Of monsters and men…

This is the story of how a good man turned into something no man ever should. It all started from a birthday dinner, where a two lovers sat around a low level table, propped up against cushions, smoking an aromatic hukka while talking about the way their lives would unfold from that day on. On a cold winter night, she moved towards her man, to steal his warmth and his glances. She looked up at him, smiled at him and fiddled with her teardrop earrings. He whispered I love you into her ear, she said “happy birthday, handsome” and kissed him back.
Her phone rang and the screen shone up with the name of the previous man she had been with. They had ceased talking for very long and it hurt her to see the call. She emoted through her eyes as she got thoroughly confused about how it would make her present date uncomfortable. He touched her hand lightly and assured her that it was ok for her to pick up the call. She went from smiling to crying in the span of a couple of minutes which distressed him to no ends. Finally after she hung up, she looked at him and muttered “he wants me back”, while his heart dropped a few inches into his gut. He put on a smile and asked her to decide.
“I would rather be with you”, she whispered.
They clinked their glasses as they raised a toast to the future.

Later, while they slept with their naked bodies entwined in each other, she whispered “I love you” while she lay her head on his heart and he stroked her head as she fell asleep.
She couldn’t stop being two minded about their relationship even after she knew that she loved her man. The everyday struggles of being in two dimensions made her reveal things from the past while she lived with him. He learnt to take it in his stride while keeping her happy and eventually all those secrets came out, she felt lighter and forgot about the pain.
They started with being a real couple, going on dates, planning things for the future, teasing each other and holding hands in public. They got comfortable with each others presence and learnt to notice things about each other in a completely different light.
While things came into a normal humdrum they both got comfortable with, he started staying aloof. She didn’t notice it against all the happiness she was surrounded with and went ahead with juggling her studies, keeping him happy and cooking for him. He loved the everyday treats she got him and showed it off to his jealous friend. Both of them even started putting on weight due to love.

One day he wanted to take her out for a date while a friend of hers joined in. Too many drinks later, she didn’t know where she was or what she was doing and broke a glass and threw a tantrum, he took care of her. Stepped on a sharp shard of glass and bled out through his feet. Nonetheless, he carried her for a shower, bathed her, dressed her and put her off to sleep. She had a meeting the next morning which she has absolutely no recollection of, so he woke her up on time too. She wanted to attend the meeting but then saw his wounded foot and decided to stay back to take care of him. She took care of him while he grew distant because he thought that meeting took more importance. She spent many days taking care of him, dressing his wound, feeding him and keeping him happy. Eventually, one day they had a fight in which both of them grew loud. It made her very uncomfortable as it was their first serious fight and she had never seen him that angry. He shouted at her and when she came nearer, he slapped her right across her left cheek. She went completely deaf for a minute and after regaining her composure, she couldn’t believe what had happened. It broke her down, she fell on the floor and cried. Eventually he realized what happened and came to console her and apologized and promised to her this would never repeat again. She asked him why he did that and he said that he got angry, she hung her head in shame.

The slap left a deep scar in her that made her quieter and distant from him. This one assault paved the way for many others and eventually he started blaming her for hurting him and not considering his emotions while she talked about her previous boyfriend. He slowly turned into something she couldn’t recognize anymore. She stayed put for the love she held for him. She believed love changes all and waited for him to recognize what she did for him. She stayed up nights for massages, late dinners and also stayed to listen to herself getting abused on a daily basis. Even though he put her through all of this, he used to come and apologize to her for the pain he was causing her. All this took a toll on her, she started getting sicker, missed her classes, started causing herself harm and couldn’t keep up with her friends. She also couldn’t say anything to anyone. He threatened to cause harm to everyone she loved.

One day, she noticed her periods were late; she told him the problem and he asked her to get a test done. It was a positive. Here she was, getting abused daily and carrying a child. She decided to protect her womb. Another fight later, she was throwing up on the floor and he was kicking her womb. She did not want to do the inevitable but she did, for the sake of herself and their unborn child. Meanwhile, he refused to acknowledge her presence and threatened her with dire consequences if she mentioned to anyone about what was going on. She saw in front of her two people, one who loved her and another who hated her. And the one with hate was killing the man she fell in love with, bone by bone, slowly. She didn’t waver, in all her flaws, with her wounds, she didn’t budge. He tried everything to destroy her slowly, threw her out of their home, strangled her to near death, refused her food or water, cut off every means of her survival. Yet, she grew stronger, and still managed to surprise him with mix tapes, candlelit dinners, and knick knack surprises.

Eventually he did apologize and things started coming back to normal and on the day of their anniversary, they fought. She started getting scared of any confrontation, tried her best to prevent it and it turned into a fight despite her efforts at controlling it. He managed to beat her senseless till she realized what happened the next morning. With two blackened, armed with her lies, she faced the world. But friends knew what she hid all along and stopped her from meeting him anymore. She faced turmoil within herself due to the distance from him. She finally got accustomed to all that abuse and hated being away from it. The shouting, crying, curses thrown at her everyday made her into the woman she was not cut out to be. She missed him but prevented herself from calling him or contacting him. Yet, everyday he tried wooing her by sending her letters through her friends, chocolates and somehow they ended up being engaged. All this time passed by her in a haze and she didn’t realize what happened. She never knew about the other women in his life either.

She started getting happier day by day, little by little, grew stronger in her love for him. He wanted her to show him how much she loved him and she proved it right from the very first second.

And it all happened once again, the very thing she was running away from, when he hit her for a couple of hours straight, tried running over her with his car, slapped her in public. She broke down. Shattered herself in the pain of loving an incorrigible man. Eventually she gave up and fought back for her recognition as a human, as a woman and his apparent love interest. She hit him back, she made sure he noticed that she also afflict injury the same way he did. She got her basic self respect back the moment her hit made contact with his jaw. It was never known if he saw her in a new light or got his senses knocked back into him but he knew what he did was wrong. They lived happily again for sometime.

Signs started popping up in front of her, which made her suspicious of him but she shrugged off all of her doubts when she saw him, he made her smile every time. They dated like a new couple but the past niggled in both their heads all along. She knew him inside out and knew he would never lie to her. She also grew inexplicably unhappy too. Beyond the pain of not loving him was the pain of separating from him, but she did. She, in her unhappiness turned to drugs and random sex. But never once stopped thinking of him. He still made sure she knew that she was his only one. That made her curse herself as to why she couldn’t match his love.

Again they got back with each other, and this back and forth of an already rocky relationship broke them even further. She still loved him with all of her heart, never wanting to let go. She looked beyond his drug stupors, his endless absences, his defiance and his ability to prove her wrong each time. All she believed in was the fact that he would change. The moment never came.

Instead, after a long absence of many months, though she tried to contact him, she gave up. She gave up for holding too strong for something, which was slipping out of her hands, she gave up for not being able to prove herself enough. She gave up hope of being with him, through endless cycles of pain and disappointments, knowing it will never be the same. She messaged him one last time and he told her about the endless women he had been with and all the times he had lied. Somehow it didn’t shock her, she still believed in her love. She only felt betrayed as a vow of honesty had failed to hold up.

She cried for sometime, let all the pain go away. Heaving a massive sigh of relief, she went back to writing her story.

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