather jacket and the picture of us. The picture was wrapped in a thin, plastic zipper and I sighed as I touched it. I brought it out and placed it in her hands. “I always feared unconsciously that my mother left me because of who I was. As I grew up, I feared that everyone would leave me sooner or later. So, I became who I was. As I grew up more, I feared that my anger would destroy me, so I chose to be dumb and deaf. As I grew up further, I feared that my anger would destroy the people around me and retreated to nonchalant numbness. As I reached my mid-teens, I feared the violence around me so I faced it with defiant denial and let it wreck me bit by bit every day. As I reached my young adult stage, I feared how stealth was sneaking in on me day by day and I would eventually be left to pick up my own tatters. When I met Zen, I feared his loss and I worried that I would lose him too. I only feared all my life. Esmerelda never existed until that day. Only fear did. So thus, I decided to dig a grave and bury my fear. To dig it out from its roots.”

I response seemed to have stunned her. She quietly picked up her bag and left. I watched her leave, but then she turned around, a tear streaking down her face, “T-Thank you.” I watch her walk away as I identified the same lost and victimized younger me, in her. I could feel her innocence fade away as she walked further and further away. I turned towards the grave, placed the picture carefully with the letter and shut the grave. I sat there the whole afternoon, watching the colors of the sky change from hues of yellow to the violet of the dusk. Zen came and found me at twilight. Wordlessly he sat next to me, handed me a spoon and placed the chocolate truffle cake in front of me. Just like our wedding day, I placed my head on his neck and sighed content. He fed me a bite and waited for me to say something.

“Zen, my childhood walked in today.”

His smirk broke through his wrinkles and he threw his head back and laughed. He looked deeply into my eye, traced the nape of my neck with his tongue and winked,

“I always knew you had a secret.”

 

———————————–THE END—————————–

Stained Love (Part 3)

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I stood at the altar three nights before my wedding, wondering how I would ever say “I do.” For the world, I was dumb. And, after all these years of never hearing me speak, I felt that I probably was. However yet, I found a way.

I glistened in the morning sun as I walked down the aisle. I decided to get married at dawn. It was the only way I knew that all of this wasn’t a dream and that getting ready in the night seemed like the perfect way to fight my monsters and feel that everything will be okay. The rays of the sunlight broke and Aunt Helen stood there, in her black pastor dress, waiting for me to cross the aisle. The walk felt like my whole life wasn’t as horrible as I had thought it would be. I could see Zen’s dark black hair sway with the wind, his smile appealed to my senses and I knew at once that maybe that seven year old girl who found her mother’s picture and used it as an ashtray could heal. Zen’s parents weren’t here. We had decided that we would go to his home once we had settled in, and we would marry again on our first anniversary in Kashmir, his traditional way. In a way, I had decided this because; I always felt that this marriage wouldn’t last. Him and me? Meant to be? It didn’t seem like I could be a housewife. I had slept for my whole life on the beach, or in Joe’s shack, or on the floor of her room while she had sex with strangers, yearning for some peace. Sleeping in a warm bed and waking up to someone who could comfort my nightmares, seemed like a dream. And, I didn’t have dreams, I only had nightmares. My marriage vow that day was, “I hope this is not and this won’t turn into a nightmare.”

My wedding morning waking up those roses made me feel like there was some hope and faith left on this Earth. He knew that I wasn’t ready to feel color. So, he sent black roses. Wearing a white dress, adorned with a corsage of black roses, I gave myself away that day. I had already given up, and had given myself away a long time ago. But, I guess there’s just something phenomenally powerful about love that always ends up saving you. Regardless of how much you lose hope; home will always return to you, if you have the strength to weave it with comfort and empathy. So today, I looked him in his eye, and when Aunt Helen asked, “And do you, Esmerelda Joecelyn Angelica Perme, take Zen to be your husband, in sickness and in health, until death do you apart?” I paused and looked at Joe, she had tears in her eyes. I pulled Zen down, to sit me with me like how we sat on the beach every time we needed to talk, and I carved an “I do” on the sand. “You may kiss the bride” seemed like sentences of another time, as Zen and I lost ourselves in a passionate embrace with his black rose blending in with my black rose, and I knew right then that, it’s the fragrance that mattered. Though, it was just an ambushed rose, I knew that it had meaning, and was not just some plucked weed from the Earth.

We got married in the temple that same day and also at the mosque. As Zen and I walked home that night, he lifted me before entering the door, he said, “I had a house, and now I have a home. I had emptiness before, now I have a love.” He paused, smirked at my cocky reaction which clearly read, “You’re too cheesy”. “Is what I should say, but instead, I’m saying that the pipe has leaked and thus, I can’t let you walk in there, because there is a possibility of electric currents passing through the water.  So, well, I’ll just leave you on somewhere and fix the mishap.” He chortled, explaining his impudence. I just clasped him neck tighter, wishing that he didn’t have to leave me just yet.

We entered the e living room cluttered with items floating on water. He carried me to the bedroom and put the light on. The mirror was adorned with warm lights and sweet smelling candles lay  around. The bed was wrapped with a warm red color duvet and a book lay on it. “I’ll be back soon.” He let me stay, while he went outside trying to clear the mess. Before he walked out, I called out to him by hitting the bed softly. He turned, and I pulled out a “Pride and Prejudice” from the nearby book shelf. I gestured him to read the first line, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in search of a good fortune must be in the want of a wife.” I smiled, he looked at me questioningly. I pointed to my tummy and rubbed it slowly, “You’re pregnant?” he laughed. I smiled nastily and then scribbled in big bold capital letters on the notepad lying on the nightstand, “Worse. I’m hungry.” He stared back amazed, and said, “Remind me to never keep a girl hungry.” I scribbled down again, “Correction. Remember to never keep your wife hungry. I am your only girl now. I hate bad grammar and wrong nouns.” He chuckled at my wit, picked me up again and placed me on the wooden dining table. He removed a whole cake of chocolate truffle from the fridge and commanded, “Eat.”

So there I was, in my white bride dress, after having gone through my own wedding for three times that day, sitting on his dining table, eating a chocolate cake. I licked the spoon and watched him and his movements. It made me go back to our first day. Aunt Helen had stalked me down, and found me sipping Jack Daniels at a club, surrounded by men smoking cigarettes. She asked me to walk home with her, but I obviously refused- after I pretended to not understand what she was saying. She threatened to pull me and take me home, when a man I was sexually involved with asked her to back off. I still remember his words, “Lady. I am not letting her leave yet. I am not satisfied yet.” She broke into a hysterical fit, demanding him to stop treating me like his property and asking me to at once tell this man to back off. But, when she saw my helpless face, she understood that I was, well, dumb. Another shock, thus led her to sit down at the table and yell an order of rum and coke on the rocks. The man stared at her dumbfounded as she stripped out of her simple blouse and into a crop top, letting it subtly layer on her pants. She then ordered the man to get her, her drink since nobody was listening. He laughed and humiliated her, telling her that she must be joking. Zen then walked in, and was ushered by Aunt Helen from afar that she needed a drink when he joined her. She did get her drink, though it was not what she expected. She drank grudgingly, and I tried to encrypt this scene in my mind forever. Aunt Helen, with her legs on the table, sighing and drinking. Zen, smoking a cigarette and letting the smoke make small rings in the air, the-man-whose-name-is-not-important cursing, and me, intently checking Zen out. Zen was my perfect idea of a summer fling. Instead, He ended up being my all season love.

However, this story is not about me and Zen. Its a story about Aunt Helen receiving threatening notes, and how pieces of paper shaped our lives. Aunt Helen started receiving threatening notes, soon. She was involved with helping Joe leave her prostitution profession and take up to only running her shack. Joe thought that it wasn’t possible.However, with the right guidance, now, she only worked at the shack. Zen and I were happy for her. However, one man was not. He was a frequent Joe customer. He was not happy with how she wasn’t going to be there for him in those wee hours of the night. He was depressed- depressed enough to send threatening notes to Aunt Helen that he would abduct one of the kids from the local surroundings and ask for an alimony. He had already pronounced his alimony. He wanted Joe. We all laughed about it at a late summer barbecue party.

That night, Zen and I sat close, waiting for all the guests to leave. He nuzzled my neck and breathed my scent. I licked the last remains of barbecue sauce from my lips, I stared at the calm ocean. I looked at Zen, as he played with the curls of my hair and kissed me on my forehead. I always loved forehead kisses. They symbolized how you meant the world to the opposite person, and that according to me, was beautiful. We watched the ambers of the crinkling fire, as they changed shape with the passing by of the slow, summery wind. I had found my heaven then. It was called Zen. Who knew that our lives were going to change for the worst the coming day. But, those threatening notes seemed to fade away as we gulped down  tequila shots and forgot about it over the taste of lemon. However, someone else didn’t as he watched our movements and was waiting to curse our lives with his dark, menacing steps.

—-

The gun shots got louder and louder. I hurried my pace and ran towards the isolated shack. My bare feet hurt against unfamiliar terrain as I tried to hurry down the coarse steps at the entrance of the beach. My feet occasionally touched cigarette butts and I winced at the holes they were trying to burn through my sole. Right then, I heard a screeching voice and yelped at the pain and exhaustion of that innocent sound. I stepped into the shack just when I saw him hit her with the butt of his rifle. Drops of blood dripped from her forehead. Stains of blood had already dirtied the sand as I saw a few drops trickle on Zen’s unconscious body. I panicked and stared at the unknown man who stood there, wrapping his bandana tighter around his head as he pulled his hair aside. I stooped to the floor and let out a pained cry. Eyes shut, my heart pouring out. I felt as if my whole life was flashing before me. The man had done the deed. He had abducted a local girl called Areniala. Zen had followed them here, but when he didn’t return home that night, I knew that he was in danger. The psycho called that night. He told me the place and time. I saw the motionless body of Zen as  I remembered the days when I embraced violence like flowers, and smiled sweetly at abuse, I remembered those dim, greasy bathrooms when I hurled my mouth into the dump just so that a few moments of physical pain could crease out the long, foreboding feeling of how everything that surrounded me was ominous and I was a child of agony. I shut my eyes tighter and yelled out a huge cry. I clutched Zen’s blood smeared T-shirt and choked on my tears. I knew that venom was deadly, but who knew that after slipping and dashing through venom my whole life, right when I was about the find some peace and some solitude, a man with bad breath, lice-abode hair and fiery eyes would leave my serenity in turbulence and smother every thought of happiness I ever had. A small whisper came from Areniala, “Check if his heart beats.” The man hit her again and slapped her for opening her mouth, but I felt sense kicking into me as I gasped and leaned on his chest.

A beat, yes, that was definitely a beat. I looked towards her happily, my tears flowing like an unstoppable damn. Watery eyed, I did could not digest what happened next. The man’s gun hit me so brutally that I lay paranoid and dead on the floor. Very faintly, I remember him uttering some nonsense and attempt to kick me. I stared, and tried to regain my consciousness and my balance, but then I think the trauma of this incident led me to hallucinate and think that I was 13 years young again. I remember falling into company of bad teenagers all over. But, a very cloudy memory came to my mind. It was the day we went to the river. I flashed my eyes open, and blinked rapidly as the memories poured in of how some rowdy boys tried to steal my jacket away from me, hoping to sell it for a decent prize so that they could buy some dash. I remember trying my best to not cry, as I ran behind them and when they flung my jacket in the river as an idea of a bitter prank, I dived in and swam across and tried to seek the jacket. The pungent memory made me realize of how that day, my feet were layered with cracks and cuts, because of the sharp riverbed. I didn’t even realize I was crying by the time I swam back. For the first time that day, I felt the taste of salty tears and when I felt my ache melting and revealing itself for the first time; I tried to camouflage my tears with the river water. The boys just laughed and went their way. A small fishermen noted this incident and asked me to follow him. He then introduced me to his friend who was a karate instructor. Although they persuaded to train me, I refused after just three classes. Discipline was my worst enemy. I feared that if I disciplined myself I would lose my rebelliousness and then my aggression would be replaced with forgiveness and peace. And, I could never make peace with myself. I was a wild child. An abandoned orphan. And, in my world this ‘peace’ did not exist. Today, when I lay helpless wincing on the same sand which had been my only home for years, I remembered the last words of my karate teacher. “Esmerelda, the strength will find you when you least expect it. And, when it will find you, you will stand so strong that no wave could shake you.” He continued, sensing my vulnerability at his words, “You are the ocean bed, child. Not the confused storm, not the chaotic thunder.” I ran out without ever thanking him or uttering another word. That day, I cried twice, once due to my crippling need of feeling saving the only way through which I could feel motherly affection and the other when for the first time in 13 years somebody called me “child.”

Hours seemed to have passed since my hallucinations, I felt I was hyperventilating and had descended into fits because when I came to my senses, I could hear Areniala scream, “You have to let me help her. Can’t you see that she’s sick?” The man seemed to stop and turn around and utter, “I do not want to have blood on my hands. SIT UP STRAIGHT YOU LADY!” His screech haunted the very cells of my blood, and I yelled with every ounce of anguish I felt at that time.

“ENOUGH!” I sat up on my knees, my hair falling all over me. The whole beach seemed to go quite at my breakthrough, because my voice had not only scared the man, but also seemed to allow some movement in Zen. He let open his one eye, and half-smirked, “So that’s your secret.” I could feel his sorrow mixed with the joy of knowing that his wife wasn’t deaf and definitely wasn’t dumb. And, I wasn’t going to accept defeat. The man paced up and down angrily and started to untie Areniala.”You- You woman! You spoiled everything. All I asked for was a bonded laborer, nothing else. I didn’t even sleep with her. And, you- you have created this mess. I thought you were dumb, I thought you were deaf, bu-but you witch! You have ruined everything. I need to get out of here. You girl, get up, FAST!” He yelled again and before he could hit her again, I jumped up and ran towards him and looked into his scared and fearful eyes.

“You have seen my helplessness. You have seen my misery. You have put me through sorrow and pain and now, now you will hear me HOWL. HEAR ME HOWL YOU FILTHY ANIMAL. YOU THINK HUMANS WHO DO NOT LIVE LIFE YOUR WAY ARE YOUR LABORERS? You want to cage and capture someone’s freedom? You want to have a fiesta and feast over someone’s vulnerability? I will show you vulnerability now. Till now, you have only seen my weakness, but now observe my strength and hear me HOWL.” He looked struck by my sudden disposition to fight and battle against his demonic drudgery. I tried to think rationally, as my firm hand clasped over his neck and I tried to defend Areniala as she untied herself. I told her that she needed to call the ambulance and take Zen to the hospital. She yelled that she wouldn’t leave me alone. I ignored her and quickened my thoughts of how would I ever get her out of here, with this man struggling to break free. I couldn’t hold him any longer. He was gasping for air, but was fighting back brutally. I felt a few parts of my body turn numb, but I needed to hold strong. Just then, I saw the cliff which bordered the beach. I let go of the man, stole wallet and ran as fast as I could. He yelled and followed me. I ran faster, hoping that Zen would reach the hospital safely. I climbed the cliff and then, it hit me. I was facing a dead end now. His cruel face and malicious eyes stared back at me nastily. I tried to take hasty steps, as I moved backwards. He moved forward, and kept moving closer. I had reached the end now. I looked down, to see some rocks and the wide ocean. I gulped and stared at my death bravely.

There are very few moments in one’s life when they are facing the figurative trigger. A lot of moment’s in your life, will define your existence. This- was my defining moment. I closed my eyes and for the first time bowed my head and clasped my hands in prayer. But, I didn’t pray to that God up there. I thanked him though, for everything he had blessed me with, but instead, as I tried to block away that man’s threatening to open my eyes and see my death, I bowed down my head and prayed to that soul who lived in me. For years and time unknown, I had neglected and overlooked the idea that I had a soul. I had mocked Zen for his over benevolent ways of looking at life, and had satirically made caricatures out of Aunt Helen’s ways of making me pray. But, today for the first time, I prayed for the soul in me, for endowing me with the strength and energy to at least save someone who I loved. A life is very precious. For the longest time, I was a dead body, moving around the infinite oceans of disbelief and insipidity that I could be alive someday. And, today, when I opened my eyes, saw him facing the trigger at me; I could feel my soul for the first time, waiting to break free from my chest. Today was when I felt most alive. I laughed at my irony. I waited for him to pull the trigger; I stared at him wide eyed with a smile. “I love you, Zen.” I uttered that aloud and stayed silent then, wanting those to be my last words. I waited for him to pull the trigger again, but his hands hesitated and he looked back questioningly. “Why are you smiling woman?” he demanded. “Is it the police.” I laughed at his childish fear and nodded no. He set his gun to ‘kill mode’ again and this time, I sensed a certain uncertainty in him. I could see his sweat, and tears and his own desperation to get done with this. From the corner of my eye, I could see that the ambulance had arrived. He turned back at my reaction and then faced me with renewed anxiety. But right then, in that moment, something invisible that changed about that air, because this time, along with his own despair I saw something else. “N-No way. That’s respect!” I exclaimed out loud. He looked behind again and turned towards all sides. He felt I was maybe a lunatic because his desperation grew and I could see that he would burst from the stress now. I felt his eyes on the trigger as he slowly uttered, “I was just a mere farmer.” I thought I was seeing a reflection of myself. I was just as miserable as him. I was waiting here, having pity on myself waiting for someone to kill me. I wasn’t ready to die just yet, and right then, and infinite courage broke through me and I spread my hands and fell backward towards the sea.

“Good bye world. I still love you..”

 

Stained Love (Part 1)

Writer’s note: This story is an entirely fictional piece. Created from my vivid viewings and scattered memories of numerous brave and strong women who have pulled their life together even after it was completely shattered. I admire the courage and the fortitude of people- especially these women, who have fought through their darkest times and have been able to come out of their trauma and pain. As a storyteller, I try to record their bitter times, hoping to portray how one’s will and resilience paves the path of better times and better days. This story has been written in parts and everyday, a new part will be posted on my blog. This is a new endeavor and part of the collection of ‘Housewife Tales’. I request all viewers to leave their feedback and comments which will give me an insight to what the audience thinks and believes. Happy viewing. 

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