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August 19, 2007

The Decibel

(Wrote this story first in 2000, though heavily edited and headline changed now. It was an inter-college, on-the-spot story writing contest, part of that particular college's annual festival. Had won it, much to the surprise of the college I studied in. And this was winning the same contest in the second year in a row. The first time was as a first year student and now, as a second year one. Was a member of one of college's literary society's. They refused to publish this story in the college mag. Then re-found this story on the net, that other college publication board had put it up. Anyway, here it is. It's fiction.)
__________

The rocking chair moved forwards, backwards, forwards. Thoughts were flowing freely.
Twenty-two years of leading a good life. ‘Good’ in every sense of the word. She had never had to ask for anything and had it all – influential parents, luxurious childhood, the best school in town – the best of everything. Life had been good... too good in fact.

Suddenly she sprang out of the chair as if an invisible hand had slapped her out of her reverie.
She walked up to the cupboard and looked at herself in the full-length mirror. The face that stared back was not exquisite, but it was a face that would register itself.
Heart shaped face, big, brown eyes, small chin, tiny mouth. What was it that her friends, people in general and men in particular said about her? Yes.
“Earthy sensuality and raw sexuality.”
If only they knew! Her lips twisted in a sardonic smile and the face that stared back was silently grotesque. The silence a part of her power.

Money had never been a problem with her family. Family, she thought. How long had it been since she had last seen them all together? It had been 10 years. Ten years since she had last seen Him. Ten years, during which she had been at her best. Best at studies, best at sports, dancing, singing – you name it, she had topped it.

She opened the cupboard and stared at the rows of dresses. What should she wear for tonight?
The backless, black one or the off-shoulder blue one? Whatever... she had to look her best. Ten years was a long time to wait and plan everything. From the huskiness of her voice, to the arrogant swing of her hips and the studied curl of her lips – she had practiced everything. A picture of practiced perfection. Now she was ready. What if she failed? She dismissed the thought with a turn of her auburn hair. “Burning embers,” that’s what He had called them. Ten years back.

She shuddered as a sharp pain pierced her head. They called it a migraine.

She was 12-years-old, romping around in a pair of shorts, a Garfield tee-shirt and two long pig- tails. It was Holi and per chance most of her family was gathered together. He was there too. Twenty-seven years old and everything a little girl’s hero should be. She had been playing badminton with the other kids, “a bouncing cherub”, as He had put it later. The pain stopped as suddenly as it had begun.

She looked at herself again as she dressed. Any signs of ever being cherubic had gone – rigorous exercise had left her body lithe, with a scheming head on her slim shoulders. The black dress looked good. She knew it and He would know it too.

Her parents’ place was all lit up. There was the usual glittering chaos – booze, bosoms and bitches. She smiled polite “Hellos” to everyone, the smile restricted to her lips... until she saw Him. Her eyes sparkled and her smile froze. He was standing with his very pregnant wife.
How long had they been married?

Ten years of course, she laughed to herself. As she walked towards Him, she felt 12 again. Would He remember? Had He forgotten? How could He when she had not? Not a single thing, not the tiniest detail.

He saw her and was momentarily stunned. His wife, the Woman, felt ill and went inside the house leaving Him alone. ‘Them’ alone. “You have changed,” He said. “Ditto,” said she. He had a distant look on his face. No, He had not forgotten, He was remembering. Was it affection that she saw? Affection... she was confused. Hadn’t he said he wanted her back then? She looked at the house and began walking towards it. Hadn’t he carried her to the nursery then? She looked back at Him, He followed.

The house hadn’t changed much. The nursery was gone, the place where he had made her sit on his lap. “Sit higher child, higher, higher and...” The groping had perplexed her then, tonight she was counting on it.

As she undressed Him, she felt in control. The tables had turned. As He descended on her with a grunt she noticed the changes. There were lines on His face now. But he was still looking very pleased. He had done it when she was 12-years-old, now He was doing it again. Of course, He would be pleased, hadn’t He caught her young?

The door to the room opened. He looked up, still pounding into her and sweating profusely. The Woman, his wife stood there, a hand on her stomach and her mouth open in shock. He got off her in a jiffy, trying to pull the sheet over himself. She had not covered herself. She stood there naked, looking at the Wife, looking at his pathetic nudity and laughing hysterically.

Ten years for this day. For all He had done to her as a child. She had never fallen in love, because of him. She had been scared of getting into any relationship, because of him. She could never have a baby, because of him.

Her laughter had broken the voice of her silence, the noise had risen to destructible decibels.

PS: LOL. Corny ending; but I was 20... ha ha, seems I've always loved drama. So hate me. Heh.

4 comments:

Maxine said...

Something that happens to many children in our homes,girls as well as boys.The funny thing is that the child thinks she/he is in love and when maturity strikes manages to realise it was rape....and..damn!
The one with somewhat positive outlook and maybe intelligence will know how to deal with it.but others?
Well..good writing ...and at early 20's ,too good.

Anonymous said...

Hi dear,

After reading your last few posts, i feel like giving you a tight hug & a muah on the forehead.... take care buddy.

taurius1 said...

8 years ago? As my japanese anime characters often say.... "Naisu!"

Anonymous said...

-
ha ha yes.

the ending is very corny.

but yes, can see why it won the contest.