She still held the phone receiver between her ear and shoulder when her cousin came to retrieve it. She wondered if she should wash away the Henna to free her hands…mind…heart…
What did she care if the color wasn’t right? It won’t help anything now.
She tried to come up with the best way to break the news. Thoughts failed her. Her father had just undergone heart surgery and her mother’s blood pressure…Panic constricted her throat.
What if they blame her for not handling the relation properly? No doubt, they would ask why she never spoke about the ongoing issues before. So many times, she swore by his love. Every day, she lied through her teeth about their supposed daily calls. The other day, when her mother had asked why she was binge eating, she had laughed it off, saying he liked women with ‘substance’.
She wondered why she hid it then. Was it the shame? Pain? Denial?
Now, the day before engagement, she must tell them that he has called it off; that he tried loving her but failed; that he couldn’t bear to live the rest of his life with someone like her; that she begged him to reconsider but he disconnected the call…
She walked to her family, unaware of the free-falling tears blurring her sight. They looked up with concern.
All she managed to say was, “He called it off…”
They let out a sigh of relief.
Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash