(As published in e fiction india)
“I’ll see you at 8.”
“Don’t be late.”
“I love you”. She smiled as she hung up the phone.
Every time she said the word love, her stomach churned as if a thousand butterflies unsettled. It was the first time she was saying these words to anyone. In all the 24 years of her life, she never thought she would be able to trust someone or to love someone or to touch someone, and then a few months ago, he came into her life and along with him he brought love, trust, and confidence- words she had forgotten a long time ago. She looked at the watch: 6 P.M. “Two more hours” She walked towards the bathroom, with a limp in her right leg.
She turned the hot water tap of the bathtub and stood in front of the full-length mirror and slowly removed her bathrobe to look at her naked body. She looked at the beautiful girl in the mirror, raven black hair tied to form a ponytail, round childlike face adorned with brown eyes, eyes like a doe: big, beautiful and nervous. Her full bow-shaped lips let a small shy smile escape, as she thought about her date tonight. It was time, time to take their relationship to next level, and she was sure of that. Soon, the thought dawned on her that it would be the first time she would be showing her naked body to anyone. She started to see her body from a lover’s eyes, her gaze followed the curves of her body reassuring her that it was a desirable body, to her big round boobs converging to form a dark untouched nipple, to her flat belly, to her neatly trimmed love bush, the name she preferred, to her slender long thighs. Unknowingly she was blushing looking at her naked body when her gaze fell on her right leg and she frowned; Red faded to pale.
When she was a child, the growth of one of the leg was lesser than the other. A disorder, that made her limp towards the right side while walking, which was the cause of all her problems: both physical and psychological. She looked away instantly and limped to the bathtub, submerged herself in the soapy water and closed her eyes. Today, nothing could bring her spirits down, she reminded herself. She thought about her boyfriend and her date tonight and the first sexual experience which she was going to have. But was it the first sexual encounter? Her mind drifted to the darker parts of her memories.
When she was young, the growth of her weak leg caused her excruciating physical pain which confined her to bed, most of the times. She flinched her teeth at the thought of the pain. As both of her parents were working, she was attended at all times by their male servant. The thought of him ran fear down her spine. Her body trembled with hatred or the cold water of the bathtub. She was seven years old when he stripped her naked for the first time. He told her that it was a game they were playing. She was in silent tears and afraid when he touched her naked body. He warned her that if she told anyone about their game, he would do the same to her elder sister. She cried whole night but said nothing to anyone. Her parents couldn’t differentiate the tears of their molested daughter from physical pain. Day after day, week after week, month after month, for three years he played this game with her, improvising every day. She cried every night for the first month but time dried her tears. Impassiveness took the place of fear. Detached from her body and oblivious from his actions, she would play the lifeless doll for him. There was a lizard on the roof, she remembered vividly, it was the mute witness of the crime, and it would come out every time he came to her room to play. She focused her unwavering gaze at the reptile, when he took off her clothes, when he hugged her naked body, kissed her tiny lips, held out his penis in her hand or her mouth. For three years she watched the lizard with her lifeless stoic eyes. The three somber years eclipsed every happiness of her life. She could never trust, love nor kiss anyone. She shook her head and cleared the somber specter of her past. Nothing can break her spirit today, she reminded herself.
Inebriated on red wine, she was looking at his beautiful black eyes as he was talking about something unimportant, moving his hand gently on her thigh. The wave of desire building in her eyes with every touch of his hand. As his hand slid up the smooth skin of her thigh to touch her panties, she closed her eyes with a huge gasp of air or desire. His touch trembled her body with a desire, hitherto unknown. He drew himself closer to her and kissed her, sweetness poured into her mouth as the lips melted in the heat of their desires. All the thoughts in her head vanished, all her senses benumbed, all she could feel was the touch of his hand and the intermittent exhalation. A strange kind of feeling was growing inside her, a feeling not unlike getting heavily intoxicated. She opened her eyes for a second to look at her lover. She saw the lizard on the wall behind him. Her eyes opened and closed with every touch of her lover’s fingers on her wet panties and to her shock the size of the lizard kept on increasing with the desire in her heart. She was now paralyzed with fear, her eyes fixated on the lizard which was now the size of a rabbit, as he removed clothes from her body. She was gasping for air when he started to kiss her again. Once more she opened her eyes and the lizard had grown to the size of a man that was walking towards her naked body. She closed her eyes tight. She felt slimy skin touch her skin; she felt the long tongue wetting her neck. She wanted to scream but her voice betrayed her, she had silenced that a long time ago. Traumatized, she tried to get away from her tormentor but she couldn’t get away from the strong hold of his body. Her every resistance, made him tighten his grip. Tears started to roll down her face as her voice came to her in screams. But the lizard didn’t stop. It tormented and engulfed her into the black depths of the same eyes she’d stare into as a child. And suddenly, she was there again. Being a body and the wall a pair of eyes.