Prompt : A lovely girl have turned into a heartless lady
05 April 2017
The streetlamp outside the bedroom window was bright enough for her to reach a Marlboro packet on the bedside table, yet dim enough to not fully wake her up. A flick of the thumb and the lighter came to life. The amber burnt brighter every time she inhaled and the puffs of smoke entertained her with their various forms. Anita couldn’t fall asleep but this wasn’t new to her. Alcohol was to be blamed and the man who had left 2 hours ago kept her blood rushing and cheeks blushing. She shook her head to stop reliving their night. Should have gotten his number, damn!, she scolded herself.
They had met at a club during a beer pong competition and he had rooted for her. Two rounds later, they moved to stronger drinks to ease the tension. When that didn’t work out, they took an Uber back to her place. Anita shut her eyes to recall his features. Stubble… yes, it was black. He hadn’t shaved recently. Soft black curls fell beautifully around his face. There were dimples, of course! Oh, his brown eyes too and such beautiful lashes and – , she brought her thoughts to a halt. The image of the stranger had morphed into Dev’s. It was the dimples that reminded her of Dev. Anita sighed loudly, threw the cigarette butt away and lit up a second one. Another sleepless night to be accompanied by a Marlboro and unwanted memories.
She hates the taste of alcohol and the hangovers after that. But it keeps her numb. The numbness served as a reminder of the consequences of falling in love. The idea of love doesn’t exist anymore in her world. Her heart was cold on the days she felt it’s presence. Long gone were her warm smiles and bubbly laughter. Nobody appreciated them anyway. Maybe another man would come along, feed her lies and leave her empty. But this time, yes, this time she was prepared. Heartless and protected behind a thick wall, Anita faced the world completely alone.
07 November 2016
“How could you do this to me, Dev?!” a screaming voice drifted out of the open window of a small apartment. It didn’t matter to her if her tantrums woke the sleeping neighbours up. Her body was shaking with anger, her hair wet with sweat,matted against her crying face. “Was I not enough for you? 3 years! And you ju-” said Anita, unable to continue out of frustration. “I can’t do this anymore. You’re boring, Anita! By the way, she isn’t the first one in our 3 years!” said Dev. He simply picked up his keys and left. Anita simply sank to the floor, wishing that the ground could open up and swallow her. The dinner they had shared threatened to come out again. Curling into a ball, she recalled the dreadful night.
They had both worked late and were hungry. Agreeing on Chinese food, Dev placed the orders while Anita browsed Netflix for a new show to watch. They agreed on an old film but decided to call it a night after they had run out of spring rolls to munch on. He had hopped under the shower before the drive to his place. That was when Anita decided to do something she had never done before in their 3-year relationship. The screen lit up when a message had arrived for Dev. It was almost blinding in the otherwise dimly lit room. No, why would you check it? Do it, Anita! You trust him, he has nothing to hide. Hmmm, a quick peek wouldn’t hurt, the voices in her head went back and forth until she simply reached over to see who had texted him.
>> I left the door unlocked. U forgot ur keys again. C u soon. Love u babe xxx
“Anita, your new soap smells so good, I could eat it,” said Dev happily as he entered the room. He managed to dodge a small black item that came flying from Anita’s hand. It crashed against the wall behind him and fell on the floor, the lit screen showed his messages to and from Layla. He inhaled deeply and turned to face Anita. “So, you found out?” he asked, and laughed as a sign of relief. “God, you have no idea how long I struggled to keep this away from you.” His right hand brushed his hair and he faced her now. “Why, Dev? Where did I go wrong? Weren’t you happy with me?” asked Anita, ignoring the stream of tears dripping down her cheeks. “You and your morals. We’re almost 30 and you still don’t want to move in together. ‘We’ll do everything after marriage, Dev’ or ‘It’s not appropriate, Dev’. Do you have any idea how sickening it was to hear that bullshit? Did you ever ask if I wanted marriage at all? No! I don’t want it!! It’s just a paper. So what’s wrong with living together? I waited for so long but you never grew out of that childish fantasy of yours. I had to satisfy my needs elsewhere. I’m glad you found out, actually. It makes things much easier now,” he spat, every word filled with ego and satisfaction.
“So you cheated on me simply because I didn’t sleep with you? Was my love not enough?” asked Anita. Suddenly, she doesn’t recognise him anymore. He seemed to be a clone of the man she once knew – or thought she knew. “Love? Don’t make me laugh. Are we done? Is this over?”he asked with bright eyes. “But why did you stay if you didn’t love me?” she asked, desperate to comprehend what was happening. Dev’s eyes turned soft with a hint of sadness and the small part of him which still loved her made him choose the next words carefully. He knew, he had hurt her enough. “Because I pitied you. Anita, you have a naive heart, built on traditions in a modern world. From a woman, you turned into a child in front of my eyes. You’re afraid of trying something new, venturing outside. It’s always too dangerous, risky, bad for health and inappropriate. I can’t- I’m sorry, I just can’t do it anymore,” he said. A few minutes later, he left. Just like that, the love of her life was now out of her life.
28 October 2013
Hi, it’s me, Anita. Thank you for the new job! I’m excited to meet my new colleagues next Monday and work harder than ever. As promised, I will give my parents a part of my salary. Thank you so much for making this happen. We need to discuss about something else. I’m ready to fall in love. I want to have a family too, with a wonderful husband. He should be a caring and loyal man, with a steady job. I absolutely HATE the smell of cigarettes and please, please, no drinker. So non-smoker and no alcohol too. Umm… he should respect my family and support me as my other half. You know what I mean right? And also-, Anita’s thoughts were interrupted by the sudden ringing of the temple bell. Finishing her prayers quickly, she smiled at her beautiful idol, Krishna, and left to go for a movie at the cinema.
She arrived on time and saw her friend waving at her, asking her to hurry up. Anita noticed two other men standing next to her friends but only one of them caught her attention. It was his brown eyes, penetrating her gaze and saw through her. When he smiled, his dimples emerged from both sides of his face. She took in the chiseled jaw, the unruly hair and his physique. An extended hand greeted her, waiting for a handshake. She reached out to return the gesture and said, “Hi, I’m Anita.” With the smile she would love for the next three years, he replied in the deep, husky voice which made her cheeks blush, “Hi Anita, I’m Dev.” The name which completed her heart and later, shattered it to bits.
Don’t measure your self-worth based on how you can satisfy another man. Be happy with yourself and your decisions. Giving in to peer pressure and conforming to what is expected of you would be the end of your happiness. Stay true to yourself.