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Friday, March 16, 2012

The closure - I




My broken heart’s sorrows are deep.
Painful, disturbed, broken my sleep.
If you don’t believe, send me your thoughts
And you will see how in sleep I weep.
- Hafiz


We fought all morning. After almost an hour into the fight if I’d paused for a moment to recall how it had started I’d have had trouble remembering. Two hours into it and it wouldn’t have mattered at all. I was so angry and upset and hurt that I was blinded to reasoning. All I wanted to do was lash out at her. And to see that she wasn’t backing down either made me angrier. I’d been in a couple of fights before. But that day it was the first time for me where only words were involved. And for the first time that day I learnt that I preferred fists. The anger dissipated with each blow, whether mine or my opponent’s, in such fights and, they ended quickly. Here, the anger only increased and the words never seemed to end. That day they finally did after a particularly hurtful comment spoken by me that shocked me almost as much as it did her. Her eyes blazed, as if my words had stoked the ember already burning in there to a fire. Pain boiled over, spilling in rapid tears as she stepped purposefully towards me, raised her hand and slapped me. Hard. And then right in front of me she buried her face into her hands and crumpled to the floor. 
~~~
I knew I’d regret what I was about to do as soon as I’d taken the first step towards him, closing the gap that was in every way but physically ravaged by our war of words. What I didn’t know was how heavy the burden of regret would be. As I cried silently on the floor I felt the sting on my palm that had made contact with his cheek and I realized I preferred his hurtful words than this sudden and resounding silence brought about by me. It seemed to stretch for a terribly long time before I heard the sound of a door opening and shutting. He didn’t even slam it on his way out. I wished he had. I’d deserve it. Or maybe a kick in the gut before walking away. I closed my eyes and wept some more. My tears pooled around my cheek that was pressed on the cool floor. I was a mess but I didn’t care. I couldn’t think of anything but the person who’d just walked out of the house. I don’t know how long I lay there. When I opened my eyes it was dark and the tears had stopped, leaving sticky and salty trails on my face. My hair was a mess and my body stiff from lying curled up on the cold floor for too long. I blinked several times and realized I had a splitting headache and was thankful for the gloom. I got up slowly and groped my way across the dark and lonely house. When I reached my bed I fell gratefully into it, instantly asleep.
 ~~~
The streetlights seemed too harsh in the moonless and chilly night. I flinched every time I walked under one of those bright sentinels that regarded me silently while they shone with all their brilliance to keep the darkness at a safe distance. Unfortunately they couldn’t do the same for the cold that pressed me from all sides. I neither had a jacket nor were my clothes warm enough for the weather. Shivering slightly I stuffed my hands in my jeans pockets and started walking at a brisk pace to work up some body heat. It didn’t help much and it served me right. Leaving her there like that, all alone, crying was a stupid, stupid thing to do. Now I was going back hours later hoping the worst was over, like a coward. I turned the corner that led to the house and stopped dead in my tracks. The house was shrouded in darkness. After having walked down a too bright street, the sudden gloom was unnerving. It seemed like the nearest streetlights had taken great care to keep the house in shadows and shed their light elsewhere. I stepped in closing the door quietly behind me. Everywhere was darkness so absolute that it was disorienting. I navigated with little ease, even with the map of the house etched in my brain, until finally I reached the bedroom. Switching on the night light I saw her lying across the bed, still in the same clothes I’d last seen her, what seemed like, ages go. Under the soft light, with her hair untied and tousled and dried tears staining her cheeks, she was a heartbreaking sight. I suddenly felt very tired. Without bothering to change I tucked myself into the edge of bed and went to sleep.
 ~~~
I woke up with a start and immediately noticed two things. It wasn’t dark anymore and the room was freezing. My blanket lay neatly folded beside my legs and I briefly wondered if it was the cold that had woken me up. The other blanket however lay in a heap on the floor. He’d come back last night I was relieved to note. Also my headache and stiffness had vanished. All my idle musing and comfort were shattered when I realized I was, yet again, the only living soul in the house. The feeling of loneliness was too tangible to be dismissed. The day was cloudy and grey with bleak sunlight that made it impossible to guess the time. The wall clock was high up in the shadows that the light from the windows couldn’t dispel. Suddenly I didn’t want to know the time anymore. I forgot about the cold and the grumbling stomach that tried in vain to remind me that I hadn’t fed it since breakfast the previous morning. All I wanted was to find him, apologize and bring him back. As I passed by the windows on my way out I realized it was raining lightly. It seemed like God had particularly chosen the dreariest weather for this day. Ignoring my growing dread I stepped out of the house and almost reeled back at the sight in front me. Through the foggy breaths that were coming out rapidly of my mouth I saw utter destruction.

Contd.

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