Five

Tonight, I tell my 2AM friends,

A tale I wish never comes to an end.

About a connection I wish never bends,

A style never losing trend.

 

They hear me pray,

I’ll conquer tonight with love in my eyes

Tonight’s high note, A Hope, I say.

Tonight, beats faster this silly heart,

Five days until we are no longer apart.

Tonight, I dream of us with open eyes,

Drowning in each other under the starry skies.

 

I time travel five days tonight, to a night,

When you passionately clutch, I blush.

Tonight, to a night,

When I am in your arms,

Falling further in love with your every touch.

Expectations

Forgive me father, for I have sinned,

For a second or two, I went with the wind.

Thinking that you were proud of me.

But now there’s an otherwise, now I want to flee.

Free from the shame, away from the guilt,

Of discontinuing to be the ‘perfect child’ you built.

With bricks of love, support and care.

I’m sorry for filling you with despair.

However, my apologies are in vain.

Because you compare, time and again.

You look away, you fail to see.

You shut your ears to my plea.

You do not wish to hear,

The problems I face, the pain I bear.

When despite my hard work, I always fall.

When life stops taking my side at all.

Now here I am, amidst this storm,

of expectations to follow the ‘scholar’ norm.

Tell me, can your ‘scholars’ do this,

Use words as bullets and never miss?

Bedroom

I could not hold the feeling of my heart breaking any longer.

As soon as the door was slammed shut, in a disheveled heap, I collapsed to the floor. Despair coursed through my blood and pain escaped my eyes as a stream of tears.
The lack of intimacy in this bedroom of ours was significant.The only thing that remained, was the torturous silence and the smell of his Perfume that was still stuck in the air, acting as a continuous reminder of him and also of the various times I had sprayed it on my pillow, then held the pillow to my heart aching in his absence.
It brought back to me all those mornings- when we lay beneath the sheets on the queen sized mattress with his head buried in my neck and my fingers in his dark, messy hair- wondering when we both would have the courage to leave the company of the bed and of one another and begin our day.

That fragrance of Davidoff reminded me of the nights when we would be intoxicated not on alcohol, but each other and make love till it was night no longer.

 

A wailing mess, I sat there, as time stood still and I waited until that fragrant mist disappeared into nothingness and took with it all my memories of him.

My Love 

“Come to bed, my love”  

With the shards of my broken heart in my palm, I silently climbed into the bed and turned the lights off before he saw my heart bleed onto the mattress. 
As I lay in the pool of pain, I wondered if I could call it our bed any longer. I wondered if he had called her ‘my love’ as well. I wondered if he loved her. 

Today, five years after our union, I wondered if he had ever loved me.
“Do you love me?” 

The words left my mouth before I realised. There was nervous silence in the air before he countered my question with another question.

“Do you feel I don’t?” 
My mind was an empty courtroom for a second, before the audience walked in and started in my mind a proceeding, Prosecution against the Defence and I was on the Judge on a Throne of Thorns.

One side pressed on the other, compelling me take a decision in its favour, cuff the culprit and tell him I knew that I wasn’t the only one who had fulfilled his fantasies.

Meanwhile, the Defence talked of mistakes and about forgiveness being the way to a clean soul. It talked about my children, having to grow up without the shadow of a father above their heads. 

“Honey? Tell me what you’re thinking” His voice bought me out of the courtroom, back to the cold bed.

The Judgement had to be passed here, and now.

Calmly, I replied.

“I was just thinking about your friend Sreyasi and also, about getting a divorce, my love” 

Choices

The books had started to wonder just when I would pay attention to them, when I would flip the lonesome pages, stare closely at them or try to listen to what they had to tell me.

But I was occupied, cherishing the company of memories and tears.

I missed wrapping my arms around my father and poking his belly, not that there was much left of it anymore, thanks to the strict workout regime he had been compelled by my mother to follow.I missed everything about him.

Yes, mom was being missed too, despite the fact that we had had a hearty thirty minute conversation about our lives without each other’s presence, not too long ago. She had told me of her day and I had given her great details about mine, and of the man I intended to spend my years with.

And him? Oh, he was the charming Prince to my Cinderella. Perfect, absolutely.

I added him to the ‘Being Missed’ list immediately, right after my grandmother and my mischevious little brother, who was not little anymore. 

He was a man now.It made me feel old.I giggled and more tears made their way out of my eyes.

Choices.

Look at what they had done. 

Everyone I loved, was miles away and suddenly, there was nothing I could do about it.

Facade

The dark haired woman walked along the footpath on an isolated road at zero hours. Her eyes looked glassy, her wrinkled face, expressionless and she, unfocused, as if a spell had been cast on her and she was completely unaware of her surroundings.

Her life flashed in front of her eyes and none of the highlights brought back memories she could cherish. Instead, she was reminded of the time when she had discovered her best friend’s slender arms wrapped around her first love, their lips locked, and fingers intertwined.
A tear separated itself from the rest that had started to well up in her eyes, when she remembered the day her fiance stood her up at the alter. Whenever a guest questioned the absence of her fiance, “He must be stuck in traffic!”, she had said.

She fell to her knees and wailed with pain. The words that her eighteen year old son had said not more than an hour ago, echoed in the quietness.
“Don’t tell me what to do.
You’re not even my real mother!”
“Where did you pick me up from? Someone else’s lap?”

The woman sat with her face in her palms under the night and cried till those words were letters and the letters formed new sentences in her head.
Her life had always been nothing more than a lie, a facade, in which every moment wore a mask of happiness, laughter and of all things bright. And once she picked that moment, it showed its true colors to her. It revealed its miserable, horrible self.

Her heart ached, as she made her final pick and let herself fly off the infamous bridge, putting an end to the Facade.

Dear ‘best friend’

Dear ‘best friend’,
I’ve had enough, this is it.
The show has come to an end,
And tonight, we must split.

Your defence is that I’ve used you,
Feel free to throw more words,
Call me ugly, unfit, shrew.
I’ll hear em all, through the birds.

Yes the birds, the ones that talk,
They told me the stories you cook.
I won’t lie, it came as a shock,
When you published my secrets in your book.

And there you stand,
Livid and mad,
Because you think I don’t know.
Well now I hope it’s clear,
the reason why,
I care for you, but I will never show.

Cake

Tarun rushed towards the black Fortuner that he had just unlocked in the parking lot of the Mumbai Police Headquaters. He held in his hand an enormous list of things  that needed to be done, and there simply was no time to waste.
The speedometer reflected zero to hundred in no time as the vehicle zoomed past pedestrians.
“10:00”, the clock said.

The first stop was going to be the infamous local bakery that went by the name of ‘Baker’s Street’. Necessary supplies had to be picked from there tonight. He wondered if she would like the candles that looked like flowers or the Sparkler candles. He chose the Sparklers. She had always loved the firework show on New Years eve right before the final countdown.

Next halt was going to be at Petals, the florist he relied on when the days were dark and he needed to remind someone of his undying, unconditional love for her.
“I’d like to buy all of these, please. All of these orchids. Orchids are her favourite!” he blushed as he pointed to every bouquet that stood in the store eagerly waiting to be taken home.

He glanced at the Tissot T-Race on his wrist. He had less than an hour!

With the scent of flowers taking over his senses, he raced the Fortuner towards a residence.
Plot no. 302. Was it?
Nevertheless, he rang the doorbell.

A woman wrapped in a purple satin robe opened the door and welcomed him into her home with a smile. She looked gorgeous. Her lustrous, dark hair fell over her shoulders. Her eyes gleamed.

“Take a seat” she said.
He nodded before she left his company and walked into her dim- lit bedroom.

Within minutes, she reappeared.
There it was. In her hand. A small rectangular box wrapped in a red gift wrap.
Tarun’s face shone.

“Thank you so much Naina. I knew I could count on you!” he exclaimed.
“You’re my cousin. There’s no need for all that formality” she replied.

The traveller finally left for his destination.

When he finally arrived, he looked at the watch one more time. Eleven forty. He smiled and tip-toed into his two storied bungalow. She would be in the study, taking a cat-nap on the leather recliner. He didn’t need to worry.

One by one, he placed the items he had bought on the dining table. He decorated the bedroom with all the orchids.
He placed the candles, and the lighter, and a pink paper box on the table. Next to it, he placed with a letter, the gift he had bought for his beloved. It was a pair of diamond earrings she had shown interest towards last month. She would love it.

Lastly, he pulled out from his pocket a small fridge magnet he had bought at Petals. She adored his gooey romantic gestures.
You’re my one and only, forever and ever” it said.

His hands froze before he could place the magnet on the fridge. A note written in black ink was stuck to it.

“Looks like it’s not just your wife’s birthday today, Tarun. I’m turning a year older today as well and I’m taking your wife as my birthday present.You can have her back, but only when you send my brother back. Yes, the one you helped send to prison last week.
Oh and, don’t forget to send me some of the Cake you bought!
-You know who I am”