Quiet and distant, a piano playing a forlorn tune was all she could hear in that cold haunting night; standing still before the wall-sized mirror in her small murky dorm room, numb in feet, pale in cheeks, dreary eyes were screaming the lingering thoughts freezing her brain and rusting her aching bones. “It hurts like hell.” She winced as she touched her abdomen under her grey sweat shirt. Slightly, lifting the shirt up, she peeked at those rosy cold sores appearing to be bite marks. ‘Animals, hunh? What’s an animal but a state of mind that can dawn on anyone anywhere’, she kept looking at the reflection of the brutality on her lean stomach. ‘More like shape-shifters or werewolves on the verge of snapping and losing traces of overrated humanity, they bite you, calling you slut and spitting on the floor.’ She sighed a dead desolate sigh. She was not in any brothel whining over the cruelty of her daily customers. She despised even the thought of that. ‘It hurts like hell. It hurts everywhere.’
She was more like a mature woman with a bigger bust than usual 25 year old girls around, a deeper mind that thought with logic, and a generous heart that forgave all. She had recently moved to the downtown from suburbs, all alone, with a few belongings and a lot of self-esteem. After spending all her savings in a month and trying luck at every reasonable job opening, she had settled for working at a pet store. She worked all day, 9 hours, cleaning and keeping the pets, while the other staff dealt with the customers. ‘I wanted to be a lecturer’, she once told her colleague there, who found her nothing but deranged, blabbering nonsensically.
It’d been 3 years living in that dorm room and working at the pet store with no chances of luck turning any sooner. And just like that, she had started accepting the reality and focusing on other important things in life, like, Happiness and Love. Having big dark brown eyes, freakishly tall legs and long brown hair, she was easy to be liked and admired by many around. However, she could never seem to overcome her one flaw. She was innately, irrevocably naïve. She thought she could read faces and had a sixth sense, but all she knew was what she saw. And she just saw peace, love, care and hope, people taking care of each other, with no ulterior motives whatsoever. How foolish, how simple she was. She’d loved thrice and loved mad. She survived all and yet she perished.
It was that very night when piano played a forsaken tune that she realized she had died inside. She could still see all those scenes flashing before her off sequence. She begging for life. He jolting her knee while she dragging herself away from him. She wasn’t raped in body, she was raped in heart, mind and soul in the worst possible way by her third lover. She had fled from the open door when he turned to grab the empty vodka bottle to kill her. She was crying hysterically while running her wits off on that deserted road, gasping for air, struggling her brain from passing out.
Her feet bled, her check sweats were torn from places. Her grey sweat shirt was drenched in sweat and blood oozing from her head. It was subzero and cold was sliding through her, but she did not have anything on except her usual. She kept running for life until she entered her dorm room in a huge building next to the abandoned old church. She had locked the door behind her, shaking disruptively, her insides seemed twisted and had moved inches from their places seemingly. She fell on the ice-cold floor battling for breath, and in next second, she passed out and stayed so for next two hours.
A loud knock on the door startled her back into senses. She got up next instant and fell in her feet again, she cried again and called out for her mother. The only soul who loved her back. ‘I shouldn’t have left her. I shouldn’t have left my mom. I lost the only love I had, her love. Her unconditional love.’ She sobbed heavily and kept wailing while covering her stinging self in her thin blanket. She stayed like that for another two hours, sleep-talking and crying and sighing.
During that unhinged state of sleep and awake, she heard all of them, everyone she ever loved, friends, family, and lovers, all were repeating the same words. ‘YOU ARE UNCHASTE. YOU ARE A WHORE.’ She could now see their faces, full of hatred, leaving her tearful with every word: ‘YOU ARE UNCHASTE. YOU ARE A WHORE!’ ‘NO!’ She woke up sniveling in pain. ‘I AM NOT A WHORE. NO. PLEASE. NO’. She was so hurt, she could feel her bones cracking under her flesh.
She was now before the wall-sized mirror in her room, staring at her appalling reflection with stone lifeless eyes. ‘I loved and I loved and I lost you, my chaste self.’ ‘I lost you to the love that never loved you. I lost you to the world that never cared for you. I loved and I loved and I lost you. And it hurts like hell.’ She looked at her reflection one last time and smiled before giving in to death. And she died before dawn.