Saturday, May 07, 2011
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players"
The teacher's voice comes muffled to her ears, mingled with multiple different threads of thoughts. She sees class 8A going to the playground in a queue. Her best friend winks at her from outside the window and mouths 'Games' explaining the cause of her imminent freedom from the classroom. She acknowledges the unsolicited information and turns back, to look at the Lesson board, which announces the Chemistry class topic 'Polymorphism', many forms. She wonders if tonight will be different. Or will something she says get on her mother's nerves again. Last week, she mentioned how funny someone's dad is, and it went really ugly. She had to pick the pieces of the shattered china and give her the blood pressure medicines before she could run to her room and cry her heart out. She deflects the thoughts. Turns it to when her mom wakes her up in the mornings and apologizes with genuine tears. Her throat chokes, and blood gushes at the recollection, its like a craving for something you really really want, something that makes you so happy, it embarrasses you. All she does in those moments is smile. Too much articulation is not a convention in their relationship. Her mind soon roves to that first night, when she saw her, tipsy stepped, smudged make-up, getting down from his car. He helped her in and sat her on the couch, all the time ignoring that there was someone else, wide-eyed, terrified, confused, standing in the room. She hated him, she hated that woman on the couch, laughing the saddest possible laugh, looking at her through the most helpless and disappointed eyes.The next morning, she lay in bed expecting her to come in and try to make up for the night, but she didn't come. Instead, that morning, she was at her best fake happiness, wearing a mask of unshakeable confidence to disguise her haunted conscience. At her polymorphic best. Many forms. "Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation". She wonders what Shakespeare's life would have been like, for him to gain this enviable talent. She envies the ability of expression. She envies the other girls of the class who are always so glib and smooth, and who laugh so easily. She wonders if her hair is frizzy again. She wonders if tonight, she'll again dream of her father, throwing her little self up in the air on a golden afternoon amidst mustard fields. She wonders if this time he will finally be able to catch her back, or if the dream will again end in free fall.
Thanks to Carry On Tuesday for the wonderfully inspiring prompt that made the story happen.