“I need a divorce, a DIVORCE, damn it Peter! No! Don’t try to placate me for heavens’ sake. Its my word. I need a divorce and that’s it.” Sam punched his fist so hard, the photographs on the table quivered.
Peter stood blankly, staring at Sam, as a child’d stand upon a mother’s reprimands. Sam was red with fury; or was it just the setting sun on his face?
For a moment Peter dithered, whether to just place his palm on Sam’s shoulder or to probe him more to speak and settle. The heavy breaths of Sam seemed to suffocate him. The room slowly retired to the dimness of twilight. With a disappointed nod, Peter quietly left him alone.
With clenched fists hard on the table, Sam stood facing the wall, breathing heavily as if the air has grown too dense for his lungs to take in. Curtains swayed in the soft wind coming through the open window on west. The room was burning hot, he felt, as if the copper sky is radiating heat for pain of the sun on its bosom.
Unblinkingly he stared down, as stiff as his uncompromising fury. He sensed the glare of the photographs hooked on to him as a prey; he squirmed in the intimidating scrutiny of its eyes.. Oh..the malice in those eyes! His lids drooped in the effort to lift his head to meet its glance. In a squinted sight, he saw her, smiling from ages behind those thin layers of glasses. Those dim gray eyes.. Peeping from behind his ears just in time as the camera clicked. Those lashes..how it tickled against his neck! She always loved their selfies, he remembered. Was that sand on her brow? Might be. She’d go wild as a 5 yr old at beachside. Beaches worked magic on her. The musical tone of her words, the faint smile that sheepishly played in that face..the angelic aura that faded his presence in all those pictures..those ethereal moments she lay in his arms.. Was it all fake?! How could all this bliss have been a mirage Lord!! It felt so real, it felt so serene and true!
“You cheat!!” He screamed through the darkness quietly blanketing him.
“How could all these have been faked? Forger! I trusted you, I blindly trusted! Every time you said you’re mine, I believed, like a fool in a decorated ditch, I believed! I held your promise entwined to my heart, my very soul. You promised you’d be mine forever! FOREVER! To be together always! There were no fights where I hadn’t held your hands in mine. I had no tears that you left not wiped nor any smiles left unkissed. There were no fears that you left unhealed, no wounds that left untouched by your caress. No pain not soothed by you, no joys bereft of you. Moment by moment, step by step, inch by inch, you wove every single cell of mine to yours; every shade of emotions, every thread of thought, every single breath of mine to You! Why, Why, WHY?! Just so the pangs of being betrayed are compounded? Just so the sting of being forsaken shall swell me with regret? Just so the interwoven soul of mine shall fray beyond repair to dangle alone in winters? How diligently you planned your moves Lara..how well played!”
His voice cracked in the heaviness of uttering her name; his rage and sense of being deceived exploded through the seething turbulence he contained. Even through darkness her eyes seemed to glimmer, the angelic smile twisted to mockery. All the eyes on the wall converged to him, burning him alive from within. His sob echoed through the room as if the laughter in the pictures found voice of its own.
The door creaked softly as Peter entered. Sam jolted, suddenly realizing the night as if it had forced itself upon dawn in a fit of ire. In the dim darkness, both stood, unable to meet the glance of the other. Silence as thick as his stifled sobs rose as a wall isolating each in their own condensed worls.
Peter called as if from a distant world, far far away..a word, a call..but pierced through umpteen shields shrouding and muffling Sam into a cloistered island. Tumultuous waves bashed against the island, ready to devour its entirety. Sam, froze in the middle of a world which he so well knew till late, was suddenly alienated by a whiff of air that belonged to a distant ocean. The fragrance of Lara. It hunted him as a hungry hound.
Once inhaled, stuck in the maze of lungs.
Exhale; just dense thick filth.
Inhale; the smell of Lara.
“The divorce papers Sam.” Brick by brick the wall grew.
“Umm. You filled in the details?”
“Show me where to sign.”
Bricks, more bricks.
“Are you sure this is what you wanna do now?”
More and more bricks. It trembled on the weight.
“Show me where to sign Peter.”
Easy process; no counselling, no reconciliation talks, no failure of purpose whatsoever.
Peter moved dejectedly to switch on the lights.
“No. Don’t. No need Peter; I can see..I can see..”
In the light of his phone’s screen, Sam signed the papers.
“Catch some sleep Sam. Its not the end of the world.”
Abruptly he stopped; words loathed to peep through the darkness it seemed. His mouth dried.
Anything, is there anything to fill this void?
“Whatever you decide, you won’t be alone Sam; we won’t let you be alone. We’ll make through this..”
As if the gravity of the words just uttered jerked him out of the room, Peter left as abruptly as the words fell silent.
“We’ll make through this!” Sam mumbled.
What’s there to make through? It happens! Its not the first time someone is getting divorced..its not the first time someone is being cheated, brutally betrayed & deserted! Its not the first time someone sees their whole life in ruins of love and hate!
Heart delved too deep into the lungs.. Flashes of those intangible smiles, laughters, voices, smells, the touch of closeness, memories, promises.. Noises inside his shivering chest wriggled and wreathed and shrieked. Those eyes..its stare never ceased. It plunged its hooks deeper and deeper, till it stuck in the stomach to be pulled.
He threw his scarf over the penetrating eyes on the wall.
“Sleep.. I wanna sleep..” he frowned frantically searching for the bed.
With a thud as tired as his voice, he lay flat on the bed. Eyes that drooped shut before startled wide open.
The smell… Oh her fragrance..it emanated from the coziness of the pillow, from the fabric on the mattress, from the warmth of the blanket; it blew as wind from the curtain by the open window.
With an overburdened limp body, Sam crawled down from the bed.
Her fragrance..it still haunts..
In the softness of this mattress, in the cool of this floor, in the coarseness of the wall..in everything have she sprinkled her flavour.. Like chocolate in heat, she had melted in my arms; in the warmth of each kiss had she glowed more like gold in furnace..
“You were never mine… You lied!! You never were mine!”
Stranded voice diffused into the dearth of darkness. A weeping kid on all fours, Sam dragged himself out of the room echoing with the sniffles and boiling tears that stained the floor..
In the middle of the hall Sam collapsed, every bit of life drained from the pale body. The hound has lost its trail..there’s air, just plain air.
He crouched up to the chin, burying his face inside the tight curl. Darkness. I need darkness inside mind too. Sam thought.
He heard footsteps ascending the stairs. Creaking of the door.
The voices drowned in the room as if swallowed by a huge wave.
“What are you doing on the floor sam?”
Silence and darkness- always the best answer.
“The papers. Here.”
It crumpled softly inside Sam’s damp hands.
“Thank you Peter.” His voice quivered.
Waves violently thrashed against the island
“Won’t you come down to take a last glimpse Sam?”
The jutting lands fragmented into the waters.. “No; thanks.”
“I understand, and I’m with you Sam. But you’ll regret this later. For one last time, just for old time’s sake—
“I’m not coming Peter. She’s nobody of mine anymore.” He waved the papers at him feebly.
“I’ll come shortly Sam. Just few instructions to be given finally and I’ll be back.”
The island melted into itself as if lava poured on the tip of the ice berg.
In the shield of the descending footsteps, in the coldness of the blanketing darkness, in the drapes of the conceding silence, wails of shattering heart and splattering tears and the inconsolably rocking fragile frame was not seen, not heard, not felt.
But the tremors cracked the glass coffin downstairs, directly beneath him, in which Lara lay, gorgeous in her white gown, with a cross in her hand.
(Reproduced as written in 2014)