Messenger Hawk

​The phone rang ten times before he picked up. I was bored enough to keep count.

“Yes?” He sounded annoyed, which was insulting, mainly because I was the only person who gave a shit about him anymore. 

When will he learn how precious I was? 

“Hello! It’s me. I was hoping… is this a bad time?” I made my voice go sweeter, more innocent. People were suckers for the angelic tone.

“Kinda yeah.”

“Oh I’m sooo sorry for being a disturbance.. it’s just..  something happened and… well, never mind.” I faked a sob. People were suckers for thinly veiled grief as well. 

“What happened?”

Hook. Line. Sucker

“Never mind… it’s not important.. . It is for me, but… yeah. It should stay between me and her-”

Her?”

Oh I knew that would get his attention.

“You know who I mean. Your little darling lover-”

“Ruby? That was a long time ago and-” I could hear the disgust in his voice “She’s a bitch now. I could care less.”

There was an uncomfortable silence following that. I allowed myself to wait. Didn’t want to seem too eager- that would go against my whole ‘personality’.

“So. What did she do this time? Did she hurt you?”

Oh you would love that, won’t you? Just another reason to hate what you couldn’t have. So simple. So adorable. 

“I… she told me something…. It hurt me.. I don’t know if she was lying but..  she told me that you hang out with me only to make her jealous-” another fake sob “Is that true?”

For a while, there was no indication of another person being on the other end of the phone but his laboured breathing. I could practically see the gears move in his head. 

“Is it true?” I sobbed again. I was never one to shy away from dramatic effects. 

“What? No. No you’re precious to me. You- you stood by my side through thick and thin and-” his voice broke “You were right about her all along. She was a lying, conniving little-” 

“Oh I’m sooo happy! I consider you precious as well! You’re like my family!” 

“I’m sorry you had to hear that-”

“No. No it doesn’t matter. I wont give much importance to her words anymore. Thank you so much!”

“I’ll see what I can do about her. When I’m done she wont bother you anymore.” His protective tone sent shivers down my spine. 

“I know. I trust you.”

************************************************

“Good morning!” The wench greeted me with a smile. 

“Oh good mooorning, Ruby! You look so cute today-”

“You think so?” She pulled on her short dress. Who did she think she was, wearing such provocative-

“You know, I didn’t sleep much last night-” she sighed, sitting down next to me. I bit down the bile rising in my throat and slipped a hand around her shoulders.

“Your eyes do seem red. Something happened? Maybe with-”

“My ex. Yeah. Tom just messaged me out of the blue last night and-” she sighed again, hugging her legs. “I’d only just started to forget… Why does he hate me so much? I was the one who was dumped and now he’s acting like I killed his pet dog or something-”

I had to remind myself to stop smiling. 

“What did he say?”

“Something about me being a bitch to everyone he cares about. I don’t even know anymore.” Her eyes were tearing up again. The girl would drown us all some day. Disgusting.

She wiped them away and stared at me. “You know, I’m not so sure I should be talking about this stuff with you. You’re his friend-”

I morphed my facial features skilfully to showcase my ‘disgust’ at such an insinuation. 

“Me? Friends with him? Ruby you know you’re my best friend! I’m only with him because our families know each other… I’d hoped you’d understand… I have to please them no matter how much of a bastard the son is-” 

She looked up at me. “Yeah. Sorry. I understand.” Her lips widened into a smile, and I tried not to cringe. “I trust you.”

************************************************

When class began, I observed them both. Tom glared at her, something she returned with equal venom. The two supposedly ‘smart’ idiots had no clue they were being strung along. 

I liked this. I liked this a lot, playing the messenger. Instead of a sweet dove sending words of love between two hearts, I enjoyed being the hawk that ripped them to shreds.

What did I get from this? I don’t really understand it myself. There is a small part of me that fancies him, and an equally small part that hates her. 

But for now, at least for the moment, the fact that I have two people hanging on to my every word- the fact that I had the power to cause a rift between two people who supposedly ‘loved’ each other…. The thought is addicting. 

Was this me being a villain? 

Nah.

This was just me being human.

Well then. What shall I say next? 

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Liar Liar 

He likes to find happiness in the slightest of things.

The smell of a bakery, the wetness of a puppy’s nose.

The flowers raining down on a particularly windy spring day, the tiny rainbows trapped in soap bubbles….. and her.

Though, to be fair, she couldn’t exactly be considered a ‘small’ thing- unless, of course, one was describing her height.

There was happiness in watching the grace with which she took others’ comments on her physique. The way her black eyes showed a tint of brown in the sun. How her hair, though short, managed to dance along with the breeze.  Continue reading

On Love, my Faults and Mitty 

Having been a student of an all girls school for about twelve years, my interaction with boys had been minimal, to say the least. I had had a childhood friend who I once had a crush on but later it grew into a more brotherly affection (at the precise time he started seeing me as a woman. Timing is a bitch). I had had a few guy friends I played Cricket with near my house, but I lost all contact with them once I ‘became’ a girl. A bunch of guy friends at tuition classes, but not many I knew well enough to be versed in ‘male psychology’.

Being in a Catholic girls school gave me the added ‘advantage’ of seeing any male who was even remotely interested in me through tinted glasses. From upper primary classes I’d been taught time and time again that men are strong, scary and sleazy. I had also had a few frightening ‘encounters’ with guys by that time, so I was convinced that nothing good would come from being in a relationship.

And yet, I kept inhaling shoujo manga and certain fictional romances like Pride and Prejudice. I idolized Sakura and Syaoran, a fictional couple who seemed to me have the perfect relationship. It was sweet, understanding and most importantly, they had maximum trust in each other. I desired to meet someone who’d see me in that way.

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I mean… look at them!

But that was inhibited by my above mentioned man-fear and low self-esteem.

When I went to college, for the first time (in a looooong time) I was regularly sharing a classroom with guys. They weren’t as scary as I thought they would be. In fact, I found most of them

Continue reading

Unanswered

Firstly, I apologize for the long absence -_- College was taking too much of my time. But I have some holidays now so I’m back! Yay!  ~( ^ o ^ )~

*******************************************************

Her feelings were and would always be one sided, and she was strangely okay with it.

She didn’t know what to call it. It was too shallow to be love, but too deep to be just a crush. The object of her affections, she had known for a long time. Yet the connection was new forged.

He was the complete opposite of what she had deemed her ‘type’. Short and soft-spoken, he preferred books to TV shows and silences to meaningless babble. He payed a lot of attention to grooming but aimed to look neat rather than stylish. He’d easily be lost in a crowd because there was nothing particularly unique about his appearance.

But her gaze would find him in seconds.

No one could see, unless they looked very closely, how his eyes looked like molten chocolate in the sun. They’d never find the small crooked tooth that would magically appear with every shy smile nor the lean muscles hiding behind the crisp clothes. That his palm, whenever it touched her’s, was rough and calloused to the point it sometimes became pleasantly uncomfortable. Continue reading

Just a Joke

Daily Prompt: Joke

The timing was perfect. She had finally got some time alone with him, and that too under a rather exquisite tree. Birds were chattering excitedly over their very heads. The tiny flowers around their seated bodies blushed red with an intensity that was surpassed only by her rosy cheeks.

The whole setting reeked of romance.

He was her best friend. The one person who understood her best of all. It felt like fate was pushing her towards him.

They sat together, reveling in the shared silence. She wondered if he could hear her erratic heartbeat. To her it seemed too loud to ignore.

I love you.

They’d never once said those words to each other, but their gestures spoke volumes. She was as sure of his love as the fact that the sun was a star. Hence she did not feel any of the nervousness or tension one might entertain before confessing. Continue reading

Of Bitter Words and Broken Hearts

A few months ago, a person I’d respected called me ‘an apple that was merely painted so as to appear as a pure golden apple’. This insult to my worth stuck to my mind for a long time. Every time someone complimented me I’d think But I am only painted yellow. 

Every time his words echoed in my mind, I’d feel my self-esteem crumble. I began to believe everything he’d told me-that I was unstable, unlovable and a horrifying creature altogether. It took me a long time to break from the vicious cycle, but ironically only because he himself provided the stage for my escape.

That’s why today I would like to discuss a very sensitive topic- Emotional abuse.

This is seldom discussed in many countries like my own, simply because of the fact that most people cannot seem to wrap their minds around the concept that yes, even if the scars are not visible, it is abuse. In India, emotional abuse by itself is not a punishable offense (but in case of mental injuries caused by abuse of husband or his family it can be covered under IPA section 498A and even then it is a bit of a stretch).

Continue reading

Catharsis

This is not a story, nor an essay. And obviously it isn’t poetry either. I reckon its more like a diary entry? I’m not sure. Whatever it is, it is important enough for me to want to shout it out to the world.

There’s this boy in our class whom everyone treats as the class clown. I suppose he likes it, because most of the time he plays along. Its rather amazing how thick skinned he is, because I’m not sure I’d have been able to handle that many jabs if I were him.

Then a few days ago, he told me he was feeling down in the dumps. He felt like there wasn’t any point in working hard because he never seemed to get the results he’d wanted.

Hearing him say that made me feel shitty, because more than once I’d been an accomplice to his ‘class-idiot’ act. Even more, I didn’t know what I could do to help. I told him the usual stuff- Everyone feels this way and Just don’t think about it and Go do the stuff you like instead of moping around. Those words sounded hollow even to my ears.

That night, I couldn’t sleep. I know I’d wished for someone to do more than just give me ‘words of wisdom’ when I was feeling sad and depressed. I’d fantasized about a prince (or a queen- I’m not picky) swooping down on a unicorn to save me, but then reality hit me really hard across the face and I grudgingly picked up the pieces by myself.

I knew I was no prince, but I wanted to do something special. The guy liked detective stories and solving puzzles so I figured, hey! Why not a treasure hunt? 

photo 3 (1) Continue reading

A ‘non-cliche but still slightly cliche’ Love Story

Being short is the single most annoying thing ever. It doesn’t matter if you’re a kid, or a teacher or even a freakin’ president- you always have to deal with those ‘Oh dear lord look at that cute little thing’ eyes taller people regard you with.

And that’s exactly why I hate Dhruv. The guy is in my same class, but still has that air of superiority around him whenever he so much as looks at me.

Like, it’s not my fault I’ve done little ‘growing up’.

Unlike my few vertically challenged friends, I am not only short but I also suffer from a severe case of ‘baby face’. I hear that its chronic, unless you are filthy rich and don’t care about paying doctors to mix and match your bones.

But I’m broke, so…

Anyway. This guy. He is infuriating. Especially because I used to have a teensy weensy little crush on him when I was young and stupid.

I know, I know. It all adds up to this cliche ending of us falling in love with each other and me pumping out his babies. Not gonna happen. For one thing, I don’t like like him anymore. Also, he happens to play for the other team.

Continue reading

The Great Indian (Gender) Divide

I remember a time when it was socially acceptable for me to play with boys. In fact, during my primary classes I had more interests in common with them than my girl friends. Though it took a LOT of prodding to get accepted into the guy circle, it was worth it, as I finally had someone to play BeyBlade with.  My upper primary, high school and higher secondary classes were all female-only so I had limited to no interaction whatsoever with the opposite gender. Thanks to certain rumors (we all know that girls-only schools thrive on them) I became convinced that men were the cliché wolves in sheep’s clothing and that ‘good’ girls never associated with them. Before I knew it, I had begun to regard interaction between the sexes the same way the society did-I, who used to enjoy playing with my guy friends. This change in perception took even me by surprise, and as college began, I took it upon myself to be more open about such matters. It all went well, I met someone I could consider my best friend, and I was starting to get over my irrational fear of men.

Then I began to notice things change around me. Outside the college, people began to throw disapproving glances whenever I talked with my male classmates. This reached its zenith when an old lady actually pinched me hard when I and a friend were having a perfectly innocent conversation in a bus. We weren’t even loud, and it irked me that I was getting ‘punished’ when he was the one doing all the talking. Even among my peers in a different class I attended, some girls decided to make me an object of observation when I so much as smiled at the general direction of males, as if they were willing me to make one wrong move so they could pounce on me. Now I was the victim and I realized how it felt to be judged.

Is friendship defined by gender? Is there some sort of unspoken code that deems that xx can be friends only with xx? In what is considered a ‘progressive’ society, how is interacting with males a crime? From my experience, male friends can be one of the most treasured people in your life. And even if the relationship is of a romantic nature, its hypocritical how we promote movies about young love but are fiercely antagonistic to it in reality. Is love acceptable only between George and Malar? If we can keep ourselves from throwing bricks at the screen when two lovers hold hands and dance around proclaiming their love, surely we can stop ourselves from pinching the girl who dares to speak with a boy. Surely we can keep ourselves from saying “She deserved it, she was out with her boy friend” about a girl who was raped.  Surely we can keep ourselves from judging others.

What we, as a society, need to realize is that it is none of our business. We have no right to interfere with other people, granted that they are strangers. Even if they are related to us by way of ‘my father’s sister’s husband’s mother’s brother’s son’s granddaughter’ (the kind of messy relationship we Indians bring up only during these situations and marriages), we do not have a say on everything they do. I’ve often come to wonder how it was that my parents and grandparents were comfortable with my guy friends while it was a crime according to random people I didn’t even know.  Our opinions, views and judgments are unwanted-though it seems unacceptable, this is the truth. Gone are the days when girls and boys shied away from each other and a simple touch amounted to being a ‘bad girl’. Gone are the days when women were passive. We are equals now, and as equals we DESERVE to stand with men. We DESERVE to not have our virtue questioned by others just because we exercise our equality.  We DESERVE to be human. And (though its sad that we have to voice this so that people could understand) we DESERVE the right to have companions of both genders.

 

And to the old lady who pinched me all those days back, my grandma is disgusted by you.