Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Present... erased...

"That's not mine," she looked at him with astonished yet quizzical eyes.

"What do you mean it's not yours?! Of course it's yours!" he replied with an agitated confidence that defied the very basis of their love: Trust.

"Is that why you want a divorce?" she asked, in a tone that appeared to be now solving the puzzle of 'why?'

He looked away from her face. Probably doubting himself at having thought that way about her. That hollow confidence that had filled him up, now seemed to be abandoning him; leaving him alone to fight his battle of 'doubt'.

She did not ask him again. She didn't need to. After all these years of togetherness, he may not have been able to understand her, but she understood every part of his body and soul as if her own.

His eyes dawdled across the floor to the semi-crumpled pages. Lying there lifelessly. The anger vented out on the paper could be easily made out from the wrinkles and tears in the pages. Probably he had spent many a nights staring at the pages, holding them, trying to believe what the pages read was true, doubting her... doubting her... that's what it all came down to... he doubted her.

She had trouble standing where she stood. Her legs had trouble carrying her weight. She felt her whole body tremble from within. It appeared as if her face once was a bright ray of sunshine with a smile so fresh it could wake the flowers up. But now... now her face had no emotion. No beauty. No curves. No light. No mention of the happiness she had once lived. She was just a piece of flesh with eyes and nose and lips. 

She did not want to look at the pages on the floor. She felt a sense of repulsion. And yet, all her eyes could dart towards from the hazy room was the pages... She tried to pull away. She tried to control. But she could not. Her eyes were drawn to the pages like the opposite poles of a magnet. She found herself treating the pages as a person. As if the pages were somehow responsible for showing the true colours of her husband. She knew she was wrong. She knew the pages were pages. She knew what he was. She always knew his behaviour could cause a rift between them if it ever surfaced in him.

In the dead of night, in the deafening silence, the pages on the floor fluttered as if to break the silence. As if to draw a conclusion. As if to hang on or fall off.

He spoke. With a guilty tone, he spoke. "I thought... it was yours...," he sat down on the chair.

She looked at him with eyes so full of emotions that it could take a translator a day or two to decipher all the emotions. In the span of a few seconds her emotions changed from sadness, to pain, to hurt, to pity, to anger, to disgust, to abandonment, to making her want to die. No emotion stayed for more than a few seconds in her eyes. Her brain was constantly processing what to make of this fiasco.

She picked up the pages. Seeing them clearly for the first time. Her eyes could not clear out the haze from the constant flow of tears, but she tried her best to read. Drops of tears fell here and there all over the first page. Until... until a drop fell exactly where the problem was. That name... That name spell like hers. Only that it wasn't. There was an additional 'T' in the last name.

She could see how he could have misunderstood. How anyone could have. But to not clarify it with her... to decide he wants a divorce on the basis of a piece of paper... that is what she could not understand... not even in a million years could she have...

She wanted to make the marriage work. He wanted to make the marriage work. But somewhere down the line, he became 'he'... and she became his... He was not who he used to be. She was what he wanted her to be. They both forgot what it was like to make things work. Over the years, the cracks he harboured, finally found their way to the end of their marriage.

She picked the paper up, placed it next to him on the table.

"That name is not mine. But I think you knew that. You could have simply told me you wanted a way out. I would have let you go. Why stage this drama? You knew the truth would come out eventually," the words that came out of her mouth were not pre-meditated. She was surprised at what she was saying. Maybe she was so tired that her brain sent the message directly to the lips without making her aware of it. 

He was having an affair... 

"You are having an affair?!" 

He... was... having... an affair...? Of course! With her... with her... With... Her???

How could she not see? They were right in front of her... except the times that they weren't... Except the times... that... they... weren't???

Who is this man in front of her? She felt a fleeting epiphany. She never really knew this man, did she? It was as if he hid an entire self from her. As if living a secret life, his true self, with the other woman...

She looked at him with those questioning eyes that could kill you just with a gaze. She did not even need to ask him out loud, his eyes did all the work.

He just stood there. He did not answer her. Instead, unexpectedly, he signed the divorce papers without saying another word. His right hand reached up to touch her cheek... She stared at him... His hand stopped close to her cheek. Her eyes were as if she could gaze right through him. She always had those powerful eyes. Eyes that could never allow a person to lie to her. Eventually forcing the other person to reveal it all. Where had that power disappeared while he was in bed with someone else?

There was no exchange of words between them. They did not need to. Their eyes communicated enough. Enough to torture the living soul out of the them both. Enough to last the torture their entire lifetime.

She was about to leave when she said. Not looking at him. Her final words. The last ones she will ever say to him. The last ones he will ever hear from her.

"You erased all the happy years we had together by betraying me in the worst possible way. You undid everything we built together. How can you be happy now...?" she paused, "but you can be. Because you wanted a way out. You have it now. Never turn back. Never come back. I am dead to you. You are dead to me."

She left. Without waiting for him to say anything, she left. She left...

P. S. 1: Originally written as a short story, but it kind of fits with this picture, hence written for Magpie 267.

P. S. 2: Those who know me and my writing style, for the love of God, do not try to wrack your brains. It's a piece of fiction and it's best to treat it as one. I will not be responsible for your mindless associations as a result.