Sunday 10 May 2020

Apeksha Solanki, Prose 500 2020, Longlist

What Next?

It was a beautiful day. The clouds had spread a dark bluish-grey blanket over the sky and the rains left a beautiful earthy fragrance in the air. “The first rains are the best”, mom always said. “They have healing properties. They can treat these skin ailments. Go! Go out in the rain!” mom would yell, ignoring her wails to go out and get drenched in public. She always had a way of getting to her, making her feel useless and small. “Nobody is going to marry you with this kind of skin!”

But today was different. Today she would not get drenched to make her skin disease disappear along with her self-respect. Today she had other plans with him. He was the only one who truly understood her and did not care how she looked.

Nobody was home and they had been lusting to do it for long. There was frustration building up for many days now and today was the perfect opportunity.

When they hit it up, in the beginning it was like a surprise. The first shot always hurts the most. She dedicated the initial scream to her mother for thinking that nobody would ever want to be with her. Then came the slow moans, which was her way of telling mom that she can be loved too. And then, the climax, the slow, dying movements, that was to tell her mom that she would not be shamed all her life. The final stroke felt like a release of her pent up emotions over years. She finally felt liberated from all the humiliation. It was as if she did this just to prove a point to her mother. Hoping she gets the message.

When it finally ended, they could not stop smiling. They loved how it turned out. It was satisfying and they wished they could do more. Her head was giddy with pleasure and she could not stop laughing. She had never done something like this before and it somehow felt empowering to do it. She felt that she was no more that under confident girl and could do what she pleases.

She looked at him smugly, “what next?” he asked her.

“I want more!” she demanded. “May be we could wait for some time and do some more.”

He looked at her questioningly. “Well my father is about to come.”

He nodded with a knowing smile.

They headed towards the living room, leaving her mother’s body with a gash across the chest and her carefully peeled delicate, soft skin scattered on the floor. Blood slowly trickled down her beautiful slender body. Her father always thought her mother was right, maybe he should have the same fate as hers.

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