The smell of his perspiration filled the tiny room. It compelled her to unfold the splendid view of the horizon visible from the window adjacent to the massive chest of drawers. She unlocked memories to unravel an image of a man she once adored capriciously. Scraggy and lanky, he appeared undistinguished. His myriad inanities made no difference to her devotion. A twitch of his eyebrows, the loops of his unruly hair were sufficient to send her hormones into a tizzy.
She flipped open the diary he kept; he rarely skipped his date with it. She least expected to discover it underneath the cluttered rubble of her hopes. She turned a few pages. Her name did not crop up. Guess she was not important enough!
Moving away, she stumbled upon a broken vase. He had given it to her on their first anniversary. He possessed a knack for transforming their moments together into futile therapeutic sessions.
It would take eons to sweep away the mess… Remnants of their lives together were dispersed across the room. Cinders of desires rested in vociferous muteness. Nothing remained whole. He rained brutal, breath-squeezing blows on her occasionally. She was in awe of his masculinity. It did not matter how he handled her. His mere presence spoke volumes about his affection and it was incomprehensible to doubt it.
Was she in thrall to him? She stared at the bed. It stood witness to his abuse. She gazed at the ceiling. It vanquished her dreams. She looked at the walls. Unrelenting, burnt, she felt the warmth and solace these walls proffered.
She stirred. Covering a few paces, she reached out to caress the painting of “Mona Lisa” whose smile was smeared with her bloodstains. Her favourite rocking chair, broken, gleamed with her tears. His palette, unattended, was the lone rarity. It survived the harshness of love. His incomplete painting of her in a network of labyrinths carried the stamp of approval she never sought, nonetheless received from him all her life; it was black and blue in colour. What did she relinquish?
Her tribulations she secured and stepped out. A mild breeze caught her hair and wrapped it around her face. Her foot slipped into a muddy furrow. Undaunted, she gathered herself. Stupefied, muddled, and in the throes of existence, she continued to walk.
She halted after a few paces.
She had forgotten to shut the window. She retracted at his sight.
Was she hallucinating? It was an insurmountable moment. She walked past the familiar bazaar, the enormous shoe-shaped cemetery, the yellow church, and eventually a white-painted old-age-home. She ceased her travails outside the police station.
Aghast! to find her dead beau inside the station, she stood transfixed. Screaming at him, she tried to move away from his gaze. He followed her.
Running frantically, they both reached the gateway of their home, the presence of which they were unaware of, where they finally came to reside.
This had been their routine ever since they died fifteen years ago. They left the cemetery in the evening separately and returned at night united. They awaited their revival and feared their resemblance.