Maya sat alone as the sounds of the procession wafted through.
“Am I getting married?” she thought, perturbed in her mind, her heart racing, and a sense of foreboding evil infused her senses. It wasn’t one of those pre wedding jitters one usually had.
“Shut up! Shut up! Calm down…” she muttered, barely breathing, the jewellery around her throat chokes her windpipes, almost a trap. Almost?
Laughter rings out, getting louder till all other sounds die out except the screaming inside her own head. She had no idea why she had agreed to marry. In fact, truth was, she did not care. For months she had not even looked at a reflection of herself. She walked up to the mirror and stared at the stranger who looked back at her; looking beautiful in her bridal attire, her eyes pained and soulless.
Whatever it was, she did not really care anymore. She would go through it because she was expected to. There were no ambitions anymore; all lay in shreds broken words of countless thoughts that had wept onto the pages of a journal, now reduced to waste, quite like the relationship that had been rudely shaken and killed.
Run. Run away while there is still time. Shut up! Shut up! O my God! What am I to do? Lord, can’t you do something? Why do I have to go through this?
She looked sadly at herself…as she remembered.
“Maya, where were you?” his voice rang in her ears as the memory sprung out. She looked at him. He was angry. He looked like he could murder. It was what he exactly did. He brutally stabbed her soul, his words rich with abuse, cruel and biting.
He had decided to physically torture her however he could before he went his way forever, careful to cover his hands with bandage so his skin would not bruise in the process of bruising hers. Maya had lain on the floor, her body curved into a small shroud; tears had long mixed with the blood that was on her nose, her broken skin inside her mouth, the salt of it metallic and sick. His words sunk into her, each stab worse than the previous one, cutting into her wounds deeper. He did not love her. He had merely been using her. He told her about the others, his friends as he used to call them, what they did to give him pleasure and what she never could give him. . Commitment was never what he wanted, a body to make him feel like god, satisfy his ego and make sure all his demands and wishes were met. That is what he wanted from her. That is what his friends gave him.They adulated him. He was a God.
Lust. That is all it was.
She returned home when it was dark and nobody could see her. She put away the clothes, folded up, the putrid smells of the drying blood growing stronger. She put away her soul, her heart and her entire self, bruised and damaged beyond belief, and in a stupor.
At the insistence of her father, she agreed to marry the first person who came along and asked her. She made no protest. She let them bathe her, beautify her with the long rituals of the pre-wedding rites, that could purify her and ready her for marriage.
The laughter shook her out of her reverie. They had come for her. She was ready; for slaughter of a different kind. It was alright. It did not matter. Nothing had mattered and nothing ever could matter anymore. It was a just punishment she gave herself for having taken the liberty to fall for a heartless man. It was time to pay for the sins of her doing. There was retribution to be carried out. It was inevitable.
“Maya, shall we go?”
Maya nodded and stepped out to face her Fate. There were no sounds anymore.
Three hours later, with the red dash on her forehead, she sat in the quiet room, the smell of roses and jasmine choking, mocking her life.
She waited, to be used, abused…or ?