‘In a heartbeat.’ A voice reverberated in my ears as he tried to push his hands inside my dress. I could feel his warm breath as he nuzzled my neck. I closed my eyes.
‘In a heartbeat’ - an echo.
His lips were on mine, hands caressing my hair. My eyes closed again. ‘Being around you is like walking on a double edged sword. You know me, without me saying much. That makes me feel vulnerable. Raw. You read me. Sometimes I am afraid to even think in front of you fearing you would read my thoughts. And I reprimand myself into staying away from you. But then, isn’t it wonderful to have at least one person in the world who understands without saying? That’s why you are the double edged sword’. My own words, coming from a lifetime ago that I had said to somebody.
‘All good?’ Rohan asked looking at me intently.
‘Yes’ I replied, running my fingers in his hair and pulling him closer to me.
Respond. I told myself. The body obeyed. While the heart sat there wearing a look swinging between sarcasm and disdain. I felt like a leaf that had detached from its tree and continued to sway in the direction the wind took it. I continued functioning the way I was supposed to. Work. Cook. Travel. Laugh. Like a functioning adult. The leaf missed its tree and I missed my soul.
‘In a heartbeat’. A voice. And then a jolt.
I felt my dress being removed over my head. His hands on an exploration spree. I tried to close my eyes and concentrate on reality. Although it felt as if I was seeing everything from a glass case as a third person. Refusing to feel anything and let anything affect me. Because I was inside that glass case. Nobody could see through it. Except that somebody. ‘In a heartbeat’ - that somebody had said. That somebody with whom I shared my brokenness and whatever little wholeness was left inside me. That somebody who was my best friend but who had a best friend which wasn’t me.
He entered. I sighed. Mind fogged up and numbness took over. In the heart. The body responded though. He was happy seeing the body respond. Because he never noticed anything else. I don’t know how much time passed. The only thing that burned my ears throughout was a voice and his words.
Rohan slept with his breath on my naked back and I lay awake with my thoughts. I had no clue how and why did I get into this relationship. But could you call it a relationship when the only thing both of you shared was the bed? When neither he nor you cared what you were going through? I tried to sleep.
‘If I was with you, would you have found out that I wasn’t feeling anything; that my heart wasn’t into it? I had asked somebody after telling him how empty I felt after I was touched by Rohan the first time and every time after that.
‘In a heartbeat’, he had said looking straight into my eyes in a voice that had haunted me since then. The sword put a gash where it hurt the most, where it was going to hurt the most. That was the last time I saw him.