The Ghost

She looked out of the window. The Sun had not set as yet but the evening had already splashed the skies with a sharp violet tinge mixed with a fiery orange hue. The spring brought with it a strange breeze. The nights which were much cooler than the days mixed her thoughts into a heady concoction of dreams and longing from what she could only recall as some previous life. This wasn’t exactly her favorite season. The days reminded her of the times she would come home and crash on her bed and spend lazy afternoons day dreaming about him. There was something about these gentle, lukewarm winds that always took her thoughts to him and reminded her of a pain that she knew will never cease to exist. The fact that she still couldn’t help pining for him made her indignant at her own self.

These were strange crossroads. She knew she had lived all her life walking through the same streets, yet none seemed familiar now. He had come back from the deep realms of oceans she had buried him and created unforeseen ripples in her otherwise placid life. The ghost from her past had risen like a phoenix and stood facing her in flesh and blood and commanded her attention. What irritated her most was the fact that she could see it all coming and yet stood her ground to be swept away by the flood that crashed at her feet. It uprooted her despite all her unrepentant unwillingness with a familiar ease. She tried to fight him and he allowed her to do that, resisted her lashes and patiently sat as she vent out her anger and unleashed her fury. She punished and tormented him all she could hoping it would pacify the burning rage inside her, instead she crumbled inside one piece at a time and eventually broke down and settled by his side.

Life, she knew, would never be the same now. Even, if he were to play his hand in times to come, she could only hope that she survives the fall. There were no safety nets to deploy. This was a trapeze act to be done blindfolded. Her shadows were misleading. They filled her heart with doubt. There was no way she could allow her to be led by her heart alone. It had already failed her a couple of times, yet she just couldn’t follow what her mind constantly kept warning about.

She was hoping he would fail her, belie her trust, cheat on her once more. Perhaps then, she could hope to cut the stems and burn all roots of his thoughts from her soul and enjoy the open barren field forever. She didn’t know if she would feel the dismay of being set free then or rejoice at being held captive by him. It wasn’t just confusing, it was torturous in a way. It had been more than a week that sleep eluded her. She would lie awake all night hoping to hear him on his nocturnal beat. She suffered, succumbed to her dreams and bloomed all at the same time. Love is a wonderful poison, a much needed ailment that pricks without a visible wound. But she knew that the misery doesn’t even end here. Unlike the yesteryears where she could have confessed her feelings and shouted from the roof tops, she could only whimper now and strive painstakingly to keep everything under wraps.

It was excruciating and tiring to just keep her mind in check. She could go on endlessly day dreaming and fantasizing about how things could possibly be and what could all this lead to but life around her kept pulling her strings, drawing her back to the room and people around her. She knew she will never have enough excuses to venture out of her household, lesser to find her own space within it. Perhaps, it was a lost battle before it began. Her thoughts went back to the events of the day. She had struggled hard through the day to keep up with the pace of the demands and expectations of others around her. She had nearly stayed awake the night before and then woke up early again for the maids to come in, prepare the breakfast, attend to her child’s needs, make up the beds, sort out the cupboards.. the sequence exhausted her.

She wished there was a reset button for life. She would have pressed it without a second thought and gone back to her carefree spinster days. She chuckled at the prospects of it and let a cold sigh escape her lips realizing the futility of the thought almost immediately. She glanced down at her hands and the lines on her palms. She wished she could interpret and foresee something in her near future that could bring her some respite from the unrest that her mind was in.

The ghost from her past did not really scare her. It were the ghosts within her that made her heart sink every now and then. How do you break away from your own self? How do you dodge your own shadow? How do you run when your feet are tethered to a pillar in the house?

She knew she could never escape and that she will finally buckle under the constant rising pressure of her routine before she could gather enough courage to speak her mind and demand her life back. She closed her eyes and let her thoughts trickle off her eyes, one drop a time. The tears washed her face and eventually cleared the mist in her head. In that moment, she knew she will always be in love. The realization and self confession almost instantly relieved her.

She knew her heart was now but just a tomb and the ghost from her past will haunt it…forever.

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