The nape of her neck had a birthmark. I loved the way her hair grew around it.
Her eyes shone like thousand-carat rubies. She need only look at me that way and all my defences used to come unhinged.
Her lips. Oh, the taste of her lips, sweeter than fruits! The touch of her supple skin, egging me on to touch her long after we made love. Silly, passionate, urging, caring, loving, desperate.
Mother had asked me what I wanted to do with my life. They had finalized the construction magnate’s daughter for me. It was a big business family and my marriage to her would make a huge difference to the whole clan. Sometimes I wondered whether I was anything more than a pawn in the board games these bizmen (and women) played.
Mother went to her house and called her all sorts of names. She even threatened her to leave me alone or face dire consequences. But mother didn’t know the extent of the issue. I needed her more than she did. My whole existence depended on having her, being with her, loving her.
It wasn’t always like this. I had grown up to be a studious lad. My grades were excellent all through college, even after I came in contact with her in the first week of our MBA classes. Being admitted to a top B-school came with its own expectations and yet, once we laid eyes on each other, we knew we were in for times that would at once be tempestuous and cathartic. Times that would fill the holes in our hearts that we didn’t know existed. That curiosity of first glance made a Darwinian progression and brought us ever closer.
A small moan used to escape her lips when I nibbled on her ear. She’d jerk her head away and I would grip her arms tighter to prevent that. The way her skin would get goosebumps after that. My blowing air on her feet and her tiny toes, toes which I could play with all day. They looked like they had slept after birth and refused to grow up.
Grandma wanted me to arrest this slide. I looked hollow, she said. Their concern had heightened since last week, when I shut out everyone and locked myself in my room. I had started skipping meals too. This had sent tremors in the family. I wasn’t petrified of father anymore. That time had long since passed.
But what exactly did I want?
Did I want to cancel this marriage? Or did I want to marry her? Or maybe I wanted to get high, taking in the drug that she was? Small wonder my family were perplexed. When I had no idea myself, how could they know how to move forward?
Like other people, we had our share of differences too. Fighting and getting irked needlessly. Things would be hazy and cumbersome on days when I had to go without her. My symptoms were all classic. The first would be denial and withdrawal. If that didn’t suffice it, I’d try to avoid people. My body would feel like something was crawling under the skin. I would fumble with the most basic tasks. Things didn’t end well when I was pissed off on such days, mostly for others. I beat the crap out of a guy in college once when he was making fun of me. On a normal day, he would have received a slap at best. But since I wasn’t on talking terms with her, I did things I never wanted to. Like breaking three of his molars. And fracturing his left thumb. Not to say calling him all sorts of names. This only got better once I called and talked with her, preferably for hours on end.
She asked a fortune-teller about our situation. He asked her to offer prayers every Thursday at the local temple. But Thursdays were for me to worship her, to rub her back and feel the knots disappear. To lay down in her lap and forget all the worries in my life.
I’d heard of cases where love made people forget everything around them. Not me. I was still doing the job I had joined out of rebellion against my family empire. I even accompanied my mom to the vegetable market sometimes. But this one aspect of my life was clouded by my unquenchable thirst for her and her companionship. Her mere presence had a kind of soothing effect on me that nothing else did. Mom took me to a psychiatrist. He said I had a mental complex that needed constant support and love. Ha, jackfruit! Like I didn’t know.
Before I finally take a decision about my life, I want to meet her once.
I want to look into those eyes and enquire whether they probe for me or not. I want to smell her hair and take that fragrance to my grave. I want to touch her and feel alive again. I want to give in to my addiction, one last time, for ever.
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