“You are MAD!”
The pitch of his voice well complimented his disbelief. After all, he was being forced to witness the circus, for he still had an hour to go to work. She had been crying since afternoon, her outbursts were only distracted by the occasional beep of his cell phone that announced the receipt of yet another lovely message.
At every beep she felt her mind explode. How dare he do this to her? Even though the element of surprise had been eradicated after the very first incident, she still felt helpless when it happened for the third time. Or may be fourth, she had lost count anyway.
But crying never helped her. The ache was too piercing and certain that it was not to be washed away with tears. She knew that she had to do something, anything, to make it subside even for a little while. The girl never stopped texting, and she never saw him ignoring even a single one. It was like she had become invisible to him and inaudible too. All that she was, all that she believed in, came to a standstill and stupidly froze when confronted with the bitter reality of infidels.
It was already too late before she could decide to cling on to her last resolve and stay calm. Anger never did her any good and her past reminded her of that all the time. But this time the wave of fury came without an intimidation, and she sprung and ran in order to get hold of the kitchen knife. There were two people in the house, and she knew she only had the heart to kill one.
The sharp blade had just touched the soft nerve on her neck when she felt a thundering blow that made her head spin. The limp hands let go of the knife, which was deftly picked up and stowed away. She did not know then whether it was the exhaustion of the day or if the punch was really that tough that it knocked the living daylights out of her and she lay on the floor, blinded and motionless. She could hear some faint sounds; it was him lamenting his decisions yet again.
“You are the biggest mistake of my life. I never thought that I’d ever decide to spend my life with someone like you. You suffocate me! You rob me of my own judgments and you smother me with your so-called values and principles. She is so much better than you; she hardly takes life so seriously…”
It’s strange how some people never own up, not until the time when it does not matter anymore. This was not the first time he got caught cheating on her. This was the movie that they had watched many times, an ugly, intense, articulate and impactful movie, based on a true story- the story of her life.
She refused to move and he had to drag her across the cold marble, he picked her up and gently placed her on the bed. He wiped her eyes, her face, and with a grave look on his face, he said, “Stop crying now. There is no point in making it uglier than what you have already made it. There is nothing you can do about it, so do not even think of hurting yourself or me. I really like her, and I want to be with her. I am willing to let go of you and I promise, this time I won’t come back to you. Even if she leaves me after a few days, you are not the person I would seek comfort from. So, try and relax for some time, and don’t cry or talk or blabber. I need to leave for work in a while and I would very much like to keep my head straight. All this nonsense is…” Beep! The cell phone buzzed and a tiny envelope on the screen made him abandon his script, he hurriedly moved away to attend to her call. His monologue remained incomplete, unfinished.
She looked around in silence. What a fine mess she had made! The cups that she had flung at the wall earlier that day lay in a sad, disoriented heap. The finely crafted pieces of work were reduced to small piles of bits and pieces of china, and fine, white powdery dust. The pillow took too long to dry itself. Plates of food, untouched and covered, found their places in the corners of the room. She shifted her gaze to the ceiling fan in order to escape the thought that she really needed to get up and clean the house thoroughly. But she never moved that night.
He was preparing himself for his night-shift. The evening always saw him brushing his rough hair smooth, tucking his shirt in a couple of times, pulling it out and tucking it in again, caressing the scars and pimples on his face with sheer disgust and disappointment, helplessly looking around for the missing socks that he never could find at the time when he needed it. She pointed a tiny finger towards the laundry bag and out came a pair of nice, clean socks. He nodded his gratitude before she turned her face away.
“I am leaving for work now. I will be back in the morning to pack my stuff and I shall leave for home tomorrow. I hope you do not have to see me again. Please do not do anything stupid when I am gone. I would hate it if someone calls me when I am at work and tells me that you have hit yourself again, or cut yourself or jumped from the building or something. I will not take a leave from work to deal with all that nonsense. I hope you understand. Take care, and do not forget to…” Beep!
Even the goodbyes are so unceremonious these days.
The door was left unlocked that night, the lights remained off. She stared at the ceiling for eternity and by the early hours of the morning she was burning with fever. But she said to herself that she had to start working on her articles in order to stay distracted and calm. It was, and is, never easy to do that, though. But as they say- ‘you got to do what you got to do’.
That was two years ago. She does not hurl things around anymore. She stops herself every time she feels like reaching out to those little razor blades and kitchen knives. And she cannot remember the last time she screamed at someone, or hit her head on the wall, or stood under the shower with her lips bleeding and fully clad.
“You are MAD!”
She can still hear the voice when she closes her eyes and listens intently to the sound of silence. But now it only makes her smile. She has been able to contain the madness, if not tame it. She knows that she has paid a heavy price for it, so it better work! Since when was violence an appropriate answer, or even a possible solution? It’s quite amazing as to how she turned into a new leaf altogether. “No tears, no screams, no hurting anybody, not even yourself.” That mantra really worked for her, though.
Now when they call her ‘crazy and weird’, she only offers a smile in response. But she won’t say anything at all.