I cannot bear Brandon ignoring me on the school. Passing on the hallways without meeting my eyes, skipping on lunches just to avoid me and now, even on our favourite sub when we always pair up together he is sitting 10 desks away from me.
I am on the first bench.
It is impossible for me to get his glimpse, without Mr Smith noticing me turn around my head 180 degree back and him croaking ‘Carem!!!’ on his peculiar high pitch voice. Freddy Kreuger was a lesser threat. Bulging eyes on thin contoured cheeks, long crooked fingers, add to that his nasty temper; it was everyones nightmare come to life.
We are reading ‘ Theory of Evolution by Natural selection’ today. ‘Charles Darwin’ is peeping on me from my book. Beside him are some picture of strange looking birds. ‘Finches’ Mr Smith says. ‘Observing these birds, their beak sizes and food habit, Darwin was later able to postulate natural selection theory. ‘
‘How bored and lonesome must he be to have noticed the size of a beak on birds like that? And devising his own theory?? The number of hours he must have spent looking at them?’
Thats what i am thinking. Aunt Marish says, i have unusual way of perceiving information. That my thought process is fascinating. I just wonder, if she too thinks i am a deviant. May be that is what she means, when she says she worries about me. That one day i will go haywire. I wouldn’t be surprised myself.
‘Pay attention Maxton!’. Mr Smith croaks again on the background. I ignore him.
‘Thisfunny looking old man, a gardener, with strange fetish for birds and plants. Weirdo became a genius. Great! End of story! When does this get over.’ I yawn looking at the clock.
‘He stated that it is not the strongest species or the most intelligent species that survives but the one that adapts most’. Mr Smith continues.
‘Adaptation means change in behaviour/ physiology and structure of organism to become more suited to environment’.
‘Example Brandon. Changing his behaviour- acting like i don’t exist, physiology- went from needy to don’t need you’ on just 2 days and structure- sinking down the chair so that i don’t see him.’ I frown on my own.
‘These traits that help them to survive will be preserved over long run on their species simply because they will breed more. That is natural selection’.
‘Over many generation the process of selection then will create a entire new genera of species from original ancestors. Like gibbon, apes and chimps to humans. ‘
I have had enough.
As soon the school was done, i was packing my bag to leave for Cornwall. In the world with rule of ‘Survival of the fittest’, where people adapt so well like chameleons i had no place.
I felt alone.
Seeing Aunt Marish after so long brought some joy back to my heart.
Despite our age differences, we were like best friends. We shared everything from pep talks to serious deep conversations.
‘You are alike’. Mom always commented when she saw us together. And for some strange reasons it always made me happy to hear that.
‘Come here Rose’. I call my 1 and half year old cousin to my arms.
She doesn’t. It has been a while since i have seen her. She has completely forgotten me.
‘Aww..’ i sigh.
‘She will remember you. Don’t worry..’ Aunt Marish assures me.
That reminds me how much i have missed her. And talking to her. I could have really used a friend. All this time.
‘Rose’ she calls. Little chubby cherub lifts her head, looks at her direction, casts away the tangled rope she had been trying to figure out and runs. ‘Mama!’ she screams.
I stare in awe, about to break in tears.
Perhaps this is what changed her. After all these years. Perhaps this is where she found happiness. Solace for heart. In Rose.
Its beautiful. The bond between a mother and a child. To see her run to her mom with so much affection, with no second thoughts, no questions asked, just with pure delight, so sure in herself that she was going to be there to hold her…
When did we stop loving anyone like that? What changed? When did I’ stop loving anyone like that?
‘Hey. What happened?’ I speak, once i stood next to Brandon.
He looks at me, then away to the ground. Muddled.
His eyes lids are half pulled down, pupils contracted, reflecting light dimly with only dusky hue of lime on the background. His lashes are clumped together on lower margins and there are blotchy stains marked against his light skin where he must have rubbed his hand.
‘Brandon’ i call again. This time squeezing his arm.
‘Don’t’. Brandon pulls away from me. ‘Don’t’. He repeats.
I freeze. Did i expect this? Did i not know it coming?
‘I know’ he says. ‘I know’.
I stand still. He picks up his gaze and fixes them pointedly to my eyes. ‘How long were you planning to not tell me?’
His tone. It wasn’t loud, he was not shouting. Brandon is loud when he is angry. I have seen him be angry. A number of times with James. He can shout. But, he wasn’t loud with me.
He was restraining it. His voice was resonating with rage. Tightly sealed on his lips.
I turn away from him. I could not answer this.
Brandon speaks again. More assertive this time. Against his clenched teeth.
‘Carem, turn around!!’. He snaps with anger when i don’t respond.
I jump with fright at a safe distance away from him. This wasn’t him. Brandon wasn’t Will.
‘You slutty bitch. Do you now how much it hurts?’.
He breaks in tears now.
Still unsure of how i should be behaving, I stare at him, at odd display of his emotions. I am still on denial that truth had come out. That Brandon knows. My mind is still processing.
‘How would you know? You are heartless’.
‘And i thought, things could change…’.
He laughs then. On his own. Wipes his eyes roughly with his palms and sits down on the ground.
Extending his legs and stretching his elbows on back for support, he questions, looking up and at me, ‘Is he that good?’
‘Come on. i am listening Carem. You need to give some answers’.
I still don’t reply. What am i supposed to say?
‘Carem. Answers’ he insists.
‘I am in love with him’. I reply, in faintest voice i could produce.
‘Love. Did you say love?’. Brandon repeats, in a louder tone. He chuckles unpleasantly with a half drawn smile at the idea of it, then hisses, ‘Don’t joke with me’.
‘That’s the truth’. I reply.
‘Its not the truth.’ He strongly disagrees.
‘He is twice the age as you. He is married, unfaithful and using you for sex. Don’t tell me your standards are so low that you are in love with a man of that category’.
‘He is not married’.
‘Carem!’ He gets up abruptly from where he was sitting and walks towards me.
‘You had sex with him. It was good. You think its love.’
He affirms it again, pressing his both hands against both my arms. ‘It was good and you think its love’.
‘Its not about sex Brandon! I love him! I loved himway before i started seeing you!’ I scream now, pushing his hands away. He had crossed the limits. Nobody tells me, my love is adulterated. Not even him.
‘Have sex with me. And i will show you a good time’. Brandon steps in still, forcefully kissing me.
‘What are you doing?’. I push him back.
‘He is a wrong man.’ He replies, wiping his lips. ‘I thought you had come back to me this time for real’.
‘I am sorry..’ I stammer, realising i had hurt him.
‘Don’t move’. He holds up the arm half way between us on air, straightening the palm up.
‘Stop. Carem. No more. ‘
He crouches down on the ground, pulling his head in between elbows, resting on his knees then. ‘James had seen you with that guy. He told me, he didn’t trust you’.
‘I saw you two kissing. I know, where you disappeared for 12 days’.
‘You thought i didn’t know… I knew everything evenbefore Mia told me’.
‘But i love you..’ he sobs, pulling tight his hair. ‘I thought you’d be through him. I hoped you’d be. And we could fall in love over again.
I slump down. How foolish is Brandon to be in love with me? A girl like me? A cheat. A liar. How could he let me tag him along? Why would he do that to himself?
‘I am sorry Brandon.’
My throat lumps with pain as i say that. ‘I know Will is a wrong man. He is unfaithful. Selfish. Mean and fickle. But i can’t help it. I love him. So much. Do You know how that feels?’. I begin to wail. I was never getting over this overpowering feeling of control he had on me.
‘It hurts.’ He replies gazing at me. ‘You are unfaithful, selfish, mean and fickle. But i can’t help it.’
We sit there, two fools, sobbing peering at each other at an arm distance.
Love was fickle. At least for us.
The light of his eyes grew dimmer as i watched him. If there was a switch off button to feelings, i could use, i wouldn’t have thought twice to do that for him. But i cannot.
All i can do is pray. To pray for Brandon to find love. A true love. If there was any. Even if it meant giving my share. And so much happiness, that his emerald pair of eyes always glowed brighter than these stars that are staring at us now, from a world so far away, where perhaps every one are happy and have their perfect-forever-together.
I wish it never ends. But good things come to an end sooner or later. Why does it have to be like this?
Could’t we have met at some other place at some other time in a different setup? We could have been farmers, living at the foot ends of green hills, miles and miles away from here and i would have been happy. I know i would. I could have washed for him, cooked and cleaned and when he came back at dawn, exhausted after ploughing the field like a good wife would, i would have sat by him, pressed his shoulders and eased his aching joints. I would have bore him 5-6 children, all beautiful well and healthy, running around the house like cats and dogs and mice, boiling our temples, disturbing our peace. But, nothing would have mattered because we’d still have been despite all our limitations, a big happy family.
‘Snap out of it Carem!’ The witch hisses inside my bony vault.
‘Are you even aware of what you are thinking? Farmers?? You can’t even grow a plant in a pot. And that is, even if you were given a healthiest breed of plant, fertiliser along with it and a instruction written on paper of how to specifically take care of it.’
‘And, what about studies? I suppose you thought Will would take care of you all your life and you would never have to work? What if he gets another wife and you have to feed your half a team of football players all by yourself? Are you prepared to do the dishes?’
I lie on my bed disturbed, all alone, thrown off by my own voice inside my head.
Sometimes i think, there is another person residing in me, trying to take over.. to take control of my actions. As if i am divided. I am two different people in one body. And every thought i have about Will, she is against it. She glares me with a warning, shames me with guilt and questions me on my sanity.
It has been a week now since we came back. As usual i haven’t heard anything from my so called lover. His existence has once again faded away. He is a ghost again, with no one to miss him except me.
I thought things would change, i was sure they would, i genuinely hoped so but they haven’t. Once again, my reality seems obscure.. What happened and what did not, i do not know.
I toss in my bed, throwing the blankets on the floor, closing my eyes shut. But sleep does not come easy. How many times have i done that? How many times have i told myself that this would change? How many times..
I see him. Beautiful and bare. I can feel him, his hand on my skin caressing my back, his fingers tips on my hair and his lips on mine.
Its unbearable. The distance between us. The words we don’t speak. The time, we don’t spend together. Its shattering. The painful realisation. The commas on our stories, the infinity chains of our full stops that doesn’t end in one. The uncertainty of our ending, is killing me slowly.
‘Don’t be like this Carem!’ Mia barges in, kicking open my door. ‘Enough is enough! How long are you going to stay in sulking?’
‘Go away...’ I cry, hiding my face. ‘I don’t want to do anything’.
‘Come on! You’ve got to wake up. Its been a week since you have not stepped a foot out. You promised me yesterday you would go bowling with us. And Brandon will be there.’
‘No. And don’t kick the door.’
‘I thought you locked it again. Sorry. Carem please. You know you owe an apology to Brandon, you vanished without saying anything and you promised you’d call him when you get back but you didn’t too. And now if you don’t show up he will think its because he did something. He is already tensed about the situation.’
‘Mia? Do you hate me?’ I make a quick flip from my bed, sitting upright and pressing the question, ignoring Brandon talk.
Mia looks confusingly at me. I stare at her right between her eyes. I needed to hear an answer.
‘No’ she says, knowing there was no get away without a reply. ‘I know you can be a bitch and a cheat but you are still my best friend. And look at you, you are miserable’
I laugh, flooding the tears down my eyes. Even a stranger would have agreed to her remark. ‘I am miserable. Amn’t i?’ She nods her head.
‘I am sorry Mia, I said you things i shouldn’t have. I’m sorry about Brandon and I am sorry about your phone too’.
‘Yeah. About that, it seems like they can’t repair it. And I will be better off with new one.’ Mia shows me off her i-phone with smashed screen on the front. ‘ You really took all your anger on it. Didn’t you? Anyways for now it still works fine’. She re-assures me.
‘ I am sorry about your hair too.‘ She apologises.
‘Ah well. Just a patch of baldness on my back. That’s all.’ I laugh, forgiving her instantly.
When we reached the sports centre our guys were already there. ‘Hello ladies!’ Brandon greets us with a wave from far. When we reach closer, he tosses the ball on the floor and comes running to me stretching his arms. Then he hauls himself over, squeezing me on his chest. ‘Cam i missed you!!’ He squeals.
‘Hey Romeo give her some space to breathe at least ‘. I hear James behind him.
‘Yeah can’t breathe..’ I squeak underneath. My cheek placed flat on his chest and face covered with his jacket. Hearing that, Brandon releases me immediately. We all laugh.
‘Didn’t think she was gonna die. Did you?’ James jokes, putting his arm around Mia. ‘You’ve gotta be gentle with ladies’. His usual odd remark.
Well, I guess some things are unchanged better. You have a place of comfort that way. To relax. To heal. To think over your own changing process to adapt, so when the time comes you are ready. Inside and out.
That despite all the flaws you see in the person and in your relation, you wouldn’t want to let go of their hold? That despite knowing, the person you want may never really want you back and in your infinite world of happiness, you would never truly be happy, you still wouldn’t let go.
How happy am i? Or i ever was? I don’t know. I don’t think i will ever know.
One moment i hate Will. The next moment, icry. I can’t even tell apart, what part of my feelings are stronger. If even one of them was, my mind would at least have been at ease.
I hold Will’s hands and stare at him.
I could still feel the tracks left by the shawl when it constricted his wrist, the ridges and depressions it left behind; distinct, sharp and overwhelming on senses of my fingers.
‘I will be fine’. He answers, looking at me, without even a tint of worry on his voice or his face.
‘Clearly this man has no idea what he is into…’ I feel like mocking his stupidity, knocking some senses on him then and there, but this was no time.
‘What happened? I heard noises’ he asks, when he sees me return with a bucket full of ice.
‘Some of the ice trays broke.’ i reply bluntly. ‘Put your hands here. It will help your pain and swelling’.
He doesn’t question and digs them into the cubes. Next few minutes we sit there without talking. It was one of those odd times when silence between us was just too awkward.
‘Are you stupid?’
Will raises his brows at my abrupt question.
‘Its been more than 3 minutes Will and you still have your hands buried under the cubes!’
‘You asked me to.’
‘ Smart people are smart enough to know when it starts to hurt!’. My jaws tense as i say that.
‘Ok!’. He removes his hands looking at me and places them at my eye level for my visual confirmation.
I was doing it again, directing all my anger and frustration over and at him.
Nothing had changed much really except his swelling. I don’t understand what i was so heated up for, the world wasn’t going to crash if i stayed calm for three minutes.
‘Sorry.’ I mumble. ‘If you put your hands longer on ice, it will actually do you more harm. You are supposed to alternate it. Take it out and put it back in. Immerse only 1 minute or so, take out and immerse again later.’
‘Hmm. Yeah. Sure’ he replies awkwardly. Then back again, we have our silence.
‘Why are you so angry now days?’ Its his turn now to bombard a sudden question.
I crease my forehead. Honestly, it wasn’t unanticipated. But till now, i hadn’t really come up with an answer.
‘I was never like this. Ever since you dropped in on my life, i can’t really tell whats going on with me’.
Will laughs, his beautiful laugh.
He thinks i ‘m trying to woo him away with my flimsy dialogues. He thinks its too sleazy, too cheesy or too corny for me to mean it. If only he knew, i am honest. He changed me in many ways. For better or for worse.
An hour later, our moods are different.
I am lying on bed, half naked down below, with a blindfold on my eyes with the same shawl.
I do know, its all about kinky sex. And has a lot to do with me saying, ‘you are not good enough’yesterday. But i really have no clue whats on his mind.
How often do you hear, about a monster on bed? About things men want to do, which their partners don’t like, don’t want to do but are forced to.. One moment it is consensual and other moment it turns into a rape. News, medias, internet; people with unhealthy sexual fantasies, doing demeaning things, hurting people, playing with lives. All for sex’.
Is it wrong for me to get worried at this point? But then again, what has it got to do with me trusting him? People are what they are. What if Will is one of those people, who is looking forward to gain pleasure asphyxiating me, drowning me, duct taping or even stuffing me with things? Now that we are ready to push our boundaries.
‘Are you ready?’ I hear excitement on his tone.
‘Yes..‘ My ‘yes’ comes out as a stammer, rather than a confident response.
He separates my legs, pushing them up against my thighs then. And in no time, his fingers starts stroking my pleasure spots. A long gasp of air, and I had only begun to breathe it in, when he plants his lips on it.
‘I can handle that. We have done it before….’ I breathe out. But his hype of eagerness was making me more restless than i should be.
More strokes and i start to moan tightening my abdomen. All my focus suddenly concentrated now on the nub between my inner lips and his.
‘Oh my God…!!This is insane.’ I explode.
Humans. We were designed with a flaw, a natural weakness on our physique aren’t we?
I remove my eye fold to bend my head over and look at him and, i can’t help smiling. But he is clearly not happy. ‘You are not supposed to do that’ he rants.
‘But i’m done. You should know, you can’t tickle more, if youdon’t want to get in.’ I laugh again. The look he has is actually disappointment.
‘That was too fast’. He frowns. Genuine disappointment. Can you believe that?
‘Not my fault.’ I protest. ‘You aren’t happy when i don’t come in, you aren’t happy when i come in. What do you want? Is it about me saying youaren’t good enough?’
‘Of course not!’ he defends. Seen a kid with wrapper on his hand and openly, courageously lie, looking into your eyes saying that he didn’t eat the chocolate. Adorable, isn’t it? But you know he is clearly lying.
‘If i’m not good enough, you wouldn’t be moaning ears off these walls. I’m sure Matt has hard time sleeping’.
I didn’t even ask for explanations. And he is defending. I smile. Guys and ego, i just don’t understand.
‘I didn’t mean it..I was just mad.’ I try to calm him down.
‘Of course you didn’t mean it. You keep begging for it.’ Now that, was getting over my head.
‘No i don’t!’
‘Yes you do!’
It has become a game for us, this thing, trying to make the other back down.
‘Ok. Yes I do. So, before i wear off my high, why don’t you get in?’. I open my legs again and taunt him. Last thing i want to do is fight.
‘Then lay back in. And i want the folds back’. He demands.
‘Cause I want them back. I want you close your eyes and concentrate on where i am rubbing you.’
‘I can’t concentrate with my eyes open’.
I put my blindfold back. I am not happy. Something about the folds, they make me really nervous. Or is it the idea, that he might shove something else down my canal, i don’t know.
He inserts it in. I know this feeling. The pulsating beat, the stretching of my rugae. I can hear him gasp softly too on the background. A short gasp, on every thrust he puts. Its sensual, its arousing.
I move along side as he bends, extend as he extends moulding to his hands. The friction gets easier, slippery, short lived and faster.
‘Don’t’ he whispers, clutching my hand, as i move it to my face to remove the shawl.
‘It makes me nervous..’
‘Trust me,’ he locks my hand above my head.
‘ I want to see you’
‘Not now. Babe, just concentrate on yourself. No kisses for now’.
‘What does it mean no kisses? How can i concentrate when i can’t see you and now i don’t get a kiss? Let me out of it’
There is a pause. A pause of seconds, that feels like a millennium in a world without sight.
‘Babe,’ he begins. ‘Don’t you have a fantasy guy you ever wanted to hook up with?’.
He is calm and clear with his question. I can see even with my eyes closed, his determination gawking at me, convinced to take it all through. And i can’t talk him out of it.
‘For this time,just this once, imagine i am him. I can be your Leonardo , Channing Tatum whatever you want me to be. But whoever is it, however it is, imagine it.’
‘I know what you want. Women don’t always come. I may not’. Its pathetic how i am reasoning. But at least i am making my point.
‘You have to..’
‘I already did!’
‘Its not the same thing.’
Men are weird creatures. Its strange how their brain is made to function. Sex and emotions can be two separate and complete different things. And they expect the same for us, to segregate it.. To imagine someone else while i am having sex with him. How is it even possible? We have an emotional bondage. You can’t put a blindfold on my eye and let my insecurities escape. You can’t manipulate my body into deceiving my brain or my heart.
But, what did i know?? Apparently you could. Close your eyes and vanish your problems away.
I came that day, over and over again. Not knowing who was on his mind or even mine. And it was, the most revelling experience in my life..
A sickening taste of stomach acid, regurgitating up my throat wakes me up. Feeling nauseous, i hurl past Will, who had somehow managed to creep beside me on the bed, to the bathroom, covering my mouth tightly with fingers. Once beside the pan, i kneel down to vomit the contents out. All that i had stuffed down my pipe in past 6-8 hours. Needless to say being a stress eater, it was a lot.
My stomach does one last painful flick to propel the final remains of food, before it rests still, leaving behind the bitter horrendous unpleasant taste of bile, lurking on back of my tongue. Exhausted i push myself to the sink, to rinse my mouth, hoping it would wash away the awful taste.
So i pick up my toothbrush and paste, and squat on the cold tiles ready to brush. The warm rays from afternoon August sun, warms my feet, looming in from the half open window. Tempted by the fresh breeze, i walk to it, opening myself to the spectacular view of highlands that now I was getting so accustomed to. But, no matter how many times i looked, the beauty of greenery and hills never seem to cease bringing joy to my heart.
‘I will miss this’. I sigh, turning my eyes away, to walk back to the sink to gargle my mouth. That’s when i realise, it was afternoon. ‘Afternoon! My alarm was at 6. I had to board my train at 10!’
I jostle back to my room. The numerical on my screen showed 12.40 pm. There was no alarm.
I had set it for 5am. Then later changed it to 6am. I am sure.
Infuriated now, my fingers trembling with fury i could barely bottle up, i stare at Will; slowly picking up my pillow lying next to him, i relish at the thought ‘This will solve all my problems..’
Of course, i could not. I am crazy, but not a murderer.
I call him names then. And muttering all sorts of curse words i could think of, i stomp back to the bathroom, picking a towel on my way.
I didn’t have a clue, i knew so many. Had my parents known they would’ve grounded me and devised some purification ritual to cleanse me of my filthy mouth. But, i am not even a virgin anymore.
I step in the shower.
As the drizzles hit my skin, vapours leave my body forming a mist. The water was cold. Really, really cold. I felt like a hot iron rod immersed in a bucket full of ice.
Gradually, i was calming down. The shower was bringing my temperature back to the set point and then below, further below, until the droplets felt like sharp ice picks on my skin.
Quickly draping around the towel on my body, i jump off to the bed, stopping only a few seconds to turn the heater on , in between. Once inside the bed, i pull all the blanket to my end rolling myself over it like a wrap. ‘His fault’ i mumble, seeing Will’s blanket lying on the floor next to sofa.
Past 5 minutes, and i still lie clattering my teeth. The water was too cold. The heater was not working and i did not have any guts to get to kitchen to fetch myself something warm. Unwillingly i wriggle in my bundle, adjust my position again, so that only my eyes and nose were exposed now, to see and to breathe.
Unable to fall back to sleep, I appease my eyes, watching Will. Looking at his chest and belly, do up and down movement as he respired, inflating and deflating the lungs.
‘He is a beautiful man. No doubt. And i am attracted to him like a moth to flame.’
Guiltily, angrily, compassionately, I don’t know. I was still staring at him for minutes and more minutes, till those, added up to become half an hour.
I snuggle closer to him this time, still shivering. More and more till, my forehead touched his cheek and my nose pressed on his jaw. The principle of conduction is an amazing thing. My face was warm in no time. Like metal grills of a radiator, he was hot.
Lured by the warmth of his crib, i slither my right arm across his chest right away. He shivers at the touch, moves away from me and pulls the blanket over him. While he does so, half asleep, i close my eyes too, pretending not to notice it. Once he softly snores, i put back my arm across his chest back over again, then another arm as well.
Then, I lay my hands still, waiting for them to warm up, like Eskimos on Arctic, spreading their palms in front of a flame. Only difference was, they were more tolerant to cold than i was.
Seeing no other way out, finally i decide to burn my ego down and dump my body all over him. One arm on my side, one arm across. One leg on my side, one leg across. My trunk over his, my hip flexed at one joint.
‘You are cold’ Will murmurs, half asleep, waking up by the cold touch again.
‘Yeah’ i mumble, hoping he doesn’t recall our big fight. Not now, when i could die of hypothermia or whatever that thing people at north and south pole died of when they were exposed to extreme cold.
It was a refreshing nap.
I felt as warm and as fuzzy as a new hatch-ling duck when i woke up. But 2 hours past and Will was still asleep. ‘Did he swallow a sleeping pill or something?‘ i start to worry.
Will’s skin between brows were creased and lips were sealed shut. Even on his sleep, he looked very distressed. But then again, it too was part of punishment. If he didn’t realise a mistake, how was he going to learn. I never intended to do it.
However, a softer side of my psyche speaks. ‘What are you doing? You love this man. You never hurt people you love.’
I agreed. Enough was enough. My insanity was indeed rising on its peak.
Will’s arms were uncomfortably stretched , bend over his elbows with his head resting on one of his forearms and wrists put together behind his neck to one side.
Had i been too occupied with thought of punishing him, or too driven for teaching him a lesson or both. At what i saw next, i broke into tears. I could not forgive myself.
His hands were swollen down the strap till the pulps of his fingers. The skin above them were discoloured bluish black. It looked painful. Very painful and cruel.
‘What? What happened?’. Will asks alarmed, waking up to my sobs.
‘Your hands…hands… ‘ I couldn’t even utter a single word after that.
How could i have done this to him? I love him. I couldn’t even believe myself..
‘Wait. Don’t go.’ Will pulls the edge of my robe , gripping it in between his fingers, between the narrow space his sealed hands allowed. Turning around quickly I pull my robe free from him.
‘Enough is enough I said!’ I screech, moving a step back from him, stretching my palms forward, warning him to stay put where he sat. ‘Don’t’.
He looks at me hesitantly as though he is unable to react at my sudden burst of mania. Then taking a while to process his thoughts over, he withdraws his hand slowly. ‘I amsorry‘ he apologises, rubbing his fingers over his eyes, over the bridge then, locking them to knuckles in front of his lips.
‘I love you. I don’t want to hurt you.’
‘Think again’. I grumble, sitting on my bed, across him. ‘Your actions says otherwise’.
He looks at me and lets out a long sigh. Then, throwing his arms over his head and leaning back on the sofa, he asks ‘What do i do to make you believe me?’
‘Nothing. Nothing, you can do’.
He sighs again. ‘What do you want from me? Tell me please’. His voice gets softer with a desperate tone.
‘Really?’ I throw him an amused pretentious look.
He nods his head, appearing more hopeful, leaning forward closer to hear me out.
‘Nothing.’ I hit him hard with disappointment like a hammer on head. ‘He deserves this!’ I chuckle on my own.
Will doesn’t speak a word after that.
He looks at me vacantly; a mixture of anger, sadness and confusion gleams on his eyes; his stare transfixes at me, into me and beneath the layer of my cornea, through the gap in my pupils, against the frail membrane of my lens and deeper beneath..
‘Look away’ i snarl , feeling exposed, vulnerable..
He does. A moist film of tear running down the corner of his lids.
‘He is manipulating you! Don’t fall for it!’ My subconscious roars. ‘If you do, might as well admit to yourself, you are his whore!’.
‘I won’t. Not again!’ I brush away my sympathy. And picking my pillow from the ground, i put it back to my head end of bed, preparing to to sleep.
Will’s head is still faced away from me. He too has lied down on sofa now, with his feet overhanging down the edges and arms folded uncomfortably, crouched against the corner, trying to fit in his long body on limited space. I can hear him make noises, like breathing roughly against a blocked nose, like sobbing quietly.
I crawl down in my bed, looking at him, cornered by the unwanted emotions i refuse to feel. First there is fear; the dread of beingraw, naked down to my soul; mysecrets wereno longer mine. The power to control; my thoughts, my wants were no longer mine. And, the key; to my happiness, to my dreams..everything narrowed down to one, my vision tunnelled, it’ was no longer mine.
Second to creep was ‘pain’; amplified by my fear of getting hurt. An acute ache in middle of my chest that i could not point. So unbearable, as though, my muscles were being twisted and stretched beyond their endurance till they tore..
The third, knocking around my misery came ‘The Anger’, so much, building up inside me, that it suffocated my lungs.
‘Wake up! Wake up!‘ i shrug Will roughly by his shoulder.
‘Leave me alone. Go to sleep.’
‘No! Wake up!’ I shrug him again. Shaking him violently than before.
‘Ok Ok. Whats wrong with you?’ He sits up, moving side to side, putting his hands down for support.
I lift them above the ground and stretching it past his head, secure them at the back of his neck, making sure both his arms were now raised and restricted to any movements.
‘What are you doing?’ he asks me confused, his voice now hoarser with a nasal twang.
‘Securing it. So that you don’t move’. I reply, checking the knot again, pulling his head towards me.
‘Sex. I want Sex’. I reply bluntly, looking at him, my hands pushing up his Tee past his neck.
‘I am not in mood,’ he exclaims, creasing his brows in disbelief, angry at me.
‘You don’t need to be. It has a brain of its own. Beside, You Got No Choice!’ I snap back equally infuriated, stressing him loud enough on ‘You Got No Choice’ part.
He stares at me, taken back, without blinking his eyes for seconds. I pull down his trousers, down his bums anyways.
‘Don’t!’ he snarls, sitting down on it, bloated, grumpily. ‘I didn’t stop you from doing anything. You shouldn’t too’ I mumble, reminding him of his deed, a day back, to which he still owed me. Upset, i would still pull that guilty card, he looks at me regretfully with a repentant conscience.
Then, he lets me drag his trousers all the way down his feet and off it, in no time. Still groaning and complaining, he watches me toss it far too, to the bin beside the door, like a crumpled piece of a paper. ‘Ooooh Yes. I loved it!’
‘It will be more fun, if you set me free from this’. He bends his head, to slide forward his hands, showing me what he meant.
‘Stop, I want your hands back!‘ I snap again, suddenly, frustrated; at his lack of compliance with simple rules. ‘Did you hear me complain then?’ i ask him, utterly annoyed.
It gets easier the next few minutes. Me handling him, playing with him and slipping him off inside me. He doesn’t say a word at all. Not a sound, just the way i wanted it. I close my eyes then, allowing myself to float in blissful pleasure i was learning to indulge..thinking in my head that ‘It could have been anyone, anyone else in my arms, not necessarily him.’
My knees spread wider apart, relaxing my pelvic floor to accommodate the pressure i was raising, swelling inside me. My back arches forward and backward like swinging on a vine, on its own, controlling the motion of my thrust.. And my hip moves up and down, feeling every inch of his muscle grate the folds of my tunnel, pleasurably.
I moan softly, resting my head against his shoulders, locking him inside my own arms, pushing and pulling my passage till his tip. The juices on my body pent up and release with every friction i pass on them. Running my fingers across his hair then, i pull his head close to my chest, burying his face on my skin, watching him wet it with his saliva; enjoying each stroke, driving my own route to my lustful pleasure.
‘Fuck me harder baby’ Will whispers on my ear, nibbling on it, sensing my urge getting stronger.
‘Don’t talk’ i breath out, looking at him, pressing my hip harder against him and my forehead pressed against his.
‘Use me. Want me. Love me.’ he moans. ‘I want to see you come’..
‘Shhh..’ I hush. ‘Can’t.’
‘Why? But.. i want you to.’
‘Don’t ask’. I cover his mouth with my wrist, stopping him mid sentence, driving back to momentum.
However, i halt again. ‘Ah. Don’t bite!What now? ‘ I sneer at him.
‘Don’t pace fast. I don’t want to’. He whines leaning his head on my chest. ‘At least kiss me once…’
‘Well you can’t decide. Can you? I have it my way today.’ I push him back on the sofa and bending forward to wrap him again around his neck, resting my head against his shoulders, moving back and forth. ‘Why should i kiss you?‘ i mumble as i do so.
‘I’m not just the thing down you know. I am a human’. He replies with a sigh.
‘Me too. I guess you didn’t know that before huh..’
‘Well as long as i’m the only one getting in.. I don’t mind i suppose.’ He pecks a soft kiss on my cheek, snuggling past my hair, at which i raise my head and stare at him with surprise.
‘Don’t be too sure. I have a need.‘ I lash at him.
‘Nothing gets in down there except my fingers, your fingers and my stick’.
‘Well, its my body! Stop acting like you control me!’ I glare at him
He doesn’t speak a thing again. And i stop chattering too. We get straight to business, getting it done; me fucking him the way i want.
Once we were over it, I clean myself and toss him a roll of tissues to clean his. ‘Thanks’ I leave him a kiss on a forehead for being a good fuck-buddy.
‘Wait!! Maybe I am being too kind to him..‘
‘You aren’t even that good by the way. Waste of my time!’ I hurl at him, my vicious comment. Whoever said, word can’t kill.. Trust me, it does much worse.
‘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 lotof 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 canpull 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 letyou 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, itwill hurt you’.
‘As if it already doesn’t! But again its very less compared to shit you make me gothrough’. 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 youmore 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.”