Story 46

She woke up in the middle of the night. Her head hurt. It took her some time to realize that she was not sleeping in her bed but had been sleeping on the couch. She tiptoed towards the bedroom. Her best friends were still sleeping; sprawled on the floor. They had been drinking and talking, too much drinking, actually.


She was already hurt emotionally; the physical pain in her head was making things worse. She managed to reach the bathroom before the wave of nausea hit her. She doubled over and vomited in the commode. She felt too weak to get up. She flushed the contents and dragged herself out of the bathroom on her ass and collapsed on the floor just outside the bathroom. She should have not taken so much drinks, this was her last conscious thought before passing out.

She opened her eyes in the morning and noticed that the world was spinning too fast on its axis. The furniture in her living room seemed to have developed legs of their own and were moving around at their will. She closed her eyes for a moment, willing the giddiness to go away. When she opened her eyes the spinning seemed to have reduced. But when she tried to get up she lost her balance. She took the support of the wall and walked towards the spot where her friends were still sleeping – actually, they had passed out, just like her. She kicked each one of them, asking them to get up. They groaned, rolled over to the other side and slept again. She let them be.


They never drank so much, but yesterday it had been different. She was depressed and her friends merely wanted to give her company. She needed more than one glass of the drink to forget the humiliation and pain of being dumped by her boyfriend of more than a year. Her friends helped her with the problem. They went on filling her glass and theirs and they talked about him. The cursed him, called him names, told each other what a bastard he was. How could he do this to her? Her friends said and she cried hugging them tightly.


She wanted to go back to sleep but she had work to do. She could not afford taking an off. She turned around and walked back towards the bathroom. She opened the medicine cabinet and took out the bottle of aspirin. She gulped down an aspirin with a glass of water. On her way back to the couch she picked up a bottle of water from the dining table and woke her friends again and handed an aspirin to each of them. They thanked her and took the aspirin. Few minutes later they left the house and she started her day.


The headache was still there when she reached the office. She popped another aspirin she had brought with her in her purse.
“You don’t look so well.” A voice said startling her.
“Bad night.” She replied.
“Tell me about it.” Her friend from the office said. He was the only friend she had in the entire office. The only person who did not want to get into her pants but was interested in her as a person.
“Later.” She said and eyed towards the door of their boss. He followed her gaze and asked her, “Everything fine in love-villa?”
“That bastard’s married you know!” she blurted out.
“That’s what I thought.” He said.
She hated how he had succeeded in making her talk. She smiled.
“I hate you.” She said
“I know.” He said. “Let’s talk during lunch hour.”


“Okay” she said. She really wanted to talk to him. She had talked to her best girlfriends but she wanted to talk to him as well. She did not know what difference it would make; what would he say that would make her feel better but she just knew she had to talk to him.


They met during the lunch hour and she told him about their boss. Her boyfriend of one year. No one in the office, except him knew about her relationship with the boss. He never judged her for falling in love with the boss; he had simply asked whether she was sure. Yes, she was – she had told him and he had said that he was happy for her.

Everything had been fine until the day she had initiated the topic of marriage. He’d seemed reluctant to reply, had asked for some time. She had her doubts but she said nothing. A couple of days later there was an envelope on her desk; with photos of her boyfriend with his family – wife and a son. She had been devastated. She had waited to confide in someone; she felt suffocated. Her only friend from office was on leave. Her besties were too occupied with their own dramas.


Finally, yesterday she had gotten the chance to meet with them and talk to them about what was bothering her and today she got the chance to talk to him. He held her hand as she tried her best not to cry in the canteen. People looked at them but neither of them cared about what others thought. She let him hold her hand, she felt secured being there with him.
He told her how sorry he was, how much he hurt for her and that he would do anything that could help her get over the pain. She had thanked him and left it at that. She did not know what more she was supposed to say or what was it that he could do to make it easier for her.


Then it struck her. She could ask for a favour. She needed time; needed time away from this place. She asked him whether he could cover for her, help her with work on hand and fulfil the future commitments as well, until she was mentally prepared to come back to work. He agreed. He said he would take care of everything.


On her way back from the office she bought bottles of beers and called her friends who immediately jumped on to the opportunity to get drunk. They met in the evening and drank beer and they cursed him, called him a bastard and repeated that they could not believe he had done this to her. They suggested she make it public. They suggested that she should go to the wife and tell her about the affair. They drank some more and then passed out together.


The next day morning the same thing happened. The world was spinning a lot faster when she opened her eyes. She crawled towards the bathroom and vomited in the commode. One of her friends who had woken up to pee saw that she had vomited in the commode. You should never drink on an empty stomach she told her. Her friend did not even wait for her to crawl back out of the bathroom before she got down to doing her business. She felt nauseous and vomited on the skirt of her friend who gave her a disgusted look as she took off the skirt to wash it.

Then, her friend borrowed one of her dresses, popped an aspirin and walked out of the door. Rest of her friends were still sleeping. She took two aspirins and sat on the couch. She slept. One by one all her friends woke up, took aspirins, promised to be there for her and walked out the door.
She sat there, not willing to move. She did not have the strength to move. She did not want to move. She was depressed. Talking to her friends, talking about him, cursing him made her felt better but that was momentary.


She searched for her mobile and luckily found it on the couch. She called a number and then disconnected the call. Her mobile phone rang after some time
“You called me on my mobile, you know!” the voice at the other end said.
How stupid of her. She had meant to call him on his landline, she did not know what got into her. She just wanted to hear his voice.
“Dialled it by mistake” she lied.
“How are you?” the voice on the other end asked.
“Fine.” She lied again. “I gotta go” she said and disconnected the call.


He looked at his mobile and shook his head and then he continued doing the work he was doing, finishing off her work as he had promised her he would. He was worried about her. He could hear the desperation in her voice. He could also guess that she was having a hangover just like she had the day before. He had seen her taking the aspirin for headache. From her eyes he could conclude that she had been crying. He was the one to be blamed. For a moment he wondered whether he had done the right thing keeping those photographs on her desk. He knew their boss was a married man, it was stupid of her to not be able to see it. He cared for her and that was the reason he could not tell it to her on her face and at the same time allow this to continue. He knew she would be heart-broken but it was better to fall off from a level closer to the ground rather than climbing up too high and jumping off the roof.


She spent the entire day doing nothing. She ordered food, watched TV. Did not shower, did not do laundry, and did not even clean the house. Her friends called in the evening to ask her whether she wanted them to visit for company. She asked them to come over. They came with bottles of wine. The friend on whom she had puked did not turn up. She ignored that friend’s absence. They ordered pizza and all her friends made sure that she ate. Obviously, the missing friend had told them about the vomiting episode. She ate. Her friends ate. They drank wine and they talked about him, cursed him, called him a bastard once again and one of the friends suggested that they kidnap him and castrate him. Others laughed. She did not. She cried. Then they hugged her and cried with her and drank some more and passed out.


The next morning all the girls left the house after their dose of aspirins. She went to the bathroom and opened the medicine cabinet to find the aspirin bottle empty. Her friends had made her eat too much. Despite telling herself that she would not, she vomited yet again and passed out on the bathroom floor.
The loud banging on the front door woke her up. It was too bright when she opened her eyes. She squinted. The banging continued.
“Coming” she yelled and the banging stopped. However, the hammering inside her head continued. She crawled out of the bathroom and towards the main door. She stood up with the support of the door and opened the latch.


“What have you done to yourself?” the voice seemed too loud to bear. She put her hands over her ears.
“Don’t yell” she yelled at the man standing at the door.
“What the hell is going on here?” he asked entering the house and seeing the mess.
He knew he had to meet her when he had received that call from her, he could not visit immediately because it was too late in the night.
He had tried calling her in the morning but the call went straight to voicemail. He had gotten worried and decided to stop by her house during lunch hour.


“What are you doing here?” she asked him but she was glad he was here.
“I called you so many times; but the call goes straight to voicemail.” He said looking at her with sadness filled eyes. She was a mess and it hurt him.
“The battery must be dead.” She said.
She tried to move away from him as fresh wave of nausea hit her. But before she could, she puked on his shirt. She tried to apologize as she covered her mouth with her hand.
“It’s okay. Let’s get you to the bathroom” he said picking her up so that they could reach the bathroom faster. He knelt beside her, held her hair back as she vomited in the commode. He helped her to stand up, walked her to the washbasin to clean herself up. He took her to the couch and asked her to rest as he walked back to the bathroom to clean his shirt.


When he walked out she was asleep. He searched her room for an iron and pressed his shirt. He left a note for her that he was going out and promised to be back as soon as he could. He took the house keys with him.
In no way he could go to the office. He knew if he walked into the office now and came face to face with their boss; he would seriously hurt the man. He went to the nearest medical store and bought medicines.

She was still sleeping when he returned. He had bought oranges on his way back, which he kept on the dining table and searched for a juicer. He found one in the overhead cabinet. He made juice for her and kept it in the refrigerator. Then, he cleaned the house.


When he finished, he woke her up and gave her the orange juice and an aspirin. He also gave her the anti-emetic he had bought. The vomiting, he knew, was not only because of the drinking. She drank the juice and thanked him.


“That asshole does not deserve you.” He said
“You do not deserve that asshole” she remembered the words of her friends.
“Don’t let him ruin your life like this.” He said after some time, concern evident in his voice.
“Let’s ruin his life.” Her friends’ suggestion echoed in her ears.


“Look at you, you are a mess. Don’t do this to yourself. You deserve a lot better. The most horrible punishment you can think of for that man is to show him that you can be happy without him.” He said reaching out for her hand.
“Let’s castrate him” she heard her friends.
She realized that he was trying to hold her hand. She wanted to stop him. “Sod off” she wanted to yell. “You don’t know what I am going through.” She wanted to say.
He reached out and held her hand. The warmth of his hand felt good.
“I know it is easier said than done. I cannot even begin to understand what you have been through. I do not want to understand either. What I want to do is make it better for you. I want you to know that you are not as weak as you have portrayed yourself to be for past few days. You are stronger than you know. You have to come out of this. And, if you need someone to walk the path with you; I want you to know that I am here, I will always be here.”


She looked at him. Tears had started to form in her eyes. She hugged him. He wrapped his arms around her and she started crying. He knew she had to cry. She had to get it out of her system but at the same time she had to believe that once she was done crying; she was capable of putting the pain to rest.  

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