She glanced at her reflection in the broken mirror and was happy with what she saw. She was looking as elegant as possible in those old faded clothes and cheap makeup. She usually wore bright,raunchy dresses.But not today!

She carefully pinned-in a daisy in her hair. She would have preferred a garland of jasmine.But he hated the smell of jasmines.And today she would do everything the way he likes.

She slowly rubbed away the excess lipstick from the corner of her mouth. ‘Was it a little too red?’ ,she wondered.He disliked anything intense- bright colors, strong fragrance, loud laughter,uncontrolled emotions and sometimes even the passion with which they made love.May be love was indeed blind! Why else did she fall for a man so ruthless? Could she ever win his love, his respect?

Today there won’t be any mistakes. Today was going to be the day.Today she would tell him what she always wanted to say.

Why him? She had often wondered. She always had lovers,different kinds of them- crazy ones, passionate ones,emotional ones;some of them powerful,shielding her in their strong arms;some of them soft and weak, needing her shoulder to cry on;some of them rich enough to gift her with expensive jewels, some others who lived off the grants that she had graciously lent. But they remained mere companions, nothing more,nothing less. Her heart was numb every time she opened wide the doors of her room for those men. Even when she had faked the groans of pleasure or acted weak in love  just to massage their fat egos, deep within she was always withdrawn.Yes, she was promised life long commitments, a few of them had even begged her to stay . But she had only laughed them off. All she wanted was to be free of any bonds. She was happy that way.

But with him it was different.She no longer wanted to fly alone.She wanted to be chained to him.She longed to remain a prisoner of  his love.She desired to belong to him for ever.She wanted him to need her the way she had begun to need him.

A soft knock on her door woke her up from her thoughts. She smiled to herself and looked back into the mirror.Her heart was beating faster as she opened the door. He looked as ruffled and unkempt as ever. He smelled of cigarette and stale beer.Did he notice the blush in her cheeks, did he feel her quickened pulse? Did he see how she had dressed up for him?

May be not, for his eyes never stayed on her for more than the fraction of a second.He switched off the lights as he yanked her closer.And later when he shivered in delight and whispered someone else’s name in her ears, she as usual pretended to not hear . But he then tossed her aside, calling her a cheap whore. As his soft snoring filled her room, she wished she had wore brighter clothes and the garland of jasmine around her braids, just the way she liked.It was the only thing she regretted.


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