And before I knew it, I had hit ‘Send’. I waited nervously, the hundreds of bangles on my hand tinkling mellifluously, as I checked for the umpteenth time if there was any reply. There wasn’t any reply. I wondered why I cared to even check.
I could hear the music, the laughter floating from outside my door. Any moment now they would come to get me, to take me out to join the celebrations. The groom and his family had already arrived. I opened the wardrobe door and took out the small bottle, secretly hidden behind the pile of clothes.
As I walked back to my bed, I saw my own image staring back at me in the mirror. I froze, admiring my own beauty. The red bridal sari looked resplendent against my fair skin. The intricate mehendi design that snaked all the way towards my arms looked dazzling and bright. And my eyes that shone radiantly belied the pain and hurt that my heart felt. If only someone could feel my grief, could scrape at my feigned elation and discover the bruised soul underneath. But everyone, including my parents, were convinced that this marriage was for my best. And I agreed, partly because of lack of reasons to dispute and also because I refused to cause them any more anguish.
But how could I forget? How could I simply erase years of memory? How could I simply will my heart to banish all thoughts, all feelings for a person who meant the world to me? I had agreed for the marriage with hope of a new future, of a new beginning. But the ghosts of my past refused to detach from me.
They moved wherever I went. Sometimes in form of a memory of his touch against my skin, his caress as he kissed me tenderly and held me near his heart, sometimes in form of feeble voice as he whispered my name and praised my beauty even as I blushed shyly, and sometimes in a feeling of hurt as he threw me raggedly like a used doll, with whom his desires were spent and now had become useless to him.
I gasped as that memory hurt me, making me breathless and edgy. I quickly took a gulp of the liquid in the small vial and lay down on my bed. I re-read my message on the phone,
“I tried very hard to forget you, to erase all your memories and demolish my past, those years I had spent with you, those cherished moments when you had promised to love me for an eternity. But I couldn’t, and to think of spending a life with someone, surrendering my body to a person when my soul belongs to someone else, is terrifying me.
I can’t think of a fate worse than being in love with a person for whom you are just unwanted and undesired filth. And I don’t want to live every day of my life knowing that this is will be my fate. I wish to be free, free of the suffering, free from the bitter-sweet memories that threaten to ruin my mind even as they engulf my heart with a longing love. I know I have taken enough of your time. I just wanted to say that I love you, I have and always will. Have a good life.”
As the poison took over my mind and body I could see myself floating above, smiling and so much in peace. Slowly, the shackles that held me to my burden, my sadness, broke one at a time until I was completely free. My vision was blurring and my thoughts were fading, but at last I was where I wanted to be. I was one with Him, within Him. He smiled at me benevolently as I raised my hands adorned with hundreds of clinking bangles towards Him.