The walk back home.. - This Free Soul
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The walk back home..

“Trust me Anaaya. You will be perfectly fine. I am there to take care of you.” He said holding my hand reassuringly.

“Saarth, I don’t think I will be able to…walk…” I said, more tearfully than I wanted to.

He gave me a long loving look. “It’s not too far. It’s just round the corner, baby. Here, hold my hand and try walking. You don’t need that god damn crutch anymore. If need be, I’ll carry you home!”

With a loving kiss on my forehead, he convinced me to walk, to his favorite restaurant by the corner. I reluctantly agreed. In my head I was completing my own sentence. “I don’t think I will be able to…walk…ever”. The very thought had been haunting me for over a month now.

I was a recovering patient at that time. I had broken my foot and tore a ligament in my ankle. I could not walk without a crutch to support myself. My foot hurt when I tried walking or standing for more than fifteen minutes. My boyfriend, with whom I was completely in love with, had an entire evening out planned for us and a few of his friends. He had come home after so many months and I did not have the heart to say no to him. It was going to be a painful evening. I knew but the joy and relief on his face made me abandon my crutch for the night. Anything for that smile, I thought to myself; totally smitten and irrevocably in love with him. I stood up shakily in front of the mirror staring at my ghostly reflection for one full minute. I forced a smile, applied some mascara and my favorite red lipstick. Voila! Suddenly the red put me in a great mood.

We had a very pleasant evening, though it was my first meeting with his friends. More like three couples having a good time together. It was us along with Maahira-Vivek and Akira-Shubh. We went to our favorite Chinese restaurant, ate our favorite food and whispered sweet nothings to each other while everybody else was slow dancing to our favorite songs.

Just before dessert, everybody dragged Saarth out for a dance to a song that was their college anthem. I sat there meekly, enjoying seeing my boyfriend and his moves. He looked happy and carefree. After a while Shubh joined me at our table. After some small talk he asked me about my recovery. Before I could reply, Saarth came back and put his arm around me lovingly. He replied on my behalf, “She is absolutely fine. We even walked our way to this restaurant. It had been a while since we had our romantic strolls!” and kissed my face. I half smiled at Shubh and shuffled nervously in my place while Saarth held me. I don’t know why but my face was suddenly burning and I felt nervous. All of a sudden I became aware of my broken foot and lost my dessert craving. Why was I feeling so low? Was Saarth embarrassed in front of his friends that I was unable to walk? That I walk with the aid of a crutch? That I limp and can’t even go to the washroom alone and pee on my own? Was it just me over-thinking or was it my worst fears confirmed?

After dessert we all cheerfully bade goodbyes and promised to hang out again. The road outside was silent now. Just the low hum of traffic in the distance and the gentle wind blowing. It was a twenty-minute walk to his home. We started walking. I was in pain, unsure if it was my foot or my heart. There was this unsettling feeling in the pit of my stomach that made me blurt out to him,” Are you embarrassed that I limp and cannot walk without a crutch?” My question caught him off-guard and he looked at me with his eyes popping out, his mouth opening and closing like a goldfish, unsure how to answer my sudden outburst. I stood there waiting for him to say something. He just took my hand and told me that we will talk about this at home. It was the most quiet walk back home.

Once i reached home, i threw myself on the bed and wept silently. Saarth came and knelt near the bed and tried to coax me. ” Babe I am not embarrassed by you. Why would I be? I just did not want my friends to know that you are still not able to walk. It has been over a month.”

“Why cannot your friends know? I am the one unable to walk. I should be the one worried sick about it!”

“You will not understand!”

“So you think your friends will just mock you? Is that why you told me not to carry my crutch?! So that they don’t see the way I limp? You made me walk when I cannot even stand, just because you were afraid what your friends might say if they saw that your girlfriend is a limp?”

He did not say a word, stood up and left the room to change. I sobbed silently into my pillow feeling miserable and angry, more angry than miserable. If he is embarrassed by me when my condition is temporary, God forbid how he would treat me if my worst fears come true and I am unable to walk for much more time?

I had slipped into a slumber when he woke me up. I opened my eyes and I saw him looking at me. A tear dropped from my eyes just as I was turning away. He pulled me back and pressed his lips against mine, softly murmuring ‘I am sorry baby’ in between.I did not respond, tasting the alcohol from his mouth, feeling sad that he did not make an attempt to reconcile (verbally) or explain himself or even ask me if I was feeling better . He kissed me harder still whispering apologies in between. I was crying, begging him to get away from me. He nudged my injured foot to the edge of the bed as I rested it on a pillow.He began pulling at my dress. He was still coaxing me, ” Baby I am sorry. I did not mean to hurt you.”. He kissed me harder this time and pushed deep inside me again and again. I was crying for him to stop but he did not listen. I was wailing silently in my head, too numb to move. My sobbing did not stop nor did he.

He hissed sorry one more time and rolled aside on the bed. I shut my burning eyes hard. Never in my life had I felt so insignificant, low and used. When I felt the weight shift from my body, I opened my eyes and saw him rolled aside, drunk and spent. I limped to the washroom and sat under the shower, crying endlessly trying to rid myself off the stench of alcohol in my mouth and him in my body. The shock of what had just happened left me traumatised. I did not know what to cry for more. The fact that he was ashamed and embarrassed about me in public regarding an injury I would recover from sooner or later or the fact that he does not even respect me in bed. After my cries subsided, I thought hard and long. I wiped my face and came out the shower. I saw him snoring peacefully. It made my blood boil. I sat by the window and all our happy and sad memories flashed by as I wrote him a note.

“You don’t need to pretend any longer about how much you care. I now know the gravity of the little things that matter in a relationship. I wish you knew.
I wish I was not this blind since the past 3 years even when I had all the signs in front of me. I wish I trusted my instinct more than I trusted you.
If only I knew that breaking a foot is what it’s gonna take to see you clearly for the beast you are.
The minute you read this, know one more thing.
Even with a broken foot I can walk miles with a smile on my face, but with a lowlife like you beside me, I cannot even walk to the mirror by your bed and look into my own eyes. I am now gone from your life. Forever.”

It was 3.45 am when I left the spare key to his apartment on the table by his side.

There has been no going back or crying about it ever since.

Someone has rightly said,”Forget what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you.”.

1 Comment
  • Sarah
    Posted at 16:21h, 03 February Reply

    Emotional, sad to read .. you have a way of writing that draws the reader in that is the way of true writer xx

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