She stripped off her dress and stood in front of the mirror. That tiny scar below her left eye, the first time, the first beating,twenty days after a fairy tale wedding. A minor glitch; happens in all marriages, she had rationalised, not wanting to take off the rose-tinted glasses that she had just put on.
Her eyes moved to a long thin line in her midriff. A mishap at the stairs, tripped, silly me, she had told the nurse who had stitched her up.
I hit the wall while heading to the bathroom at night, she had told a concerned friend who questioned a black eye.
A string of lies, so skilfully told that sometimes she believed them herself. Years of practice.
There had been a lot of time to walk out, leave him, start over. But she had waited, hoped, prayed that things would get better. He did seem so sorry in the mornings. I will stop it, I promise, he kept telling her. She kept believing him.
By the time her body filled with scars and cuts,
it was too late. She had died a thousand deaths every night, till she no longer felt the pain. Pain and love were cremated by her in the same grave.
She gave a final look at the bruises she could see, and those only her heart could feel as she got dressed.
Kicking her bloodstained clothes aside, she sat back on the armchair and placed the 911 call.
There is always time to walk out, leave. Not just for her. She had waited too long.
“I have killed my husband”, she said into the phone, not looking at the lifeless body lying on the floor.
‘You should not come with strangers’, he said, looking at the girl across the table.
She nonchalantly sipped on her Chocolate Cherry frappe.
The complicated kind of drinks kids like nowadays, he thought. Maybe a parent would understand the science behind that. He was not one. The familiar bile of anger rose up his throat.
‘ Huh, I am not scared of you, it is broad daylight, so many people around’, she said.
The same face, the same defiance. As the woman he loved. And lost.
‘And any friend of my mother’s is my friend,’ she added, trying to sound older than she was.
She had not lost any time in bearing a child, getting married, he thought bitterly. The love of his life, the one who had promised to wait for him forever. He had gone away believing she would wait. Yes, he was an year late, but he had come back to her. Only to find a locked house and oblivious neighbours. That was the pre-Facebook, pre- cellphone era. He had tried to find her but she had disappeared without a trace.
He fed his bitterness over the years by mulling over ways to hurt her when he found her. The pain of still loving her haunted him and his hatred for her consumed him.
After years of searching had come Facebook, a stray post and there she was.
He had felt nauseous looking at her profile photo. She looked so happy, flanked on one side by the girl who now sat in front of him and a very handsome looking man, her husband. Too happy, he had decided.
‘ My dad does worry about me a lot, but I m old enough to take care of myself’, the girl was saying.
He nodded amiably as he waited for what he had done to take effect. The first sign, slurred speech, and he would be out of here.
Tracing her had not been difficult after that. He had camped in his car in front of her house for days, stalking, waiting, figuring out their routines. The first time he saw her at the door, his heart had skipped a beat. He couldn’t bear to love her so much. It broke his heart to break hers. But he would. It was payback time. He believed in Karma, what goes round comes around.
It was just a question of getting her daughter to agree to come with him to the cafe. Posing as her mother’s school friend, planning a surprise reunion was all he had to say to the girl.
He felt a sense of peace now as his plan was drawing to an end, his vengeance would be complete in a few minutes. Lacing her drink with the poison was all that he had to do when the girl had taken a bathroom break.
Another five minutes of listening to the girl’s chatter, he noticed the slurring. It was time for him to leave quickly before she slumped.
As he rose, she said,’ I b-b-better be going, my Dad would t-t-throw a fit if I m late. He d-does love me, even if t-technically he is m-m-my step-dad’.
Looking at his puzzled face, she continued, her eyes almost closing,’ Oh didn’t I tell you, I m the d-d-daughter of a b-b-bastar* who l-left my m-m-mom and n-never came b-b-back.’
Enid Blyton was the one who started it. A little girl was transported into enchanted forests and beautiful landscapes of the English Countryside. She sat with Noddy in his taxi and cruised through all the troubles he got to, whooshed in the Wishing Chair to many an adventure along with Mollie and Peter. She climbed up the Faraway Tree, met MoonFace and Silky and was transported to magical lands. She then met and became part of a group called the Famous Five and went on mysterious adventures. As she grew up, she joined the Mallory towers and St. Clares girls on their midnight feasts and played pranks and made friends.
To cut a long story short, Enid Blyton was the one who ignited a passionate affair between books and me.Many Years, hundreds of books and authors later, the love story continues.
But now I take on a different role, a role of penning down tales, small in size but, I hope big in meaning.
And in between, I will share snippets of my life in blogs categorized as “Life and I”.
A start of a journey that I am sure will make me fall in love even more with the written word- if that is possible.