Stranger

EDITOR: Aditya Prakash Singh

There are certain moments in your life where you witness things happening, situations unravelling and there’s always an inexplicable feeling inside of you. A voice at the back of your head, a second person residing inside, much more rational than you, always chiming at the right time, always being so protective of you, your very own best friend. No wonder you don’t ever listen to it. Ever.

You throw caution to the wind, you want to risk it for the biscuit.

However, by the time you realise what a huge mistake that one leap of faith was, it’s already too late. You could justify it with excuses, reasons; that you were intoxicated under the stars and the moon, the timings was such, it was the planetary alignment. But, in reality, it wasn’t that at all. It was a need or rather an urge to be wanted.

Who doesn’t like that?

Who doesn’t like to be an object of affection, being told how much they are liked and valued, being put up on a pedestal, who doesn’t?

That voice warns you again, to be smart, to be careful. But, you fight with it, you argue. You tell her that she’s being silly, that you are being safe, it’s safe.

Slowly, without you realising, the impenetrable fortress of a house that you constructed with absolute and utmost care, gets breached. You wonder. Why? How?

It was that one stupid leap of faith, silly girl, of you choosing to ignore the voice in favour of giving it a shot.

Guess what’s it cost you?

* * *

That exquisite house painted blue with the twin wooden doors and the intricate design, and the plush sofa, with that reading corner, tucked behind the curtains of the first floor from where you watched the clouds cry with a book in your hand. Your safe house, the only place you could be vulnerable and insecure and have breakdowns without anyone seeing or judging the cuts and the scratches on the walls has become a prison now. Every room, every corner reminds you of the mistake you made of letting a stranger in.

And it all began under the stars, on the sand.

You both had drinks under the stars, you guys talked and connected. Then there was this dance and of course, it was a total extravaganza. But, you both knew in your hearts that it was doomed. This union was a cursed one.

Or was it? Could it have been saved?

It began all hunky dory, everyone was on cloud nine, you were kind of happy or maybe, even content, in ways you never thought were possible. Of course, the red flags were waving furiously, sirens were blaring, the inner voice was screaming. But, you couldn’t be bothered with all of that so you chose to ignore all of the signs and brushed them under the rug.

You both had demons, you invited him with his inside your house graciously, made them both comfortable and gave them coffee. Even though you didn’t give him the key, not yet, you did, however, let him in. Let him in for more than just a glimpse of your house’s living room; he saw the marks on your house’s wall and like a gentleman, he made you promise never to do that again. The days became weeks, weeks became months, this person who had seen and stayed in your house had surreptitiously made a copy of the house key. He never once invited you to his, every mention of his house had him shooting you down. He didn’t know, he said. He never did.

Months went by, the voice was still there albeit feeble, telling you there’s still time. Something came over you, you asked him about his house, his key and he said it’s too much effort to give it to you. That was when you finally snapped. Anger made you do what caution couldn’t.

You wanted him out, him, his belongings, everything. Out.

And out he went, with him, his belongings, it took months for him to completely be gone. He still visited occasionally, the time between the visits becoming longer and longer, him becoming a stranger again.

Finally, he left. Hopefully, forever. But, that house, your fortress.

* * *

That exquisite house painted blue with the twin wooden doors and the intricate design, and the plush sofa, with that reading corner, tucked behind the curtains of the first floor from where you watched the rain with a book in your hand; it doesn’t feel safe anymore. You don’t ever want to step foot in it. It feels like a weed has grown all around it, squeezing it, watered by your tears.

That house seems like a trap, every room, every corner, you find an imprint rather an opening, opening to all of those times. You can’t run away, this is your home. YOURS.

But, now, you feel like a prisoner.
You repaint it, you renovate but nothing changes.
What do you do? Where do you go?

* * *

What should I do? Where should I go?

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