Broken – Renjith R Thampi

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Author      : Renjith R Thampi
Company : Applexus Technologies Pvt Ltd


A lot seemed different as she drove back home that evening. She rolled the windows down, and let the gushing air play with her locks. She recognized the various spots by the road as she drove past them. Places which had filled her up with joy and hope at one point in her life, which later became rude reminders of how bad things have got for her and risked going back to being just random places with a story to tell. Walking down these roads holding hands with her man was a long distant memory now. And there was no chance of reliving them either. He was gone. The man she loved. Never to come back. “Move on”, “Fresh start”, “Let go”, she kept on throwing these phrases at herself. She knew it was going to be difficult, nigh on impossible mayhaps, but she was willing to give it her all. Even if it required building a completely new life for herself, she was ready to do it.

He was the most wonderful man she’d ever met. Any worries she had about agreeing to an arranged marriage faded the moment they had their first conversation. He spoke of life and things that mattered with the kind of conviction that only a man who possessed strong values was capable of. He drew a picture of their life together using the colours from her dreams. She immediately knew that he was the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. Their wedding was a quiet and beautiful event attended by friends and family. The few weeks that followed were even better, but they were as good as it ever got. Sporadic quarrels, part of every couple’s life, stepped up to regular discords. The way he went about his arguments made the sense and wisdom he had exhibited during their first conversation, seem like a facade of deceit. There was talk of how her parents had cheated him off what they “owed” him and how she has been nothing but “the worst deal” of his life. The man for whom she had saved her maidenhood, no longer cared for her mind and body. The more she resisted or held up her end, the more intense his retaliations became and, there was no way she was ever going to out muscle him. She could not understand where she had gone wrong and, the world advised her that it is she who needed to make the “adjustment”. In spite of these harrowing experiences, she held a faint hope that somewhere deep down the man she married was still alive within the monster he had become. It was too late to find out the truth now.

She parked the car in the garage and took the elevator to her apartment. It was just the way she had left it before she went out. She dropped her purse and shopping bags on the kitchen counter and slowly walked into her bedroom. As she stood under the cold stream from the shower, she felt faint burning sensations from the cigarette burns on her bosom and the razor scratches on her back. She inspected the burns. “He always left the face alone”. She felt sorry for the sickly woman who was staring back at her from the mirror “He has scarred me for life. There is no moving on from this. No chance of a normal life again…and… He left me in this hell hole.” An emotion which borrowed the worst bits from anger, sadness, and frustration washed over her, and she screamed as if to exercise some of her demons. “It has to end today…”

She opened the cupboard and pulled out the red dress he had bought her during their honeymoon. “You are the prettiest thing I’ve ever set my eyes on”, he had exclaimed the first time he saw her wearing it. Putting it on, she looked at herself in the long mirror and realized that her body somehow still retained most of her amorous appeal, “There is no pain that can’t be covered with good makeup”.

She came back to the kitchen and made some tea. She poured it into one of her more expensive ceramic tea cups, and mixed it with the contents of a flacon she had kept in her purse. “To a new beginning …”.

She heard the door in her living room and listened to the footsteps making their way towards the kitchen.

“Why are you dressed like a slut??” he sounded disgusted. “Trying to seduce me, are you? Or, were you expecting someone else?”

He gave her the most disapproving look and mocked, “Make yourself useful for a change… make me some tea.”

She silently wiped a tear off her cheeks as she slid the cup on the counter towards him…