Story 173

She was exhausted when she entered her room on the sets where she was shooting. The couch was inviting, all she wanted to do was get out of the revealing dress she was wearing, wash off the make-up and lay down on the couch. However, there were a couple of things she had to take care of, before retiring for the day. 

She had a meeting with the representative of an advertising company and then she had to visit her shrink.

She locked the room door and stepped out of the dress, walking to the washroom she removed the make-up and cleaned her face. She looked at the reflection staring back at her from the mirror, the woman without make-up. The real her. She loved this woman. The woman who had come from a small town to achieve her dreams. The woman she had become, did not like all this. Did not like the things she had to do, wear the clothes she had to wear.  All this had started to annoy her. She hated fake smiles and now all her smiles were fake. It had been a long time since she had smiled for real reasons, reasons that made her happy. She missed that smile.

The people who loved her, those she had left behind loved that smile of hers and they hated what she had become. It had been a long time since she had contacted her loved ones. They had disowned her. There was no place to go back to, even if she wanted to quit the glamorous world and walk into the unknown. 

She had fallen in love in her home town. They had been dating for months, she was in love with him and he told her that he loved her too. One night, as they were kissing under the stars, he had slid his hand under her shirt and reached for the hook of her bra. When she tried to stop him, he had proposed marriage. She had said yes at once. He had kissed her on the mouth and then undressed her and made love to her. She had lost her virginity that night. The next day the man had told her that he wanted to buy her a diamond ring and was falling short of some cash; she had given him all her savings. The man had left town and never returned. She had been devastated. Her parents and friends were supportive but that had not been enough. Her father had always told her that she was a fighter and she should face her fears head-on; so she had decided to gamble with her future and face the unknown head-on. That same fighter attitude had kept her sane in this insane world where nothing was the way it seemed to be, no one was like they pretended to be, including her.

She had come to Mumbai, the city where dreams were fulfilled. The city had not been kind to her in the beginning but then it had accepted her, sheltered her and nourished her. The city had given her opportunities and she had grabbed one and all. Her instincts had guided her throughout the journey. It had warned her several times and she always paid heed to the inner voice but made a conscious choice once to ignore it. She was paying heavily for that now.
She was now a well-known, well-paid model in the advertisement industry. She had even been offered leading roles in a few movies, which she had turned down. This had upset her husband for a moment but then he told her that he understood. He was the one who had encouraged her to dare to dream! He had told her she had the potential to become more than what she had settled to become. He had taught her to fall in love again.

Now, good or bad … “this” was her life and she was meant to live it.
When had she become like this? She did not know. Time and experience had moulded her into a completely different person, the one who did not resemble the real person she was. 
After coming to Mumbai, she had jumped straight into the fake world. Smiling, posing for the camera, wearing dresses she would’ve never worn otherwise. Allowing her co-models to touch her, to hold her as if holding some object of pleasure. During one of the shoots, a male model had intentionally moved his hand over her breast while placing his hand over her shoulder to pose for the camera. She wanted to slap him, but she could not. She was being paid for this advertisement by none other than his father. 
She had then retreated in her room and cried. What was happening to her? What was she turning into? Was this what people called as growing up, facing challenges of life and adapting to the changes? She had asked herself these questions that day. She got no answers. She stopped asking questions.

She was glad that she could at least let out her emotions whenever she wanted. She could cry in her husband's arms who understood what she was going through. He supported her. He loved her, she knew it because he told her that every night as he came into her and all her frustrations of the day vanished.

Then, things changed and the tears refused to flow. She turned into someone without emotions. That is when she had started visiting a Shrink. He was a nice person; he listened to all that she had to say. He told her it was his job, he listened to her because he was getting paid to do it; but both knew it was a lie. He listened to her more affectionately than a professional would. 

... continued as Story 174.

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