The first time I saw her, I hardly gave her a second glance. There was nothing special about her, other than the fact that she was older than the rest of the girls. Not that I looked closely at any of them, I was too nervous. As days passed, so did my brazenness. I was a respected office going man by morning but by night you would find me frequenting that shady street. Or more particularly, that house on the corner which was filled with men only at nights.
Why did I go there? I was not desperate for sex. In fact, I could easily go out on dates and find myself a good girlfriend if I wanted. But I didn't want companionship, neither did I want to open up to another woman. Not after her. Not after Bhairavi.
Bhairavi. Love of my life. If the tales are to be believed and if there is only one soul mate for each of us, then she was mine. I had loved her for a long time and she had loved me back too. But when it came down to the matter of spending the rest of our lives together, practicalities got in. Pleasing the society was the norm and who were we to rebel? We let each other go.
The regrets started creeping in slowly. A slip of tongue by a friend. Bhairavi was expecting. She had given birth. A photograph of a proud husband with his arms around her and their child. Her looking back adoringly at him. Then came the rage. Directed towards her, at myself, at life. And finally after many years, came the acceptance. And then, of course, these night visits.
The woman didn't look like my Bhairavi. In fact, she was the opposite. Where Bhairavi was soft spoken and of gentle demeanor, this one had a crass mouth, wide hips and wild hair. It was later that I found out that she was a mother too. The night I paid for her, I asked her to hold me in her arms. I traced the silver stretch marks on her belly. Like bolts of lightning. She seemed taken back, but said nothing. I didn't want sex from her. I just wanted to be held. And maybe those memories of long back may decide to pay me a visit.
"Don't you at least want to know my name?" she asked me finally, looking bewildered.
"Bhairavi..." I whispered in her ears before crushing my face inside her hair.
Linking this post to the A to Z Challenge.