by Subhashri C V
I am really upset with him this time. Yes, he has hurt me and troubled me in the past. He has left me sore and aching innumerable times. I tolerated it. I let it pass. But I simply can’t take it anymore. I am so sick of it this time around, he is going to have to pay a heavy price to get out of this mess.
Right now, he is still fast asleep after yesterday’s party. A party is just another excuse for him to abuse me. Parties are the worst in fact. They give me the butterflies. Not that he listens to me on a normal day. But those cigarette fumes, the golden liqueurs and the throbbing music just turn him out of his mind and into an animal. An animal that has lost all sense of right and wrong. And can you believe it? All this in the name of loving me! Loving me to the point where it hurts. Where I am so overwhelmed, I can’t even cry out. Yesterday, I decided to let it boil over. Only because come today morning, there will be no escape for him, no way out of this. This time he is going to learn never to mess with me ever again.
God knows, I tried to do the best for us. Thirty years we have been together, and I can say with enough modesty, I know him inside out. Same doesn’t go for him of course. He barely knows me, my likes and dislikes, my actions, what I do day in and day out. Unsurprisingly, the initial ten years were good, if not great. At least he was aware of my presence. He pandered to my wishes and knew where to draw the line. The few times he ill-treated me, I made it known to him exactly how I felt, and back then, he was smart enough to understand.
For all his faults though, I know his life centers around me. Everything he does, he does it for me, for my sake. He slogs the year round, in offices, meetings and travels, just so he can keep me content and happy. He may not say it aloud, to himself or to others, but deep down, he knows it just as well. I appreciate that. Except. There’s a hell of a distance between loving well and loving too much. Don’t they say, less is more?
Of late though, I have begun to suspect, rather I think I know, there’s more to this than simply love. If he really loved me all that much, why would he hurt me? Why would he knock the wind out of me every time he partied? The scars of the rock-hard, red clumps he throws at me still hurt, although he may have forgotten. The scorching liquids he flings at me scare me so, I churn at their very thought. Why does he dump me in the pits with his incessant barrage of trash every day?
Which makes me believe even more strongly now that there’s another in his life. I may be his ‘love’ for all I know. But that other is undeniably his ‘lust’. She’s an irresistible temptation drawing him to the point of self-destruction.
I have never seen her, but I’ve heard she’s all rosy and limber and knows to say the sweetest words. No doubt, behind those sweet nothings hide a thousand ways to entice him just the way he wants. A sweet word here, a sharp rebuke there. A firm no sometimes, but mostly a tingling yes, asking for it again and again. Now, who could resist such a devil, what to say of my dear, weak-willed master? No wonder, I am forgotten, hidden away in the dark recesses, working my guts off for him.
Over the years, I tried to get him to mend his ways. I would throw fits, sulk or give him the silent treatment and it would work. Somewhat. It would restore normalcy for a few days. He would treat me like a baby, pay attention to me, give me a massage and allow me to rest. But the dog’s tail inevitably curled up again!
This drama has gone on far too long now. My patience (my skin?) has worn thin. It is time to settle the quarrel once and for all. He can forget me only until I topple the apple cart, put my foot down and give him a taste of his own medicine. No more warnings. If it’s her over me, I quit. And heaven knows, if I quit, there’s no way he can be with her.
Hardik dragged his feet inside and ended up breathless on the chair.
“Doc. Please. Help. Me. I… I can’t… breathe. My stomach. It’s really upset.”
Dr. Vimal shot him an unsympathetic glance and sighed aloud.
“So! You’ve been pampering your tongue again and not listening to your stomach! You have had enough warnings, Hardik. Just remember, if your stomach gives up, the tongue will be of no use,” she said, calling for a stretcher.