The day was long and the hours quiet. Just the kind of day she loved. Sunday. Never mind the weariness of the late night before, nor the thought that in probably twenty hours she’d have to be on the go again.
In the quietest corner of her heart, she felt content. At last. It was done, that final absolution of her self-acquired guilt. She had fought hard. In the burgeoning silence that her heart held, for so many years, was the greatest sorrow. She should have done something earlier. Way back, when she ought to have, so that other lives could have been helped too. Her silence simply paved the way for more trauma.
Pushing herself out of the armchair, where she’d been reading the newspaper, she arched her back, and straightened the cricks in her neck and shoulders. She should start getting her cupboards ready; the most exacting and un-fulfilling task first. She smiled to herself. It was so difficult not to punish oneself. The habit of a lifetime not easily unlearnt. Why couldn’t she simply do something else? Why did it have to be something she hated? Laughter bubbled, with the introspection. Girl, you’re not supposed to get all maudlin, you hear?
She was glad, yet again, that she did not have to pick up after anyone. Her single life, all by choice, never had gone down well with anyone; not her family, but of course, and not her friends, but then, in a ‘nice’ sort of way. They still tried, in all manner of underhandedness that only friends can do, to get her a man. The thought itself made her giggle. She liked that sound. In this back of the beyond, she mused, in this back of the beyond. A man, no less. Good friends, certainly!
And suddenly, without warning, nostalgia struck. A painful blow. Not the gentle waves washing over one and lapping at the edge of consciousness Oh no. And just as fiercely, she missed him. He, whom she could never touch. He, who had spoiled her for anyone else. He, the only one who made her feel. The acrid taste of guilt smeared her heart. Why now, she thought. Why now, Dear God!
They’d been close. Close took on a new meaning with him. But then, such fairy-tales most times become nightmares. She learnt that the most traumatic way possible. The day she knew she could never ever belong – they could never ever belong. The storm that struck them had long since abated, but never done with. The pieces were too many to be gathered, let alone sorted. For he already belonged to another; and could never ever leave. The Never Never Land of No Recompense. If it were only they that suffered, it would have been bearable. But, like all other kinds of forbidden fruit, this one too spread its poison; and took its toll. She left, with no choice but to carry her share. Silently.
The slight curve of her abdomen, braced to bear that shock of memories, slowly straightened. A deep breath. Her hard won composure beseeching her to pull herself out of that pit, she stiffened her resolve. No more going back there. Life was more than memories. She was living proof of it!
And so, to another day. Another day with partially submerged and entirely unacknowledged wistful thoughts, she walked towards her room. Opened her cupboard, and found, instantly, an empathy. She smiled. There she was messed up, just like those shelves. All it took was a bit of care, folding away things, rearranging and re-doing neatly, artfully.
She wondered though, at how mildewed cobewebby corners did not take a long time to form. Again.
10 March, 2013
The Story of my experiments with fiction begins. 😀