The full short story can be downloaded from my Website www.authoraryatara.carrd.co for FREE.
“I can’t live with Akash any longer.” I flung myself into the fast-food café’s scratched plastic chair opposite my younger sister, Kaju. She sputtered and nearly choked on her tea. I drew in a deep breath through my nose as the hushed, bottled-up pain slowly crept from the crevices of my heart into open space. I had reached the point of no return.
“So, a storm’s brewing in paradise? I thought married people made up in the end, don’t they? He’s your husband. It’s been what? Three years?”
“Yes, three long years. I’m only twenty-five and it feels like I’ve been in a loveless marriage for a century. I should never have let Mom and Dad talk me into it. It’s a sham, a shell, a lie. This was not the life I wanted.”
“Maybe if you have a baby.”
“Thank God we don’t. How can I bring a child into this disaster?”
How could I tell Kaju that I miscarried just the month before? My baby had been almost two months inside me. No one knew about it, not even Akash. I had finally gotten pregnant after what seemed like a long time. His family had been after me to have a baby, but I really did want a child of my own. The miscarriage had been the darkest period of my life and I had endured it all alone. I realized then that I had to do something before
I slipped into a permanent depression.
Kaju fished a journal out of her bag and handed it to me. “Here, this is for you to brighten your day. I hope you like it.”
I stroked the soft, brown buffalo skin and breathed in the intoxicating aroma of smoky burnt tobacco. The unique smell brought back memories of weather-beaten leather wrapped around broad shoulders. I flipped through the blank pages that waited to be filled with stories from my heart.
“You can make this a continuation of the journal you have. You were always the creative one in the family. You should write your poems there. Write one for me too.”
“That old journal lies in my trunk. Untouched ever since I got married.”
Where do I begin? How would a loveless person like me find inspiration?
“Thank you. Just what I need. I think I should try writing again.
I’ll dedicate a poem to you, I promise.” I will start afresh with the new journal and maybe a new life. Perhaps slam poetry for my broken marriage. And maybe a tribute to my unborn child.
The waiter brought my tea. I held the hot cup with my hands. The warmth gave me some solace like a tiny ray of sunshine bringing a faint hope of life on a freezing day.
“I’m so sorry about Akash. You deserve to be happy, Sis.”
“We have nothing in common. I’ve stopped trying. I’ve literally given up on us. He’s hardly home, what with his work taking him all over the country. And even when he’s finally home, he’s distant. I’m scared to even break the silence. Maybe he wants me gone. They say marriage is the union of two souls. Ours is just two empty carcasses moving around, barely interacting.”
“He did strike me as aloof when I first met him. Do you guys argue a lot?”
“No. There’s hardly any interaction other than when he needs something – dinner, washing clothes, running his errands. I get instructions, not conversation. He’s a self-centered workaholic. Around his parents, he’s almost normal, but when he’s with me, he shuts down completely. Guess we were both forced into this marriage but at least I tried to make something of it. He never did. I think he never really got over the woman he was with earlier.”
“What a bastard.”