I run a rosary in my gnarled fingers at peace with my aloneness. Then I hear it–my bane, the jingle of bangles and anklets.
Vexed, I grit my teeth.
Why does she wear the abomination? Of course, I know the reason–the custom. She still has a husband.
I picture her in my mind–standing in the kitchen, face glowing after a night full of love, in a saree of red… green… yellow… It was me many years back. Now white and cream mark the end of my rainbow.
Bile rises in my throat.
She hums a song I have loved all my life–it speaks of hope and love that I once had.
I crush the rosary in a death grip.
She drops something trivial and I lose it. I shout abuses at her and curse my stars for wedding her to my son. I shout until I’m hoarse and can shout no more. I shout until she’s in tears and smiles no more.
Placated, again, I hold my rosary to look for that elusive peace. Sure there will be hell to pay later, literally. But life isn’t exactly heaven for the likes of me.