The Life of Myra - Chapter 3
The Life of Myra - Chapter 36 mins 1.2K 6 mins 1.2K
It is past 10 in the morning when I wake up from my deep slumber. My head feels heavy and I can’t remember what my schedule for today is.
Did I miss my shift again, I wonder, sitting up in panic. Then I remember my duty tonight starts at 11 pm. I relax, sitting back, wondering what else I can do other than stalking Anish and Madhumita.
My phone rings. It is my mom. Again.
Irritated, but seeing no way out, I pick up the call.
“How are you, Myra?” she asks.
It’s a thing about mothers. Their voice stimulates something deep inside us, the deepest core of emotions. I suddenly want to hug her, bury my face in her lap like I used to do when I was a kid, feel her soft hand caressing my hair and listen to her soft voice telling me that everything will be alright.
I swallow the huge lump that has accumulated in my throat.
“I am good. Slept late,” I say. I know she is reading between the lines. Slept late means didn’t sleep early yesterday night.
“When is your duty today?” she asks.
“11, night shift,” I reply.
I hope she continues this mundane conversation. Nothing else.
“So, what are you doing today?” she persists.
“Nothing. Just some grocery shopping,” I reply, hoping against hope she doesn’t catch my tone.
There is a pause.
“You can go over and see Mahika, you know. You will feel better,” she says.
I know seeing Mahika will definitely make me feel worse, but I don’t say so.
“I will see ma. Not sure I can make it today though,” I say.
“Do you want me to visit you?” she asks.
That is the last thing I want right now. I can’t have my mom see me in this state.
“No, please don’t worry ma, I am good,” I insist.
There is a long pause during which I wonder if the call has disconnected.
“I think you should meet Rishi. At least once,” she says.
“Mom, someone is at the door. Call you later. Bye,” and I cut the call. I don’t want to talk to her about anything, or anybody. Rishi included.
I feel a tinge of guilt, but I brush it away. I am still fresh from my wounds and I guess I need time to heal. Just six months and people want me to move on!
I go about my usual morning chores, absentmindedly. As I sit at my small dining table eating cornflakes with milk and strawberries, I open Madhumita’s Facebook. I need to know what they are doing today.
Sure enough, I see an update.
‘Vanya’s art exhibition at the Rudolf hall! Excited!’
I click on the link of the event to discover that the event is scheduled at BKC from 12 noon onwards.
So now I know what my plan for the day is!
At around 1 pm, I reach the Rudolf hall.
I have taken great efforts to dress up. I am wearing a light brown satin blouse and a cream long skirt that sashes around my ankles. My black brown hair is loose on my shoulders and I have applied a bright red lipstick, which I hope Anish has grown a liking for, now.
The hall is huge and has a high ceiling.
‘Vanya Thakur’s painting exhibition’ declares a board outside.
All walls of the hall are adorned by life-size beautiful paintings with vibrant and lively colours. Some are abstract, some are landscapes while some are portraits of beautiful women in traditional Indian attires and jewellery.
For some time, I stroll along the walls, agape, scrutinizing each beautiful piece of art.
I bump into someone as I walk with my eyes focused on a vivid painting of an aerial view of Santorini.
“Sorry. I am so sorry,” the guy I bumped into apologizes profusely.
I look up at him.
He is a handsome man, probably younger than me. He looks slightly out of place in his crisp black formal suit complete with a bright magenta tie.
“No, I am sorry, I guess,” I say, finding it hard to take my eyes away from his chiselled face.
“Viraj”, he smiles, extending a hand forwards, his smile genuine and friendly.
“Myra,” I smile back, shaking his hand, feeling his firm grip against my soft skin.
“I am the manager who oversees these exhibitions,” he says, indicating the room around us. That explains his formal attire.
“Well, that’s kind of an interesting job,” I laugh, imagining how nice it would be to host such events for a livelihood.
“And you?” he asks as we start walking further down the hall, “are you an artist?”
“No way, but I do have an eye for art,” I say.
‘No, I am not even interested in art, I am just stalking my ex and his new girlfriend’ would be a terrible way to introduce myself.
“That in itself is something,” he smiles.
“Well, I do have a job by the way, but it is not as interesting as yours,” I reply and we both laugh some more.
“What the hell are you doing here?” booms a loud voice from behind me, breaking our moment.
Alarmed, I turn back to find myself face to face with Anish, who looks at me with such hatred that I have no doubt he would throttle me then and there if there was no law against it. Madhumita, clad in a bottle green sleeveless jumpsuit with frilly margins, face smeared in buckets of makeup, stands behind him, seething.
“I am here with a friend. And it’s none of your business what I do and where I go,” I say defiantly, though I realize my tone is not as confident as I will it to be.
“I have warned you twice before, stop stalking us, or I will get a restraining order against you,” Anish says with gritted teeth.
I feel suddenly faint. As if someone is slowly snatching the floor beneath my feet. The feeling we get when we stand in the seawater dancing to and fro at the beach and the sand begins to slip beneath our soles as the water recedes, before it can come back again in the form of a new wave.
“I am not stalking you. I am living my own life,” I say, my voice growing fainter. “Please don’t make a scene, at least in front of my friend here,” I say, suddenly aware of what Viraj must be thinking about this conversation.
“What friend? You are here because Madhu posted about it on Facebook. You have no friends. All you are is a psycho who needs to be locked up in a mental facility,” Anish bellows.
I feel my eyes stinging as my vision gets blurred by the onslaught of tears.
“Please let us be, and go, get a life,” he adds, before storming off, with Madhumita in his wake.
I turn around, wondering how to explain what happened to Viraj, but he is nowhere to be seen.