Crawling in the Dark

She looked at herself in the mirror, the umpteenth time. It didn’t seem to change no matter how hard she tried to look at herself from different angles. Yet, again she thought to herself, “I’ll come again after sometime, who knows I might see a miracle…”. She walked to the kitchen counter and had a glass of water, again. She gulped down the whole glass in one go. She felt a bit cooler on the insides still her face felt hot. Hot and burning. Her eyes welled up, for she couldn’t bear the burning sensation on her face.

***

She dragged herself back to the mirror, from where she had left. “why me…of all people?” the bare walls didn’t answer her back. “WHY??” she screamed at top of her voice, so loud that her throat ached. Coughing hard, she dropped on her knees and rolled on the floor. Thoughts howling inside her mind, tears streamed down, making their way to the floor and with that, she fell asleep as the darkness swallowed her in.

***

She woke up with a start to the ring of the telephone. Unwilling to answer it, she turned her face away and covered her ears to keep the sound of the ring away from her painful ears. After the ringing stopped, she decided to check the caller and not much to her surprise, it was her mother calling her for the zillionth time. Nobody is ever going to understand my pain… she thought to herself and again went to the mirror. It was dark, the sun has set, the feeling of hunger long forgotten. She turned on the light beside the mirror. The golden light hit her face, the face looked the same, only worse. She winced, raised her trembling hands to her face. She touched the burns, it felt real. She was feeling like the skin of her face was stripped off and sprinkled with chilli powder. It was no nightmare, it was real. She wished the incident to be all a nightmare and she would wake up with the same face, with no pain. But life provided no undo button. With that memory reeling in her mind again and again she curled up into a ball covered herself completely to feel safe and drifted off to sleep …

~It was around 2.30pm, she was walking down an empty street when two people came in a bike and emptied the syringe of liquid on her face. At first, she felt like a prank on her, the liquid felt cold. After a while the cold liquid became hotter, it seeped into her skin and she felt like her skin was melting away…

She woke up, sweating. Her heart was hammering inside her chest. She re-lives the memory every night.

***

The life of an acid-attack victim is not healed after plastic surgery or costly medications. Nothing can take the memory, scars and pain away.


~pritu

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