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 bring out the proper words.
How could i have done this to him? I love him. I couldn’t even believe myself..