She was best described as the woman who played her part to precision. Donning masks, depicting emotions, awe-inspiring perfection, trend-setting garbs and perpetual congenial socializing were aspects that sketched her life lock, stock and barrel. Glamour was the name of the game she played best where to voyage added a richer tone to her performances.
On every voyage, meeting new people, catching up with acquaintances, and re-living good times spent with close friends was the norm. But on one such ordinary voyage, she met someone extra-ordinary. He was standing in the ballroom. Was it the glint in his eyes, or the lopsided smile? She was not able to make up her mind and put her finger down on one factor that pulled her to the other end of the ballroom in order to get his attention. There was a hushed silence followed by a volley of insignificant questions, “when is the next release scheduled to be?”, “how much did you enjoy your last role?” all of which were answered by her with the same impassive smile. And then he smiled, one that made up for all the emotionless smiles that might have transpired between her and the rest of the world. Walking up to her, he said “I have heard loads about your persona, but nothing close to how you are in reality”. “We have not been introduced!” she exclaimed, extending her hand.
The introduction began a whole gamut of events all that made her wonder if this is what love was all about, if this was how it felt like to be captivated, enthralled by someone. It was as if she was bound by a spell and didn’t want to break that trance. They would spend hours, discussing all the events of the past, making her feel like she had known him all along. Time raced by, blurring all other activities. It was as if there was no other purpose to life itself but this journey they undertook together.
One evening, amidst heavy downpour, when they had decided to spend time by the fireplace, watching the fire initially lick the pieces of firewood, only to slowly swallow them completely, burning brightly in sharp contrast to its background where the gloomy grey skies growled. She was suddenly filled with a sense of purpose only to pose the question that she thought she would never ask anyone ever “Do you want to spend the rest of your life with me?” She asked. His expression hardened gradually, as if gathering all his strength for the time to come. “Would you happen to remember an old fool smitten by your love?” She was dumb-founded, “surely, there had to be some mistake” she thought to herself furiously racking her brains to remember the person he was talking about, not knowing the connection with the question she had asked. There had been so many such old fools, who were willing to risk their lives, to profess their undying love to her. She just did not want to look into his eyes for fear of seeing hatred and scorn pouring out of them. “Someone who abetted to every one of your wishes? Anyone who was foolish enough to leave his family to prove his love to you?” He questioned, moving closer to her, his voice a mere whisper now, and his hands around her neck, strangling her. “No!” she yelped “I don’t”. Her mind telling her this is all a dream and she would wake up in his arms, feeling warmth of love again. It most almost as if he waited for this exact moment to spell this out to her. His hand slid into his shirt, bringing out a gleaming object. Her eyes widened with shock as she saw that. “No!” she screamed. “Porcelain dolls like you would never know what it is like to yearn for a father, would you? You would not know what it is like to see your mother slip into insanity. You would not know what it is like to grow up like a freak not fathoming what love or family was. Yet, it is because of women like you that others yearn for father, mother, love and family. My father was a victim to your conniving plans. He fell prey to your beauty and traded a son and a loving wife for it. Only to squander all his life’s earnings for the one woman who could never promise love or loyalty to just one man” He bellowed into her ears, bringing the stiletto down closer in one swift movement. Realization dawned into her, images and incidents flashed through her head affirming the truth in his words. Her mind settled on the image of the guy in front of her eyes, images of him laughing, all his premeditated gestures and her eyes softened. She nodded her head trying to tell him that it was not true that she couldn’t love, and that she loved him solemnly. Alas, the stiletto had found its mark and pierced through her skin leaving her speechless!