Darkness has fallen. The night was silent. Silent except for the loud,harsh jangling of a payal, as it’s heart-broken owner ran through the deserted corridors,lit only by a slowly dying flame of a torch.
She stopped when she reached the fateful parapet, gasping for breath, teary-eyed, conflicted and above all, simply hurt. In retrospect, it didn’t have anything to do with her friend,her alleged betrayal, his choice, her infatuation. In the end, she was hurt, because all she wanted…was to be wanted.
She slowly sank to her knees, and she cried. And she cried until she could cry no more. It is this moment that often grants silence to the mind. when one is so exhausted,one simply is.
And so she was. On the edge,trying to hold her universe together. The night grew deeper. The hour,darker. But yet she remained where she was,still and unmoving. Silent but cognizant. Thinking. Processing. Understanding. Trying. But the matters of the heart are not so easily resolved. And with a pang, she realized, things would never be the same. She could not be the person she was yesterday because she had changed since then. The nagging feeling of betrayal gnawed at her. Giving her no peace. Regressing only to strike again,more viciously.
In that night, one seemingly endless moment, she was alone. A girl,unlike any other in her world and yet exactly like so many before her.
Alone, sitting on the cold,marbled floor of the parapet,the blue skirts of her garb spread around her. Her head resting on her knees,her arms wrapped around them. Trying to pull it all together. With the moonlight shining on her, She seemed almost other worldly. A kind of ethereal beauty seemed to surround her then. Staring deeply into the night,Zohra sat there. Waiting. Watching. For something to make her feel better. For someone to hold her hand and say it would be alright. But no one did. And nothing happened. Until that night,like every night must,came to an end.
Dawn broke. I won’t tell you she felt better when it did. I can’t tell you she healed. I haven’t the audacity to belittle her emotions and say she felt like everything would be alright.
Because when the sun rose that day, it seemed a little colder. A little less bright.
When she finally stood up, her body ached from staying still in the cold for so long. Her legs felt like they were being stuck with pins and needles. A thousand nerves set on fire. For a moment the physical pain made the heartache pale in comparison. But the pain faded, the ache did not.
But when I saw my heroine standing there, biting her lip, silent in face of her pain. I knew and so did she, that she’d be alright. Not today. Or tomorrow. Or perhaps even months from now. However at sometime in the future, she would heal.
One day she’d get up and her heart wouldn’t feel so bruised anymore. She wouldn’t spend the days wondering about what could have been.
The corridors wouldn’t pulsate with a tenacity of their own,bringing up falsified memories. The lump in her throat would ease, and the weight in her stomach would dissolve.
And when it did, she would breathe again.
I know not what happened to her then.
Maybe she lived in misery.
Maybe her happy ending was in finding the strength to start all over again.
When I last eyes on her she was standing tall, caving just for a moment before she returned to her world. She had a small smile on her face when the wind swept her hair around her shielding her face from everything she wished she’d never set eyes on. I closed my eyes to savour that moment of incognition, when I opened my eyes again she was gone. She’d disappeared.
And there on the floor lay a payal it chained her,she felt. So she left it behind.
Behind The Lattice.
All stories end in death, he is no true storyteller who would keep that from you.-Ernest Hemingway.
Perhaps this one would have too, were it not for the friend who said to me- ‘ you wouldn’t write something like that, You’re a strong person, your character would be strong too.’ To her I would like to say ‘Thank you’ for believing in me and giving me strength.
Write hard and clear about what hurts.-Hemingway.