Sunday, July 27, 2014


She is one of a kind. She wakes up in the morning, her dark brown tresses far from perfect. Her eyes are all groggy from sleep and on some days, the vestiges of her makeup from last night still cling on to her skin. She smiles sleepily into the mirror as she remembers last night’s conversation. She has seen too many men court her… become her friend, praise her wit and then get intimidated by the same thing that they praised. She intimidates them… and that has always left her with only herself for companionship. The men… they can’t seem to know what to do with a woman with brains and soon, the cold feet follow.

But this time, she swears it’s different, as she did for all of them in the past. The Kanji on the wall next to the mirror is a stark black against the white paper. “希望の正夢へ頑張ろう”. Her smile widens. Yes, she has toiled towards making her dreams come true. Her hand travels across the mattress, under her blanket and pillow until it grabs her phone. She smiles again thinking of how she dozed off in the middle of the conversation. He’s sent her some funny picture… a meme… a funny retort. Her silent giggles penetrate the morning air as she sends another in reply. And then, she waits. She waits for the telltale chime that a reply has come. The times are good for her. She can’t wait to go to work… to meet him.


Her eyes dart his way every other minute and she smiles at the most mundane things. She’s in love! She brushes away the snide but well-meant jibes that her friends have started making of them… him and her. But she dare not show them how vulnerable she really is! Her nonchalance does a good job at hiding her fears. All those who cloyingly approached her have left scars on the wall of her solitude. She is as free as an untamed colt… and yet there are those shackles still bound to her feet even as the chains have come undone. Men are scared of her past… a past where people have been more callous than kind. Yet now, she knows it’s different. Her heart flutters as her eyes meet his and she smiles to herself… She is in love!


They speak of secrets that she has never revealed to another soul. And he understands. They complete each other. She reveals her wit and he seems to admire it. She is truly happy. Finally, a man who respects her for who she really is! Their messages travel hither and yon like those archaic pigeons from stories of the past. And she smiles again…


He’s always on the phone at work. He must be talking to his family, she muses. His mother is probably so protective… and rightly so! He has been through so many trials and tribulations…But her heart cannot help but beat a little faster every time he leaves their place to out of earshot. Who could it be, she wonders… No, she reasons. No man would talk to her the way he spoke unless he liked her. But she cannot help but worry!


He promises her that she who has never madly fallen in love, shall one day do just that and then, he’ll be there to get treated to a feast at the most expensive of restaurants. She frets… she is not lovable, she reasons. And it is a heartfelt sentiment on her side. She has never been with anyone who could love her the way she was. And she knows she is different… Yet, now… she sighs as she wishes the same happiness for him. He hesitates. He says there is a secret he must tell her… something she has probably sensed for some time. Her heart skips a beat. For some reason, the one thing she is dying to hear scares her to utter stillness. The world around her carries on with its mundane happenings as she hears the chime for the umpteenth time this day. But this time, it’s different… she hesitates. Opening that message would seal off her fate, she knows. And then in one hasty gesture, the message lies open in front of her.

“I am seeing someone… it’s just begun… and I’m taking it one day at a time.”

He then sends her a picture… it has him with another woman. He is so content… so happy with her. Her eyes stare at the picture but they don’t see. He is so in love… and it smarts somewhere that she  is not the reason. Her breath comes out in one inaudible sigh… the feeling is somewhat nostalgic. It has happened before and every time she forgets the sting, it comes back the next time with twice the pain. She smiles as the mask comes down once more… even though he cannot see her. Felicitations are sent his way. And messages come her way as to how he was still seeing where it’s going… and how it being a long-distance relationship, it was hard. It reminds her of her first and only boyfriend… a man with whom she was ready to settle down. Only that he wasn’t ready for the wait and went on to cheat on her and went running to the closest woman he could find… she does not hate him… but she could never love him the same way ever again, she swore.

Her eyes turn towards the message and she types back reassurances. She claims there is hope for them all. Her smirk does not convey itself over the written words… Hope… that one potent drug that has brought her deeper and deeper into despair. Only to raise her a little… only to drop her farther… And she remembers the linnod from her most treasured book…

            “Ónen i-Estel Edain, ú-chebin estel anim”
            (I give hope to the Men of the West, while I keep no hope for myself)

She cries that night…her silent tears soak the pillow but do little to console her aching heart. She has long since deleted the picture he has sent her. Her jealousy might turn her against someone she hardly knew… someone who could be a really wonderful person for all she knew… perhaps someone with whom she could be good friends with. Her eyes are swollen and red. But her tears do not abate. Her gaze falls on the kanji on the wall.

In one swift motion, the paper comes off the wall and finds itself torn into a countless pieces. Her aim is true as she flings it in the general direction of the waste paper basket. No more hope… no more! She cries herself to sleep that night.


She is back in office. Her eyes show no signs of the turmoil that ravaged her within, last night. She has made up her mind. She’s back to her old self. Her lips curl into a painted smile as she greets her friends. He is there as well. She is civil. But there is that icy sheen to her demeanour. She will never be any closer and he senses it… it troubles him. She cannot bring herself to go any closer… every time the phone rings… every time his eyes fall her way, she remembers the girl’s face… he hides her from the outside world and that does not bode well with her…Her mind is set. She deserves so much better. She loves herself too much to just be some secret never let out. And her eyes harden as she smiles… a true beautiful smile that radiates the confidence that has been born anew! And she feels his eyes on her again. Yes…. He has fallen for her. He regrets…. She knows.

Her smile widens. She’s no saint. But, never again! The ice queen is back in court!


  1. The one main reason people fall in love is proximity. your story is just showing so.... I feel I have been there somewhere.. Hail the plastic smile we wear very often :)

    1. True that, Narmada! Proximity is what contributes to the kindling. But sustenance of that flame... it takes a true and committed heart. And I, for one, feel that such hearts are never too close to each other for the kindling to happen! And the plastic smile is what prevents the world from descending into chaos! Hail the plastic smile, indeed! :D