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Living with half a face


Fiction

Bidisha Sinha

It was a beautiful day; the sky was the perfect shade of blue. The scene outside was like an artist's impression of a perfect day. My heart was full of bubbling hope. I was finally going to tell him how much i love him. The past few weeks had been a frenzy; the initial denial and then the slow acceptance. My mind went on flashback mode: the first time we met, the first time i saw him smile, the first time we held hands and the night he proposed...moments engraved in my heart like a part of me. My phone beeped loudly, snapping me out of the flashback. I started scouting the sheets for the phone...love made me careless, clumsy and messy! After a thorough search lasting exactly 5 minutes, I found it amd my heart gave a jolt!

        1 text received
        "I hate the fact that the sun rays touch you before me."

Under normal circumstances (read: i actually know the sender and he appears to be my boyfriend or something!), I would have been thrilled but unfortunately there was nothing thrilling about sappy text messages from unknown numbers. Well, you see, I had a stalker, a totally harmless one though. Never did anything except sending creepy text messages. I had never bothered about him and today was not the day to start. My spirits were too high to be dampened by  some weird text message. Its not everyday that a girl has a confession to make, even more so when the confession says 'I love you'!

I rounded up my morning activities at a frenetic pace. There was a bounce in my step making it look like a subtle hop. I dashed across my apartment humming 'Love is in the air'. I picked up my bag, locked the door and decided to take the stairs instead of the lift. I stepped out and saw the world through rose-tinted glasses. Everything looked strangely perfect...like nothing could go wrong today. I could feel my heart somersaulting inside...it was a beautiful feeling!

I walked to the bus stop and for some strange reason I felt that all eyes were on me like they could read my mind.

On the other side of the road I saw the usual group of guys, gawking at anyone who looked even remotely pretty. One in particular couldn’t take his eyes off of me. Agreed, I could be pretty when I wanted to but looking at someone like you would want her for dinner is downright disgusting!

A hawker was selling some comics on a sidestand on the footpath and my eyes fell upon a particular comic with Batman and Harvey 'Two-face' Dent on the cover. I remembered watching 'The Dark Knight' and crying silent tears for Aaron Eckhart even though Christian Bale had my full sympathies.

What happened next was such a blur that the next thing i knew was an intense burning sensation on the left side of my face-- a pain so intense, it made me pass out.

As I opened my eyes I realised that I was at some medical facility and the left side of my face was covered in gauze and felt raw. I longed for someone to tell me that it was okay to hurt so badly, but when the man in angelic white peered at me, he brought me a news fresh out of the oven called hell.

         "The left side of your face is completely burned because of the attack."
Attack! What attack?? And it all came back to me like a blow to my soul-- the stalker, the hawker, the two-faced man and the unspoken confession.

As the doctor removed the gauze from my face, my hand instinctively reached for my face and the smoothness of my fingers met with the feel of a sculpture gone wrong. Mangled is the word that could describe it best. I dreaded facing the mirror...self pity and loathing crept in followed by a deep hatred for the unknown man who had done this to me. He had taken away my shot at a normal life--a life filled with love... It was so easy to hate him. My hatred made me hollow inside but on the outside it changed nothing. My face which no longer looked like mine hurt so bad that I wanted to die just so that the pain might stop. But first I needed answers.
'Why me?'
'Why now when I had finally mustered the courage to confess my love?'. In my heart I knew there were no answers. My one shot at love had been brutally snatched away. My future seemed like 'WHAT FUTURE??'!

The doctor told me that I had a visitor. I didn’t know whether to hide under the bed or jump out of the window! Who would want to see a girl with just half a face!

Of all people who could have walked in, it had to be him. I covered my face as best as i could with my hands as he approached. The tears I had been holding back turned traitors and began to trickle freely down my cheek. He gently removed my hands and flinched at the sight...I could have died just then if he hadn't taken that exact moment to wrap his arm around me and whisper into my ear.
             " Its okay to hurt...its okay to cry----
                  I am here and I still love you."

And then I let out a sob which came out like a scream that rattled my very being but he held me till my eyes were dry and I had no tears left in me to shed. Right then I knew that with this  man I could heal all wounds and overcome all obstacles...Suddenly living with half a face seemed a little easier because I had what 'two-face' had lost: Love and Hope.

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