She sat there in silence; it took her a few seconds to realize that she wasn’t breathing either. Her phone was switched off, as were the lights and the television. She needed this calm around her. There was no difference when she opened her eyes, or if she kept them shut. She decided open was better. She didn’t want to dream. She wanted to experience.
It wasn’t that late at night, the sink was already messy with dishes from dinner, her glass of coke half full somewhere next to her, the ice, long gone and melted with the fizzy drink. The lingering smell of take out Chinese food still remained around her. That was probably one thing she would want to change. But she didn’t want to move.
She lay there, on her sofa, her eyes on the ceiling, but looking at nothing in particular. It was strange, silence. Her mind drifted off to the life she had left behind; Friday night, that only meant dancing till your knees hurt somewhere. The endless conversations that would, at the end of the night, probably amount to only “Another drink?”, “Oh my god, I love this song!” and maybe a little of “I need to pee!” and of course, the uncontrollable giggles. There was always too much smiling at these things.
She wondered if she would have got lucky tonight, maybe that guy she would have been eyeing would come say hello, buy her drink or just ask her for her name. Maybe she would end up entwined in his arms, dancing somewhere dark with him, their lips inseparable.
Her knee itched, she wondered if she should move, but also dreaded the scratching sound her long nail would make on her skin. She thought about the last time fingers other than hers touched her skin. She scratched anyway. A cool wind breeze came in through the window, playing with her hair, kissing her skin gently, and silently, drying up the tears on her cheeks.
She let her mind wander off to the play she had just seen tonight. It was her first outing in this new city, and she couldn’t remember the last time she had gone for a play. 2006. The answer came from somewhere in her mind. Today’s play had been exceptional. It was on women – strong, independent, yet cunning and coy. A combination of both powerful beauty and a perfect mind. One of the artists simply sat on a bench, narrating a story of her brother; one whom had incessantly forced her to study, all the while making sure that she didn’t turn out to be “just another pretty face”. As she spoke to the audience, she was now a well published writer.
She thought of her journey to where she was today. Not just physically as she lay there on the sofa, but the journey of her mind. One play changed the way she thought. One decision changed the way she lived. One thought changed the way she smiled. And tonight, she was smiling.
She is a writer too. And this, is her story.
Mind you, it begins like any other. Has a perfect beginning, a few twists and turns, throw in a villain or two; an ex-boyfriends mother, or a steroid pumped gym trainer, a few best friends, some Romeo’s, true love, not so true endings and the usual. But now, it’s at this moment in time, when everything takes a turn. It’s not one of those predictable parts in the story, this is one of those turns that makes a reader throw the book under a pillow and jump away from the bed. One of those turns that ensures that your tub of popcorn ends up on someone else’s head. One of those turns… you get it right? Drastic Turn.
She’s young (yes.. Young.) She’s beautiful in an Indian woman sort of way; long dark hair, brownish dark mesmerizing eyes, a smile that would knock any straight man off his feet and of course, she was a romantic. A sweet, darling romantic.
“What I love about you the most, is that you’re the only fucking person left on this plant who still seems to believe that true love is out there for everyone to get.” Was a message her friend sent her once.
That’s who she was. A romantic who knew that every girl had her perfect guy waiting out there. A romantic who knew that if not now, he would come… He would come and say all those perfect things that she had once written.
“Sucks being a writer.” She once howled into the phone. Hot tears streaming down her face, an over-panicked friend on the receiving end, in his best interest he decided to keep his mouth shut, she continued, “I hate writing the perfect love stories… all of which begin and end in my head. Alone.” She continued wailing. This went on for some time, until she finally slept off on the phone, and he decided to hang up.
Tonight, she held back the urge to call anyone up, and decided it was time to start writing again. It had been months, and this was her only release. She lay there on the sofa, her mind now wandering into new deeper realms of herself.
Back to her drastic turn of events. It had been almost a month since she had left her comforting city, and even more since she had written. And tonight in this new city, as she lay on her sofa, she had finally written.
She had spent so many hours of a day loving another, that she had forgotten what it was like, to simply, love herself. She had forgotten what it was like to dress, not for another, but just for herself – sometimes a Patiala to curb the afternoon heat, another time a dress because the night seemed perfect for one. She had forgotten that she liked her hair up in a high pony tail, that she loved to wear her glasses and even more, neon nail polishes. She loved to fall asleep reading, instead of with a phone on her face. She loved to wake up to “Paani Da…” instead of a cheesy romantic song that reminded her of someone else. She needed water in the morning, not a “Good morning sweetheart” phone call and even more than that, she loved running. She would close her eyes, pump up the music, set her speed, close her eyes and run.
More importantly, she had forgotten that it’s her story; and that not only was she the writer of it, but the protagonist.
And it was time, she wrote about herself.