Standing by the French window of her plush apartment on the 24th floor, Reeta was sipping her ginger tea. Yes, ginger tea was all that she needed again to jump back to the real world. What had happened in last 24 hours? Reeta was numb, her head was pounding. Alcohol had done no good to her.
Who was Rex and why did he get her arrested? Who was that boy who left her on the road? And why was she even in the pub on the night of her wedding anniversary? Wasn’t she supposed to be with her husband celebrating (so called) love? Reeta was wondering about all these while rubbing her temples… but it was not helping to subside the headache. Was it a headache really or a different kind of hurt?
Having lived the the life she did for the past 15 years, no kind of hurt was new to Reeta. From forced physical pleasure to domestic violence she had timidly taken all. What else could she do? After all she was married to one of the most popular politician who had won all hearts except her. With no siblings and dead parents, she had no choice but to be with her husband. Or that is what she chose for all these years. It was never like this initially. Jay was a very nice husband. But when money and fame walked into his life hand in hand, his mind started to get corrupt and devilish. And Reeta, his wife became the object of his pleasure, his game, not love.
Now, she wanted to stop it right away… She was yearning to break free. She wanted to break the shackles of deception of love, she wanted to put down the pressure of being famous and she wanted to live a normal peaceful life. Just like the random people she saw on the road. And yesterday was her first attempt to do so! What better day to escape from the grip of a monster than the day she married him. Hence, without thinking too much she let herself go wild. But it was a mistake. Her monster was far more powerful than she could imagine. He made arrangements to bring her back anyhow.
Reeta put the empty mug on the corner table and looking herself in the mirror said “You can do it Reeta. Plan better next time. These are the last wounds Jay can give. Not any more.” Reeta broke down looking at her bruised face and body even though she knew that was what would happen once Jay gets hold of her after her stint of running away.
There was a soft knock on the door.
“Come in…” She said.
A servant came in and placed various tabloids on the table and left. It was a routine. Jay would ask to read all the news paper and tabloids every day to keep abreast with the current affairs. Reeta wiped her tears and picked one of them. She was shocked! She picked another, yet another… but all were the same. It was all over in the news that, the would be health minister’s wife was found drunk. It was not only that but there were many stories fabricated around it. Some tabloids said she slept with someone on the beach, some said she was found drunk on the road… But out of all these news items one particular headline caught her eye – “Would be health minister shows concern for the health of the state but couldn’t care for wife’s mental health“
Reeta started laughing hysterically. She didn’t mind that she was being judged as psychic but instead she was ecstatic for reading something against her abusive husband, Jay Kapoor. After all, he really never cared for her! Why would she!
After sometime she took a hot water bath which calmed her down. She had also called for food. While she was setting her plate for lunch, she thought of the brunch Rex had made for her. He had taken such good care of her, a stranger. He treated her with grace, spoke to her with lot of respect and more importantly did not take advantage of her unconsciousness and vulnerability. She was filled with gratitude when these thoughts cleared the clutter in her mind. She couldn’t remember when was the last time Jay had treated her that way.
Life is funny you know, sometimes what you crave for from your closest people, a stranger is able to give you that effortlessly! Who was this Rex? And why and how could he be so nice to me? Reeta again lost in deep thought as she felt a strong urge to go back to him with a small present as a token of her gratitude but she immediately waved away the idea because she didn’t want to put him in trouble any more. However, that kind man, Rex refused to leave her mind!
On the other side of the city, that man kind man Rex, was sitting all alone by the window of his cottage watching the waves of the sea. He held his mug of hot chocolate and laid down the broken pieces of his wife’s mug on the table beside him. He had saved them all from the dustbin, just like he had saved all her memories for so many years. Hot chocolate and watching waves crashing to the shore was their daily ritual. He held one of those broken pieces on his palm, felt it as if it was Mary herself, he kissed it and gulped down the hot chocolate roaring “Cheers!”