Verse: He left.

                                                        (Image source)

He left without goodbye,
picked up his bags, left a note,
while she was still serving diners
at the Seven-Eleven,
two blocks down the road.
She arrived exhausted,
with flowers for his birthday,
couldn’t find the vase
which he had packed with him
when he’d cleared his life
out of their home of two years.
She tried his phone.
It rang and rang and went to voicemail,
playing his – ‘leave a message’
in his old voice –
the one she knew,
the one he’d forgotten.
He heard the silent phone rings
as he waited for the tube to the next city,
fingers hovering over the ‘Receive’ button,
he debated.
She made dinner,
arranged for his favourite movie
and the big surprise waiting in the bedroom.
All the while she tried his phone,
not knowing that it was
ringing in the dustbin,
of a subway,

ten kms from her kitchen.

Leftovers.

She smelled of sex. Under her fingernails, in her hair, between her legs – there were pieces of him stuck on her, in her, within her. It pleased her. Pleased her to know that he would somehow, in someway, always be attached to her.

She watched him in the doorway. Bare-bodied, except for the trouser leg he had slid his left leg in. That leg which precisely seven minutes before was straddling her. There went the other leg now. The one around which her leg had curved. He was beautiful. Even in the dim light that seeped from under the door of the apartment next door, he was beautiful. So beautiful it made her heart ache. And race, knowing that the beautiful boy had been hers moments ago.  

She watched him pick his shirt off the floor. Watched as he threw it across his shoulders and threw a glance at her.  She smiled at him, willing those amber eyes to look at her and smile. Smile the way they had when his lips had spelt out the you’re beautifuls, as his hands explored her everywhere else.

His eyes didn’t reach her face. They reached her legs, the bare skin that slid from under the rumpled purple sheets, goose-pimpled from the rush of the sex. He savoured the sight of the slim, wrinkle-less leg and remembered himself in university. Him and Maya.  Squeezing knees under the desk in anthropology class, sneaking kisses behind her parents’ back during Diwali – married within 10 months of graduation, they couldn’t live without each other.

He watched her on the bed and remembered Maya on the first night they’d made love – the night of her birthday eve, two weeks since they’d started dating. Maya astonished him, everyday, every moment that she was with him. He remembered making promises that night, promises of getting out of their small hick town, backpacking around the world, writing movie scripts. Now, three years of marriage later, with an 18 month old baby on the back, they’d run out of words to say, run out of love to make.  The very vivacious Maya that had fascinated him, now filled him with dread, of endless tirades about there being not enough, of him not doing enough. He watched the girl on the bed and wondered what it would be like to take her home with him.

She wondered how long he would take. He’d told her he would be back in an hour. He had some things to take care of, but he would be back. She wanted to believe him, wanted to hope that he could be hers for more than an evening, but she remembered how he’d taken his things as he’d said that, cleared her apartment of all his leftovers. She lit a Marlboro and watched the smoke drift towards the window, out of it and sail to the moon.

There was a party two blocks down. A party she was invited to. Wahab Nishat’s party. Wahab, who she’d known since school. Wahab who sent her a rose, accompanied with a poem, every Valentine’s Day, no matter where she was. Wahab, who said he loved her.  Wahab who said he’d bring her the world.

She glanced over at the door. It was slightly ajar from where he’d walked out. She did not get up to shut it. Maybe he would come back. Maybe he wouldn’t. Still, she didn’t put her shirt back on.  She lit another cigarette and waited.

He sat with a steaming mug of coffee, at a bistro, two blocks from her apartment. It had been ten minutes that he’d stepped out, ten minutes that he’d been thinking about her. He could hear the Black Eyed Peas streaming out of the house next to where he was sitting. Four college kids were standing in the balcony, beer cans strewn around their feet. He’d told the girl that he would go back. He wanted to, but sometimes want wasn’t enough. Like it wasn’t enough just to be married. Maya always told him that. The same Maya who’d told him three years back that he was enough.  Told him that he was all she needed.

He thought of the girl he’d left at the apartment, imagined her waiting for him and felt his legs lift him from the chair. She was so young it made his heart ache. He wouldn’t be that young again. Maya wouldn’t be that young again. But being with the girl made him feel young, even if it was fleeting, even it was just his brain playing tricks. He could still see her apartment. He could go back in. He could.

His phone rang.

“The movers just called. They’ll be taking the furniture away tomorrow morning.”

In three days he’d be 2020kms across the country. Him, Maya and the kid. Maya said it was a chance at starting over. He sometimes wanted to ask start over what? Could they rewind back their lives and be 20 again, conquer the world together like they’d planned to? Could they make love again like nobody’s business without worrying about waking up the kid?

He put down his mug and spilled coffee over his wrist. He took out his handkerchief and a slip of paper fell out. Fuchsia coloured and scribbled across in black ink. Her phone number. He didn’t notice it fall. He didn’t notice it flutter upon the pavement near his feet, before a gust of wind from a passing car blew it into the wind and lodged it into the cart of an ice-cream vendor.

He held the phone between his ear and his shoulder as he wiped the coffee off his wrist. 
“Hey Maya,” he said. “Lets go out for dinner tonight.”

In Which I Talk About Being An Epic Fail

If you’re still reading this blog, I want to hug you. I realise you wouldn’t want to hug back, cos I’ve been a terrible blogger. Erratic posts, months of neglect, you know what I mean. I don’t really have to emphasize. But, YOU – deserve a hug of appreciation.

Thing is, I don’t even have an excuse for this.
I can’t tell you that I’ve been awfully busy or that something terrible happened that kept me away from the virtual world because it’s not true. My life hasn’t been tough. On the contrary it’s been rather pleasant. Except for the fact that I’ve been sick for a week, I’ve been…almost happy. And this isn’t about a week-long illness. This blog-neglect thing has been building up for months now. Almost 6 months into the year and I have an embarrassing number of posts to show for it.
The cause? I’ll get back to you on that when I find out.
All I do know, is that somehow that drive is gone. (Doesn’t it feel like a pity party already?)
I’ve been an erratic blogger, to the point where sometimes the whole blogging thing has started to feel like a chore. When it’s really not. I mean, nobody ever forced me into this thing. Yes, I do have author/publisher review requests waiting for me, but they only send them ‘cos they know I love doing it and I’ve asked for it. Not like I’m being force-fed it.
My reading count has gone down. It’s like I’ve hit the lowest of the lows since I was, I don’t know, 9 years old.  I planned on reading a 100 books this year and instead I’m floundering somewhere in the early 20s when almost half-the-freaking-year is gone.
And writing? I haven’t added anything new to What Was Mine since February and I dare to call myself an aspiring writer. I keep thinking about it and seeing everything unfold in my head like a movie, but somehow, when it comes to putting it into writing, the words have stopped flowing.
It’s like I’ve lost that whole drive to do the things that I loved the most.
And no, it doesn’t even give me the satisfaction of feeling like a tortured artist. No trench-coat-wearing (it’s too freaking hot), cigarette-smoking (allergic), caffeine-drinking (happens, but occasionally) tormented persona for me to fall back on. That romance has flown outta the window. All I do now is watch Supernatural (at least that’s one loved thing I still have immense drive for) and scream-sing along to Aerosmith and Kansas and all those bands that feature on the Supernatural soundtrack and then I think about how cool all their lives are and it makes me feel tremendously sad that I’m freaking-21-years-old and I haven’t even achieved half the things I thought I would by now. And I don’t know, I just can’t even do anything about it because now when I think of distracting myself from thoughts of this ridiculous helplessness I can’t even read or write, instead I Facebook-procrastinate. Like, seriously. What is wrong with me?

It’s like I’ve even stopped trying. Like, earlier there was a certain belief to hold on to. A belief that yeah, all those things that I dream of? Yes, they can come true. But it’s like somebody reached inside me and pulled that belief out, ground it into powder and blew it into the wind and now it’s so far away I can’t even get it back. Like someone put all those dreams and goals in a bag and stamped a big-lettered ‘Cancelled’ over it and now dangles it over my head just to show that no, none of them came true and I’m exactly where I was two years back and maybe this’ll where I’ll be in many more years to come. Just stagnant.
When I think about blogging, getting back into it and it’s cool-dom, I’m left wondering, WHO ON EARTH WILL EVEN WANT TO READ THIS ANYMORE? I mean, there are so many bigger, better, so-much-more-brilliant blogs out there, then why THIS? And then it’s back to Kansas and Aerosmith and Avril’s rendition of Knocking On Heaven’s Door, which all just makes me sad all over again and I don’t even know why.
There are SO many books out there I want to read. And plenty more are coming out. Like Amy Reed’s Crazy, which I’m reading on Netgalley and which has pretty much wrecked my heart even though I’m only halfway in. I just wish I’d find the drive to talk about them again. And need to feel that what I say does matter. Even to one person.
It’s ridiculous. I don’t think I’ve ever moped so publicly. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I felt the need to just get it out there. I mean, what the heck, at least the blog gets an update. Oh god. I could just ramble on and on and you could be there with your mouse hovering over the ‘unfollow’ button (I know there there isn’t one, that you have to go a long way to get there, but still), unless you’ve done it already, and I wouldn’t know where to stop. You know those frenzies you get into and you don’t know how far they can just go on? Yeah, that.
Not pleasant.
Sigh.
Here’s the thing: I don’t know where I go from here. Like, if I’ve be back to responsible reader/writer/blogger ways. I have no freaking clue. Whether just getting this post out there will magically bring back my drive and all fine things along with it. Heck, I wish it would. And hell yeah, I’m gonna put in some sort of an effort to get things back into their rightful place. No promises, but try I will. I probably owe myself just that much. I think.
Ever found yourself in such a rut?
And just cos you stuck around – if you have – and witnessed this Blog Dance of Pathetico, I’ll reward your eyes with something pleasant. Something waaaaaay more pleasant.
I hope you’re having a good time 🙂

Teaser Tuesday: The Bonfire

I shared this on YAWN yesterday, just thought since it’s Tuesday, I’d share it for Teaser Tuesday. This is Ronni and Ashley on the beach.

‘You’ve got gooseflesh,’ Ashley points out. ‘Want to go somewhere warmer?’ She gestures toward a group surrounding a bonfire, singing along to a boy strumming a guitar.

We don’t have to join them. If we get near, we’ll be warm enough. I nod.

They are singing along to a song by Lynrd Skynrd, laughing and slapping each other’s backs. They seem to be a bunch of college-goers. It feels nice sitting near them.

Ashley talks about school, wanker Conrad and Blake and how they are trying to give each other space but it’s proving hard for her, and it’s no problem to hear all that until the group picks up ABBA and is singing along to Fernando.

It’s like having an unsuspectingly ordinary day until a car suddenly runs you over.
Because all I can hear now is Mum and me singing along to Fernando over the stereo and dancing in our PJs because Mum loved ABBA and made me a fan too.
Ashley’s saying something but I can’t look at her ‘cause suddenly my vision is hazy and I can’t have her seeing me crying. I can’t have anyone seeing me crying. So I turn toward the bonfire party ‘cause these are people who don’t know me and are too busy with themselves to notice anything else. I stare into the fire, hoping the heat will dry me up but one traitor tear wretchedly rolls down and falls on the sand between my legs.

The fire dances with the wind and kisses the moon and as I wait, my face turned to it, I spot Antisocial Boy in the group. Sitting with a girl. And they are talking and she’s laughing and he looks so happy socialising, it all makes me terribly depressed and I tell Ashley I have to go home as I have an art project to work on.

She doesn’t question me. Art is important. It’s what got me into this school.

Only, when I get home I dry retch in the toilet till my stomach hurts and curl up on the floor.

A Teaser for Tuesday

Day Four of the new year, and I shall share a fresh snip – which isn’t really a teaser – from What Was Mine. A rough draft, but this might just give you a feel of the novel.
Also, I’m currently experimenting with blog layouts, this being a new year and it’s all about starting anew yadda yadda, so you might just see a different template next time you hop around. Or probably not. 
Hope the start of the year’s been good. 

Lunch begins with the usual greeting sand backslaps, high fives and cigarette exchanges between the day scholars and the boarders. Ashley passes a pack of Marlboro Lights under the table and Hayden, who is one among the two hundred students living i the campus residential halls, hides it under her skirt.

Bridget, who shares a room with her, announces that there is a moth in the bathroom, to which Hayden turns death pale since she is not particularly fond of flying creatures and the bathroom is the only place in Baumbury where she dares to smoke up.

‘No Dylan tonight?’ Mel asks inbetween scoops of yogurt.

Hayden recovers enough to inform her – ‘ We fucked up the bedsheets last time and he got into trouble with the matron.’
How she manages to sneak into the residential halls of Baumbury Boys in spite of the high security beef-up around the academy, is beyond me.

With bedsheets now the topic of conversation, Shirley, who is also Mel’s neighbour, launches into a full-blown account of her escapades with a thirty year old French divorcee, who apparently is researching a paper on Freud.
I have to chew around my gum to keep myself from throwing up my food. Between Principal Heyer’s threats, Mr. Smith’s announcements and Shirley’s bedroom chatter, I’m tired. And the headache’s getting worse. I can hardly stretch my eyes open and here I have to pretend everything is cool and I’ having a great time.

And then, before I can feel the under-the-table nudge from Ashley, I’m nose-to-nose with Carole Davies, big brown curls dancing around her face, eyes narrowed to slits. She inhales loudly and says, ‘Friday night, Conrad and I shall spend some quiet time together at my place. We shall do things together and my parents will not be home.’
Wow, breaking news.
Her nose looks so huge up close, I let out a chuckle. I lean forward and let the bubblegum go pop right infront of Carole’s face and say, ‘Friday night I’m going skinny dipping with my own band of boys. Quiet popcorn and movie time? Lame.’

Not true, but lies are what I live on. It leaves everyone at the table laughing and Carole red-faced just like I want.

RTW: Six Word Memoir.

Road-trip Wednesday is a weekly blog carnival hosted by YA Highway.

This week’s topic: Your six-word memoir. Literally, your life story in six words.
The story of all those years of your life in six words only.
One life. Six word memoir.



Here goes,

                                         I tattoo pages with my words.


Alright, so that’s just one aspect of these two decades of my life, but it’s perhaps the most important one. If I have to really sum up my life, there would be multiple six word memoirs. Which brings me to ask, are six words enough to your memoir? If so, spill yours.

Blog Bash WINNERS! (+ Sneak Peek)

My blog made it through one year and all you cool kids out there made that possible. Which is why if you guys remember, I was hosting a giveaway of dreamcatching proportions. And the response from all of you was so amazing, I honestly wish I had enough stuff to giveaway to ALL of you. You guys make me feel oh-so-good. Blogosphere really is a fun place to be a part of.
I had 208 entries in all and picking out four (!) was hard, so I left it to a magic hat to do the job.
And the magic hat says, that the first winner is: Karla Kalalang

The second winning hat goes to: Jen Daiker 

The third magic wand  waves over: Jennie  

The Honorary Fourth winner is: Kai A

And because I feel kinda sad that I couldn’t make all of you winners, I decided to add two more winners to the honorary list. They will get bookmark and swag like the fourth winner. And they are Mika and Chrizette.

The winners will hear from me shortly. Please keep check on your emails. Thank you everyone for entering and making this such a success.

This in turn makes me come to the second part of this post and share some pictures that inspire my WiP-turned- NaNo project, What Was Mine.
And here’s an excerpt I thought I’d share:

Smoke tendrils swirl above her and around the kitchen, Deidre’s kitchen, from where we watch masked faces flirt and flow into the hall.
‘I’m not going in there unless someone takes off their mask.’ Mel rummages through the cabinets – open, slam, open, slam.
Sarah flicks the ash out of the window. ‘Not happening anytime soon.’ Turns to her. ‘Why you here then?’
Mel pops open a bottle, pours out the drink, raises the glass and flashes a crooked smile. ‘Free champagne.’
Sarah throws back her head and laughs. Mel pours us each a drink. It’s wicked fizzy and bubbles in my stomach, stirring up my nerves, making them sit up. I sit up, watch the masked faces flit around the hall, float with the music and feel myself drifting.
It’s like a labyrinth. A labyrinth of people to get lost in.
I get off the counter. ‘I’m going in.’
‘Coming after I finish,’ Sarah croaks.
I pull the black and silver mask over my face and step in with the dancers. What’s playing is a very squeaky waltz, probably picked up at the secondhand record store, but nobody cares. As long as the music rolls they can dance all night.
‘May I?’ He is tall, blond – very blond, almost white – with blue eyes dancing in desire.
I see my opportunity.
Tantalise. Make someone want me. Make him want me, for now.

His hands are around me, lifting me with the rhythm, throwing me with the air. I’m crap at dancing but he doesn’t seem to notice. If there’s one thing I’ve mastered, it’s the art of masking.

(All photos taken from here

How have you been doing with your WiPs?