‘Hey’ Matt was the first one to break the silence, extending his hand forward to greet Will’s. However, his hand remains still in the air for a long while, midway between them, before Will reaches it to meet with a firm handshake.
‘Hey’ he says as if he saw Matt just now and as if that minute long uncomfortable pause he took to respond him did not occur at all. ‘Thank you for bringing back her home safe’, he adds, clutching further tight Matt’s Hands and pointing his eyes shrewdly on me.
‘No problem’. Matts face looks both anxious and confused. Facing me, unaware of the complexity of situation between us, he throws me a questioning glance.
I pull over ‘my blank face’. I wish i knew. Even i didn’t feel like i know anything much about the person i was sharing my roof with.
The eeriness begins to settle back again, with Will still sitting tight lipped between us. Seeing no escape out of this discomfort zone, i decide to sprint in. ‘Matt Thank you so much for everything again. I think we should call it a night’.
Matt smiles. He definitely got my message through. But strangely, seemingly oblivious to my request, he decides to hangout further . ‘That’s ok. You guys leaving us tomorrow then?’ he asks.
I look at him baffled. However, Matt completely ignores my inquiring gaze. It didn’t occur to me before this that Matt could be rude too. But again, what do i know.. I don’t even know Will.
Then, changing his stance to side ways so that he is facing Will, up front directly and i’m completely off his view, Matt quizzes again. ‘Its tomorrow right?’.
I panic alternating my gaze between two men, who were both way above my eye level. The irony is, only thing i could see from this height was their flaring nostrils, puffing air out forcefully.
‘Why is Matt saying that? He doesn’t even know’.
I curse me, for venting out my secret to him. To some guy i had just met, who was taking advantage of my situation now.
Will looks at me, his eyes neutral without any expression, with no glint of curiosity nor anger on them.
‘What tomorrow Matt?’ I stammer, avoiding him; praying desperately Matt doesn’t decide to further prolong this chitchat.
He doesn’t. Tracing my forearm all the way to my fingers that were now curving over Will’s waist, he throws us a weak smile.
‘I must have been confused. We talked about a lot of things today’.
‘You must have’. I reply, rather impudently, desperate to end the conversation.
‘Ok Goodnight folks. Carem, you take care.’
‘We will Matt. Thanks’.
I turn around quick, dragging Will with me as i walk.
As soon as our the front door is closed, i push Will away from my arms. ‘Goodnight’ i snap and walk ahead to my room.
‘No you don’t!’ he stops me, holding the knob of my door, pulling it shut. ‘Why were you with him?’
‘Nothing you should be concerned about!’. I force open the door anyways, despite him leaning against it and slam it close in front of his face, making sure it was loud enough to shake the pillars; hoping it would pop open his ear drums. That way, i wouldn’t have to tiptoe around the house tomorrow while i walk out.
Then, i latch the door quickly in case he decides to barge in. ‘Stay Out. Don’t Disturb!’.
‘You wish!’ He mumbles. His voice clearly audible through the thick ply wood.
I was changing my clothes when suddenly a loud knock on my door startles me out of my breath. ‘Fuck off!!’ i scream, still holding my hand to my chest. ‘There is a limit till which a girl can tolerate a man, doesn’t he know?’
He knocks again. More louder, using his fists. Again and again. Even Matt and his drunk friends next door must be awake now.
‘What?? Can’t you see, it’s 4 in the morning?‘ I lash at him, jolting open the door. My temper, running all the way down to my toe beds from my scalp skin at the vertex of my skull.
‘Who cares? I want to sleep’ Will hisses, shoving me against the wall with his pillow and heading straight to bed.
‘You have your room. I left you a good one!’
‘No sheets.’ He tosses my blankets and slips in.
‘There are 3 extra sheets!’ I bark. ‘On the cupboard. Did you check there?’
‘All dirty’. He replies.
‘They were clean yesterday!!’
I walk, stomping my feet out of the room to the main room and to the cupboard. 3 sheets. All stained with coffee.
‘Get out! That’s my bed’. I growl, standing by the bed side, glaring at him, knowing he is doing everything on purpose.
‘No sheets’ he replies again, without even bothering to remove the blanket from his face.
‘Sleep on the sofa then. Not on bed.’ I hiss again.
‘Where?‘ he asks, in disbelief, peeping through now.
‘Wherever. Not here!’
‘Come on. Its too small. I’m not gonna eat you!’
‘You might! I can’t be sure.’
‘Shit.‘ He marches, stomping his feet as well to the sofa, grabbing his pillow, which grips me by surprise. I was expecting a full head on collision this time.. stay or leave, live or die kind of situation. There was none.
I toss around side to side in my bed. ‘Why are you staring at me? I can’t sleep.’
‘My eyes. My decision’. He replies, his statement provoking again my temper.
I close my eyes. There was no point arguing. I had to sleep. My alarm was set for 5am, which meant i only had half an hour to get some rest. ‘May be i could make it 6am. That would give me one and half hour for sleep. And by then Will would be asleep too’. I make a mental plan, set my timer to 6am, then grab my pillow to put it to my foot end.
I was about to sleep when i realise, i had forgotten to pull down the heavy curtains. For now, the morning light was peeping through the light ones directly into my face, hurting my eyes. Too tired to get up, i compromise; pull over the blanket covering my head and squeeze my lids close. However, i can’t still sleep.
‘Oh God!!’. Will’s gawking face, startles me again. ‘Stop staring like that!‘ i snap, clasping close my blanket to my neck.
‘My face is much better than my feet‘. He replies.
I turn away from him, to the opposite side, pressing my pillow on my face and covering my ear.
‘Why were you out with him?’. That annoying loud voice again.
‘Carem, i want to know.’
‘Shut up!’. I bounce upright from my bed and throw my pillow at him. ‘You are taking this too far. I just want to sleep.’
‘I can’t believe you can even sleep after what you have done to me.. You are always searching for one wrong thing i would do, so you can have your excuse to do whatever you want. Isn’t it?’ He babbles.
I take a long breath. Then without speaking a word, lie back to sleep, leaving my pillow lying on the floor.
‘I don’t know what you want from me. You tell me, i am indecisive and i am not taking a stand. And you don’t feel secure..But what about me? You are worse.’
‘I am like this because of you.. Because you are never sure.’
I stay still. Locked lips. Silent. Sometimes, silence is the best answer and silence is the best way out.
‘Carem did i just waste my whole year on you? Was it nothing but for fun?’
‘Am i something that you can pull and push away whenever you want?’
I stare at him, not breaking my gaze even for a moment. I wanted to have one close look at this person one last time when he spoke like that. But, in my mind there were number of thoughts running relentlessly, all of them starting with same opening ‘How dare he…’
I walk to his side of the sofa carrying a shawl in my hand. My intentions were clear. ‘To strangle him to death..’, at least that’s what came across my mind at first. But, stopping in front, ‘Will lay out your hands‘ i ask politely.
He looks at me confused. But does so, without questioning. I tie them together, pulling the cloth across his wrists, over and through the loop to secure a tight knot. If he was going to stop me tomorrow i was making sure he didn’t. I had to.
‘What for?‘ he asks.
‘To let you know, i loved you all i could. From all possible ways i knew how to. But i can’t go on. Tying you down, i will cut myself loose’.
Will looks at his knot. ‘You should have done it earlier while you could. Might have saved us all those dramas.’
‘I should have. I did a lot of mistakes’.
He doesn’t listen to me though. He keeps himself busy with the knot, forcing apart his hands, trying to untie it. ‘Shit’ he frowns, seeing the knot become smaller and tighter, with his attempts.
‘Don’t pull your hands out too much, it will hurt you’.
‘As if it already doesn’t! But again its very less compared to shit you make me go through’. He rasps.
I stay quiet again. It hurts me more, when he gets hurt. He doesn’t get it.
‘Will’ you might find someone much better, prettier and everything that i am not. I may never be. But you will never find some one who loves you more than i do’.
‘I will!’ he snickers at me with a mean smile. ‘Everyone loves me more than you do. Even a stranger if i spend a few hours with him. But You, You can’t love anything or anyone. I feel sorry for you!’
‘May be.. But you will know what i mean someday.. When you fall in love, When you miss me, so much that it begins to hurt.. But, i won’t be here that moment..’
‘Believe me. I won’t miss you as much as you think.’ He pulls a smug face again.
”I tear down. I cry. As much as i would like to believe that he would miss me someday, he might never.. He hurts me. Every time i try to get close to him. He hurts me. Every time I try to understand him. He hurts me.”
”I have to get away, away from him and save my self.”