The night is darkest before the dawn, but the coming of dawn is inevitable. When the sun broke through the wispy darkness and the first streaks of gold illuminated the sky, Myra was already on the rooftop, gazing into the distance. It had been too much. It had all been just a little over what she could control and she had needed the break.
She hadnt cried, but her heart had bled enough already through the day. She allowed herself another flashback, another peek into the painful past, to try and find once again just what had gone wrong… how could she have avoided it all….
It had been a Saturday like any other. She had stood proud in front of the mirror, smiling, rubbing her bulging belly anticipating the day in the sun with him. His return, which she sorely missed, she had thought about for weeks on end, each time ending with a smile. It was apparent she loved him. She couldn’t hide it even if she wanted to. Thoughts of him beamed and penetrated her skull radiating a glow of passion from her face. The dress she wore accentuated her curves and increasing bust. She looked again into the mirror; smiling again, imagining his approval of her obvious femininity.
Hours later she stood at their usual rendezvous. She was thirty minutes early. He didn’t like to wait and she had thought of buying flowers anyway; the kind he had bought for her so many times before. As the hands of the chronometer on her wrist approached their agreed time she felt a nervousness around her. It had been just under three months since they had last met and her body longed for his embrace. To keep herself from being bored she dived into the archives of her memories of them together; the time and the happiness they had shared. It made her smile even more, wishing she could somehow manipulate the laws of time and space to her favour.
From a distance she spotted him; his obvious swagger and proud head setting him apart from the rest. She jumped to her feet and dusted the imaginary dust off her clean dress. She wanted to look her best for him. Her face radiated even more and the smile on her face told of the deepest passion and nostalgia. She put her hands behind her back, trying to hide the evident flowers in her hand. To an ignorant by-stander, she looked like an overgrown child waiting for the prize she had won at the fair.
Behind the dark shades his eyes also had spotted her. She looked a little different from the last time they had spend the weekend at his exclusive lake-house, but maybe it was just that he hadn’t seen her in too long. He quickened his step a little bit to try and cut the time of their moments apart.
Being together again felt like reliving a dream. He was her Prince Charming, reincarnated. She, she always felt because of her humble background, was the lucky peasant girl who got to be with the Prince. Their love broke all rules and barriers. Their love was like no other, a perfect fairytale.
She hung onto him as they embraced; the flowers beating onto his back. As they drew slowly apart he smiled, showing a perfect set of teeth. Her legs melted, turning to wax at his smile. A tingle erupted across her whole body, quivering with intensity and waiting for him to draw her closer to him. He waited, the seconds seeming like eternity to her. Before he could say a word she rushed at him, her kiss impetuous.
But something was amiss. Something wasn’t quite right… She thought it was her. Maybe he wasn’t quite satisfied. So she pulled his arms around her belly, helping him feel the difference. She kissed him tenderly, letting her love free. But he didn’t kiss her back. Instead, there came a wave of difference between them, his expression cleared, the twinkle in his eye faded… he pulled back. He stared into her eyes, but she didn’t feel the warmth she did before, like she did in the lakehouse… she saw fear, even shock… and suddenly she felt cold. She moved her hand up his arm, rubbing it slowly, showing him she was there. But he had passed into a world nonchalant of their love, struck by some pain that was pulling him away. He broke away. He moved back. He was looking at her, and she couldn’t say anything. And then suddenly, he dropped his gaze to her belly… the curves rounder than before, how he couldn’t hold her the way she fit in his embrace before… and then she realised. Imagining his approval, beaming with the thought of his delight she had come. Would she leave with the dread of his disownment of his own child, she wondered. She moved forward… she trusted him, he would understand. She told herself, he would, he was just taken aback, they hadn’t met in a while and he would understand, she repeated to herself. But the horror in his eyes made it hard for her to accept that this was the man she had loved all this while, whose love she had succumbed to, with devotion.
There they stood, united with love, separated by fear, until at last, she let the warnings win. He wouldn’t come. Exhausted under the heavy sweep of that realisation, unsupported by his loving body, all alone and dismal, she fell back into the bench that had earlier occupied her ecstasy. She tried not to think of the time she had spent with him just next to her on that same bench, she tried not to think of the evenings at the lakehouse… she tried not to think of him standing still a few steps away. It was his move. He had to decide if he was going to leave her or if he would give them a chance. With every minute that she waited, a pain plunged through her veins, faster and denser than the blood, hurting her fingers, numbing her toes, making her feel like bursting under the pressure, the confusion… and it originated from a sharp pierce of a dagger formed by her memories, brutally cutting her heart, while the rhythm in her belly kept it going. She moved a hand on her belly, in silent pleading for mercy but the only thing she received, was even more pain as he stood away, still.
She sighed. She felt like an old decaying woman, her soul soiled with shame and loneliness, her will decreasing. On perhaps the last of her energy, she lifted her tired body, walked with her head low towards him, and for a brief moment looked in his eyes. He still hadn’t accepted her, and now she knew it was too late. She took his face in her hands, kissed him gently on the lips, for the last time she realised, she pulled herself away while all of her wanted just to hold on, and stumbled away from him, back the same path she had come earlier, bouncing. The flowers had fallen, as lifeless as her. He didn’t even turn.
The dawn is inevitable they say… she would rather live a lie though, if the truth could hurt that much. She couldn’t have avoided it. She had been positive he would love her just as much now or perhaps more, but she had been wrong. She had been wrong because she had understood him wrong, and for that the dawn had had to come.
Silent now on the rooftop, as the sun warmed her, Myra knew it was over. Nothing they could say, nothing they could do would bring back the love, would ease out the pain… nothing they could do would hide his betrayal, they couldn’t be the same. She rubbed her bulging belly, wondering if it was a weed in her body, if she should kill all traces of him… but would she let him kill another heart, she thought. She waited for the dawns to send her the answer, and until then, she would give it a chance, just as she should have had one.
By Peter and Ruchika