It wasn’t like she was surprised.
She had known it all along. The messages, the discreet whispered phone calls, the unexplained late nights. It wasn't the same Shailesh that she had married.
Reema was not devastated. It was a slow, dumb, numbness coming over her.
It had been like a large rock, hurtling towards her in slow motion.
On her way out of the bathroom, where she had spent the last two hours in her haze, she stopped to look at herself in the mirror. Her skin, dry, pallid, devoid of any glow, she had ignored it for the longest time. For long it had been Shailesh, Shailesh and only Shailesh. His work, his food, his demands, his, his, his...it had all been about him. In doing so, she had neglected looking after herself.
But now it was time to make changes. She hugged herself close. She should have done it a long time ago. For the first time in many months, she ran her hands over her skin, her feet, dry with calluses. Her hair, whisps of grey and no proper shape or style. Love handles hung over once where she had a lovely curve. Her hands, harsh, rough, with the rough and tumble of daily work.
A small lump in her throat moved its way up to her eyes and fell out in the shape of large ears. Huge droplets...at first, came solo. Then in large groups. Reema sobbed and sobbed her heart out.
The time had come. Reema had to make some changes.
With a new resolve, and having made up her mind, Reema took a long, warm shower. The longest she had had in the past many years. With the house, the kids, the kitchen and other domestic duties, a long shower was a thing of dreams for Reema. That afternoon, she took her time.
Afterward, she luxuriantly moisturised her parched skin. Her bottle of Parachute Advanced Body Lotion had been lying on her dressing table for the longest time. She had bought it but not used it even once. She hugged herself once more. It was amazing to feel her soft skin after such a long time. She didn’t remember the last time when she had been touched. Brushing off a stray tear from her cheek, she powdered her face and applied a moisturising cream.
She was surprised to note that her skin responded beautifully to the TLC it had been deprived off for such a long time. Some of her lost glow came back. It would take time for her skin to be restored to its former glory. But it was time to begin. She combed her hair and brushed it and tied a top knot. And then, she hunted for her prettiest sari and wore it.
When Shailesh came home that night it was way past normal bedtime. The kids were fast asleep and he was on the phone, as usual. He didn’t look up to see Reema as was his habit. He changed into his dinner clothes and came to the dinner table. It was empty. There were no dishes nor any food.
Perturbed, he called out for Reema. She came out from the bedroom, her prettiest sari et al. And that was when he saw the change in her.
“Where’s my food Reema?” he said, a bit annoyed.
“It’s not there.” She replied, adjusting her sari. Noting how he had not made a comment on her as yet.
“So what am I supposed to do for dinner?” he asked, quite irritated. “Oh wait. Let me guess. You were at the parlour all day and wasted time there didn’t you?”
So he had noticed. “No. I wasn’t at the parlour and no I didn’t waste time.” She replied with a sudden fierceness.
A bit taken back by her audacity, he was stunned.
“I spent all afternoon rediscovering my old self.” she replied, hugging herself as hard as she could. Consoling herself between the sobs. “And then in the evening, I called up a divorce lawyer.”
“There’s someone else, I see,” Shailesh roared and advanced towards her.
“Yes.” She shot back. “It’s me”.
“And the me I have fallen in love with has no future with a womanising, philandering man like you.”
“Wait till I make you pay through your nose.” She roared back as she turned around and went into her room and shut the door on her horrible present.
This post was in response to the Indiblogger Happy Hours Campaign from Parachute body lotion. The inspiration for this post was to be this video...
My story may seem to be the opposite of this thought but in my story, Reema rekindled a love affair...with her own self, which is equally important. Reema finally let go of the carcass of her dead marriage which she had been carrying on.