But I loved him, loved him more than what he could ever realise. His parties had never seemed to finish and his love often overflowed after a couple of beers. And who was I to question the man of the house? I felt like a commodity around him, like he had bought me for a couple of thousands. I wondered if he ever felt like that around me. Whether I could someday explain to him how being in love is not liberating, its the thing that chains down free souls.
That was the year of free souls and free booze. Booze, that’s what attracted me to him. Sweet smell of whiskey on his breath and the deep brown coat on his shoulders, stuff that movies were made up of. My mother was old fashioned and old too. Father had walked on her when she had just about tasted motherhood and the years that went did less to enhance her state.
But yes it was the year 1983, I was sixteen and the country as we know it was at the brink of its freedom. You would say that had been achieved years ago but freedom is not freedom until the people begin to get intoxicated by it. And those days were the days of rebellion. We were a free nation, we wanted to run helter skelter, be our own masters.
Masters and mistresses. Love began to be redefined, now if you were with somebody it was regular if its the one love and two attractions then you were truly free. People never get it, they need drugs and love to live the life of their dreams. But as someone has aptly said somebody’s dream could be another person’s nightmare. And in those truth being stranger than fiction, its your own dream which turns out to be your own nightmare.
Did he not love me? What have I done? Was the love a mirage or a matter of convenience? I wanted to be happy,I wanted to be in love. Now I am neither. And that is what amazes me the most. How can I possibly think I still love him? Look at the daughter I grew up into. He made me throw my own mother out of the house. There wasn’t much left to say to her in fact. She had after all decided to go to that old age home, I had humbly offered to drive down. I had not even mustered a response when that morning the news came in. She was no more. But hadn’t she already died for me during that drive down to the old age home? Had I not murdered her with my bare hands that afternoon when she saw me with those watery eyes?
Probably not. I might have given her a better end in fact, other wise living a life of maid was probably killing her each moment. A maid, I never accepted it but it is true. I did subjugate her to a life of a servant. Only so that this man could live off well. This man, this man who once smelled of whiskey on his breath and a brown coat on his shoulders, today reeks of all kinds of alcohol everywhere and sleeps in his brown coat. Yes this man who had promised to love me. He promised to remember that I am the most beautiful.
I will miss him. I will. Because whatever it was he allowed me a wallow of peace. A corner in my heart which allowed myself the thought of loving him. I didn’t see him change. I never expected him to get better. I had lost that faith when I was eighteen. Eighteen and he had asked me to make a drink. Eighteen and he had slapped me because that drink was not made right. Eighteen when he had forced himself on me. And eighteen when I had first aborted.
My daughter, she is staring at me as if I am an alien. She doesn’t speak, she doesn’t see. She knows there is more to me than she feels. But then she perhaps is scared to uncover the pain. Scared that she may feel like an orphan herself if she hears the whole story. My daughter, the one for whom I lived it through. My daughter for whom I still could have lived it through. But then it is for her I finally did it. It is for her today I did what I should have done at eighteen.
Her torn clothes speak a story and the blood stained knife in my hand completes it best.
Best. Yes it was for best. It happened within a few minutes, he came he saw, he thought he would have a rough night. There would be love as he would want it. But then I heard her scream, I knew that today I would not let it be. Daughter inside me had already died if its a mother who needs to survive then he has to be deprived. Deprived of his lowly life. Of his very existence from his pointless life.
But its when I see her whimpering at the door, clothes torn, heart worn and eyes speaking of the future gone, I know I should have killed him at eighteen. That one drunken night I let him be, tonight my daughter lost her parents both as she sees. One has died at the hands of other.
I can hear the sirens approaching faster. I want to tell her I did it for me, but all her life she would curse herself, why didn’t she let the man her dad be. Let him use her for one more night, she might have preserved her mother right. But I wish I can tell her as hard as it may be, I should have killed the bastard only at eighteen.