Behind the Curtains of Lust

She sat in the corner of her room, oblivious of the breathing behind her. Unmindful of the memories that haunt her, silence sobbed in another quieter spot of the heart. She had been enslaved in the prison of her own. The painted whitewash stood peeled off like her of her imaginations. The dampness stayed an uninvited guest. Her enquiries stood nude and shameless bathed in callous ignorance or intentional forgetfulness!!! She never cared. And he never tried to cloth it.

Curtains windowed the darker shades. She didn’t want the light of the day to disturb her. Still, a faint glow seeped through and spread like the whiskers of the mouse probing the smell of an indoor. Moans of someone’s sensuous pleasure trespassed the hazy boundaries of cloth. She wished to lose all her encumbrances. To feel lighter minus the mammary. Her gaze searched for the already lost heart. A gamble of zero hope. The last trigger. Nothing changed except the loss. Even the tone had a hiccup. The mutants of respects invalid for the present.

He loved her body; her tone, her smile and everything in her, except her. And what more could she expect as a prostitute?

Clients… Customers…Blurred images of men who came and went swathed her memory. Several visitors and a few guests. She serviced them without guilt, without passion to an inanimate existence.

Kamathipura had been her ancestral home from time immemorial. Her world. She remembered her mom and how she hid the daughter from those ugly clutches of lust. Her mom too wished fate would break the shackles of these dusky rooms. The penetrating eyes often tried to get it through, but those defeated efforts made the gaze thirsty for more. Brothels were the little girls’ home and pimps, her playmates. Untimely is destiny, making life so unlucky. Her mom died a lonely death, leaving the mantle for her. She wasn’t sold. It was always a one-act play for the breed of her like and a one sided show. The actors playing their part to perfection. The selfishness for the three letter word caressed the body till the hunger died. Sometimes violent, at times lovely, sometimes lively, and mostly lifeless. It’s business. The most thriving from the ancient for the uncaring male dominion to ease off a frustration or two. Innumerable lives shattered, infinite souls sold. The muffled cries insulated in the muddle of sleaze.

Then there came the HIM. Out of a distraught home. Caring and quiet. Handsome and gloomy. His eyes spoke the undeclared story of disgust. The first man to enquire her past, the first man to caress her tress, the first man who cuddled her and shared his stories. The man who always returned for her. The man who kissed her forehead before making love. She fell in love so undisclosed. Her eyes awaited his arrival every anxious moment. Then his footsteps came more as expected, with the love and hope as a gift so unexpected. He had a family. A broken one though, her desires always defeated her morals in his presence. The cracked mirror reflected her circumstance in transition. The tiny drops of love showered from the crevices of her splintered soul into him. Was she going insane, she wondered once? But that is the magic of love, where the wits masquerade every wrong as right.

Months passed and she eased. The wrinkles from his tensed hood stretched clear. He brought the small chocolates she always yearned to savor as a kid. He got the teddies she saw on the dusks of window shopping. He brought the tiny packets of surprises every other day. He decided her birthday as the first night he relished her in delight. He softened her bed with the cards she never ever expected. And she began to dream. The castle grew in stature and so did her desire to live. She expected him to hug and make merry on the day she presented him with the biggest surprise.

The dark, dim light streetlights expected his arrival. She stood with bated breath to break the news. Her gaze wandered wildly till where the lights could no longer transport. His gait slow, He arrived late. Chocolates missing in those stuffy pockets. He smiled wry. And laughed at himself in a dry guffaw.

Cynically, the wagging tongue dragged itself and declared, drunk and inebriated – “My kid is back and so is his mom”.

The elbows rubbed his eyes. The index finger cleared the flowing phlegm down his nose. His hands danced a different pose to the resonance in her ears. She felt a thud in her heart. The wind blew the castle down and all the dreams came tumbling down. She smiled amongst the angst and tears. There was no better joy than to see him happy. The news choked in the saliva that reluctantly settled below her tongue, dragging down the throat. She coughed, but didn’t drop her crystal of joy. He kissed her once for long and she knew it her last. A fate so sandwiched like her mom’s. The hug caught her like a cadaver. Still his sweat smelt sweet a pheromone.

He left her a final gift of which he himself was caught unawares. The smiling chubby cheek carved so identical. Her ray of hope. Her bundle of joy. Her son. The feeling of abandonment abandoned her in his presence. His future as the last glimmer of hope, she flicked the wrinkled past with a careless rebellion. The soiled pages to be cleansed and dried of the dirt. She will live for him. Tears of subconscious joy rolled her cheeks more than the lustful delights in the next customer. She had evolved.

The hands pressed and the bodies’ embraced in a sensual nearness. He hugged her. And she melted into a stage of another tireless drama. A saga of transitory excitement, where flakes of lust flew like dust with every breath. A ritual done. The money paid. He left. She sat in the corner of her room. Oblivious of the breathing behind her…

Regil Krishnan