Monday, 24 March 2014

The Glass Slipper

It wasn't time to leave yet he chose that moment to say 'Good Bye'. With a heavy heart, she watched him getting up from his seat and walking away. Her mouth opened and she raised her hand in  a motion to call out to him but no sound came. Her extremely feeble attempt to stop him had also failed.  He walked away and she bravely battled her tears in case he glanced back in her direction but he did not look back even once.

It wasn't time to leave as there were so many unanswered questions. She still had so many things to say to him. Oh God! Why was she always tongue-tied in his presence? Why were their conversations always incomplete?

There was still time before she needed to return yet she found herself on a bus homeward bound. It would be a long ride home. After all, she had come all the way to the other side of town just to catch up with him over a cup of coffee. And conversations they had had on topics ranging from books, movies, philosophy to current affairs. Not once did he express any interest in knowing the happenings of her life and though she had attempted to bring up certain issues, his nonchalance forced them to stay inwards. She wanted to just pick up her phone, dial his number and scream at him. She took a few deep breaths as a last piece of struggle to remain calm. She decided to not think about it and tried diverting her attention to other things. Unfortunately, the sight on the road jam-packed with cars was not a pleasant view to admire. She looked inside the bus and suddenly, a sight of the mother and daughter sitting in the seat in front grabbed her attention.

The mother was narrating the story of Cinderella. She watched as the mother animatedly related the part where the Prince swore to only marry the girl to whom the slipper belonged and his quest finally led him to the home of Cinderella where, much to the dismay of her stepmother and stepsisters, the glass slipper fitted Cinderella perfectly and she ended up marrying her Prince Charming. The daughter had a broad smile on her face and clapped her hands in delight at the happy ending.

She still believed that a happily ever after was possible for her. It was not something that existed only once upon a time. Life definitely had a lot of beautiful things to offer. Why else would she be still living?

It was not time for her to leave this earth yet which is why she chose to stay. She could have allowed herself to be broken down and blamed him for her miseries. But that would have been the easy way out. She had grown up hearing fairy-tales. This was her chance to live her teachings from them. Just like Cinderella and her glass slipper, if something was meant for her, it would be a perfect fit. There would be no forcing, no struggling and no pain. And with this lesson, she stayed on earth joyously, living each day to the fullest, being grateful for all the blessings that were showered her way.

She was, after all, just a part of the cosmos, scattering her stardust all over the world. And she had been gathering it back ever since she had opened her eyes in this world. She hoped to find all her missing parts as life went by. The real challenge had been knowing if she could fit them right back into the jigsaw of her life and figuring out which parts were not the lost pieces of her being.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Breaking Free (Flash Fiction)

She had always been a hoarder. Her house was perpetually in a state of mess. Clothes that hadn't been worn for several years spilled themselves out every time someone braved an attempt to open the wardrobe doors.  Her purses were cluttered with used rail-passes, movie-tickets and her wallets still contained credit cards well past their expiry dates. She never discarded anything. Things that were of no value to people were memory imprints for her. She did not consider it junk. It was, for her, a treasure-chest of memories. She stared at the house. Everything was still in its place. Despite the disorder, she still knew where each object was. She never had trouble finding anything.

She sniffed the empty perfume-bottle on her dresser. It still had traces of the fragrance it had stored. She opened one of the drawers and found a broken pendant. It was possible to get the lock fixed but she knew she would never wear it again. It wasn't in her nature to wear an ornament symbolizing broken relationships. Neither could she bring herself to throw the locket away or gift it to somebody else. Suddenly her phone rang and distracted her thoughts. She glanced at the name on the screen. Her cheeks flushed red with anger and her eyes blinked rapidly to stop the tears from streaming. She took a deep breath and, mustering all her strength, answered the call. The conversation lasted more than fifteen minutes. Not once during the conversation did she give the caller any hint of her state of mind. She did not know how to tell people she was upset with them. She hung up and sat on her bed. Tears flooded her face and this time she let them flow. She was tired of this act. She could not play this part any longer.

She looked around one last time. She knew she was not coming back. Earlier, even for a week-long trip, she would pack two suitcases. This time she was leaving empty-handed. As she stepped out to lock the door, she heard her phone ringing inside. For a fleeting moment, she almost went back inside to answer the call but she stopped herself just in time. She could not allow herself to fall into the tempting trap once again. Leaving had never been easy for her especially when she knew she had unfinished business. Leaving without saying a good-bye was even more difficult. However, she had resolved to let go off all the things she feared losing. This was her first step in that direction; and like most first steps are, this was the hardest one to take.

She handed the key to the landlord. The path ahead wasn't simple. She did not know where she was headed. All she knew was that there would be no looking back. She could feel the rush of freedom trickling down her veins as she marched along this road of new adventures, finally, taking charge of her own life.