This was her ninth day of boredom. The walls stood scratched. The nails sat chipped, playing chalk. She wanted colour. Any shade of colour could do. Walls, nails, life; all were a bland shade of white. Just like her face off-late. She continued to stare into the mirror. For hours. Looking for a semblance of the present or a glimpse of the future. All she got though were remnants of her past. The hair was new. The dress was not ill-fitting any more. No bra holding her together. Her appearance was a desperate attempt to be ready for the times to come. But the eyes were refusing to let go. 19 months later, Riya still hated the mirror.

The sun was late again. Every season it tried to trick her. Creating patterns and false alarms, just to rise before she did. She had been defeating it for 3 years now. That’s over a 1000 days. What she termed as moral victory, was in fact psychological. Extrovert for the world, introvert by nature, her challenge was rather peculiar. And her methods, odd. When the sun would reign supreme, she would be fast asleep. She picked her fights or so she thought. Living in constant control or in an imaginary world, reality was something she was afraid of. She couldn’t reveal herself. She was afraid. In her psychological triumph, lied her moral defeat. She always wondered though, what do scars feel like! Nia was about to find out.

This was her fourth round of cupcakes. This batch was as good as the third. Or the second. Or the first. She was happy with each. Yet, she did not want to stop baking. Her men weren’t fond of cupcakes. Good ol’ sex was just fine. She was allergic to non-smiling faces. So she tried hard to generate smiles. As much as she could. Cupcakes were her latest weapons of choice. Some needed sex. Others wanted cupcakes. She wanted to be loved by all. And she wanted to love them all. But within this generous web of love of hers, there was one exception. Herself. She had to be the one for someone. And she would make someone the one. She would hold onto any half-baked reason. Logic rested near her bed some days. Other days it was perception. Within this scattered state to belong and unbelong, she found her expression in a rather expressive form of singing. Susie had taken to the opera.

Self-loathing. Voyeurism. Experimental sexual orientation. Incessant laughter. Pretentious company. New friends. Ex-boyfriends. New friends. Dog. And then hours of loneliness. This is her regular day. Leaving the professional genius genes aside, she was often confronted by a hollow truth – loneliness. A self-designed, self-taught loner who rebelled in spells. These spells were often masculine in nature where she brought a naïve feminine side to the table. Interspersed with motherhood and wifehood, she lived a short story every once in a while before returning to the lonely quietude. Hurt though had slowly drugged itself into her life. And it was greeting her everywhere. At every corner. At every bar. In every drink. And in every man. Today her need for hurt was more than ever. “Men and Women. Do you have it in you to hurt me? If you think you do, you can drag your sadistic mind along at the address given below. Come alone or bring friends. If you can make me cry with your words, I’ll make you cry with my body.” – Natasha.

She was not twisted. Never one who gave in for poison. She was born and raised within four walls. And behaved like one who was born and raised within four walls. Taboo meant taboo. And sins were something that she would not commit by choice. Every ounce of desire that was outside her comfort zone was forbidden. She forbade it herself. The clock continued to tick and the sun continued to set. The beauty of the forbidden world had found a place in her head. And it was crying for more space. According to her, she fell for his eyes. But in reality, it was for what he really was. He was everything that the world did not want her to have. All the wrongs, all the sins, all the guilty pleasures packed in a masculine form. The four walls were brittle now. They were shaking. Just like her knees. Her dressing became more elaborate. Her clothes snipped themselves. The hair swirled in braids sometimes; it flew open whenever he wanted it to. Her hairclip and pants and bras had one thing in common – they came off whenever he ordered them to. The four walls would fall anytime now. Just before they could, he disappeared. Into someone else’s arms. Someone else’s pants. Someone else’s eyes. She wanted to hole up in her room. Return to her old self. But Sheetal’s world had come crashing down, just like the four walls.

He was busy chronicling his affairs. Jogging his memory back to hey days of the gypsy. And the wild adventures he had embarked upon with her. Those memories were special. His chaos always sought order. Regrettably, he couldn’t find it in her. So he left her nails behind with her and moved on to find order, on newer shores. A glimpse of the wild side. That was enough to get him hooked. He persevered. He found order, and then he missed the chaos. The guilt of the gypsy was still fresh, shaken he chose not to stir this one’s senses anymore. As he left from her backdoor, he bumped into the oracle with cookies. It was scarred. It was unconditional. It was utopian. It had the precise amount of unreality to it. Before he could take a step forward, she made it conditional. She was trapped by the illusion of the one. Order was out of the bag. It took a sabbatical. Encountered with chaos again, he decided to play. He wanted to go for the Full Monty. Unfortunately this new one wanted the same thing. It was tempting, but he decided to let go. He was running low on hate those days. Order met him on his second drink. How he had missed order. Order, then held his hand and walked him home. When he woke up, he was elated to find her sleeping next to him. Excited, he fucked her, though in his head, he had made love to her. With order by his side again, Rehaan returned to his original quest to find order in chaos, never realizing order’s world had come crashing down.


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