I sit on the bed awaiting her arrival. I feel completely exhausted, it had been a very long day. I never expected the marriage ceremony to be so exhaustive.
Also his presence during the marriage…
I could feel his sad heart, his crying soul right through his eyes. I knew him too well, he can’t hide his feelings from me.
I look around my room, where I have never been. It is a small room. Other than a steel cupboard, the bed and a small table, there wasn’t much in the place. I look at the bed. It’s a new bed, purchased for this occasion. It had a new bed cover with some flowers spread on it. As I had insisted on less decoration, they had limited to few flowers on the bed.
I hear the noise outside the door. People speaking in soft voices and suppressed giggles.
The door opens, and she enters inside.
I was surprised to see that she was not in a silk saree and she wasn’t carrying a glass in her hand. Wasn’t she supposed to bring a glass of milk and be clad in a heavy silk saree? This is what our Indian heroines do in the first night scene.
‘Hi’ she smiles
‘Hey… Hi’ i manage a weak smile.
She walks towards the bed and stops at the other corner. I look at her. She has removed all the heavy make up she had applied for the reception function. There was a light tint of powder on her face and a fresh layer of lipstick.
She smiles, and I blush with embarrassment and lower my stare.
‘You look tired’ she says.
‘Oh yeah…yes, the day was very exhausting. You know.. too many people to talk, too many new faces, too much of heat.’ I tell her without lifting my eyes.
‘Oh yes, I’m drained too. I don’t remember any of your friend’s name. But there weren’t many, right?’ She asks
Yes, there weren’t many but only one. He was all the friend I had, but u will never know him. You will never be introduced to him.
‘Oh I’m sorry, Yes, there weren’t many.’
‘Why? huh …well you know today is Wednesday, many would have gone to work’.
‘Am I going to stand all night’? She asks innocently
‘Oh I’m sorry please… please sit’. I move to the other end of the bed totally shocked by her sudden shift of topic.
She sits on the other corner. She stares at my face. Is she waiting for me to say something or is she waiting for me to make a move? Do I have to? God this is so new to me, so alien to me.
She rises from the bed. ‘I need to change my dress, I will be back in a few minutes.’ She walks towards the bathroom without waiting for my reply.
I start wondering how is she going to come back? Is she going to change to a new saree or something more comfortable? My heart starts beating fast. My palms are moist with sweat…
She doesn’t keep me wondering for a long time – she comes out in a pink colored nightie.
She looks more young and fresh in her new attire.
I should tell her now, this is the right time to say to her. There is no point in keeping her in the dark.
‘See… I want to tell you something’ I mutter those words hesitantly
‘Yes?’ she comes and sits on the bed.
‘Well, what I want to say is, that we, that is we, we…’, words fight with each other. I look at her. Her face doesn’t show any expression.
‘I feel that we both are too tired today to do… mmmm anything. Why don’t we sleep and you know we can talk tomorrow?’
Words come in a full rush as If they had been waiting for a barrier to break down. I look at her face. Her face is as expressionless as before. No traces of disappointment nor acceptance.
‘No problem, even I wanted to suggest that’ she gives that sweet smile again.
‘Do you want to sleep now?’ I ask her hurriedly hoping and praying for her to say yes.
‘Sure…what about you’?? she asks me.
‘Yes, I need to sleep too.’
She gets up from the bed. She carefully removes the flowers and puts them on the table beside. She drinks water from the glass.
‘Ok, good night’ she lies down almost at the corner of the bed.
‘Good night. Shall I switch off the light?’ I ask her.
‘Yes, if you want to.
For the first time that night I rise from the bed. I turn off the light. The room gets totally dark. Except for a thin beam of light that was oozing through the small gap between the closed window, there wasn’t any light in the room. I stand there to get adjusted to the darkness. Slowly things become clearer. I can see the bed now.
I walk towards it. I want to remove my shirt. I never had slept in my shirt… but I had never been shirtless in the presence of a girl. I lie down on the other corner of the bed. I look at her. She is lying with her back to me.
Oh this lady, this beautiful young lady is my wife-the feeling brings a lump in my throat. Today is our first night. We are supposed to talk to each other, get introduced to each other emotionally, intellectually, physically. But what’s happening here?
We are lying like two strangers on the same compartment of a train. Her presence has not stirred anything in me. I don’t feel like touching her, holding her. I don’t have the slightest urge to do so… but… but… have I ever been without touching him whenever we were together?
His thoughts rush into my heart and tears rush into my eyes…
I miss him, I miss him too much.
I miss him. I miss his smile, his hug, his presence, his life. I have to talk to him, explain to him all that’s happening. I have so much to say. But he will not speak to me again. I know that he will never talk to me again.
Oh, God… Oh God, what have I done to myself? Why I have to go through all is? Why all this pretense, cowardice?
What am I trying to prove? Whom am I thinking to satisfy? When I’m unable to satisfy the physical needs of my wife, when I m unable to get my physical, emotional needs met, why I should care about others?
Why didn’t I think about these before, yesterday, today morning? No… it’s not that I didn’t know it’s just that I didn’t want to think… I assumed that everything will be fine. I assumed sex to be a natural extension of marriage.
NO its not, now I’m here lying beside a beautiful woman, my wife, without touching her, without appreciating her beauty-a beauty that has been wasted in marriage to a… to a gay man… to a gay man, gay man.
Yes, I’m gay, I’m gay, I’m gay, not bisexual, I’m not straight, I’m gay, I’m gay.
The realization hits me hard. I couldn’t lie down anymore. I rise from the bed. She’s fast asleep, I can see her breathing softly.
I walk towards the window.
I’m gay, what am I going to do now? Where can I go now? Should I wake up and tell this girl ‘hey get up …I just realised I’m gay’… I feel like laughing but instead, tears roll down my eyes. What a fool I am?
How am I going to spend the rest of my life with this girl ? Spend my life without him? Should every night be spent in this fashion?
I open the windows. The hot Manipal breeze engulfs me…
I’m unable to see anything
Its dark everywhere….its totally dark.
I stare at the darkness
I stare at the reflection of my life…..