Friday 19 April 2013

Whirpool' by Susmita Bhattacharya

He kisses her. She smells sweet, like the first rain on parched ground. It shouldn’t be like this, he thinks. He shouldn’t be kissing her. Not right, that she’s pulling him to her, pressing against him. But tonight is no ordinary night. The rain pounds on the windows, the light bulbs blink and then fail. In the dark, illuminated by lightning flash, he sees her shining eyes. Dilated pupils. Shortening breath. It had not started this way. They were only talking a minute ago. Of what? He doesn’t remember. He chooses not to look at the picture by his bedside. A smiling baby, toothless and innocent. A proud mother, clutching her prize. No, tonight is a night of sin. Tomorrow of regret? This curtain of rain falling since morning has formed a barrier to reality. It has allowed for actions that will change their lives. When he answered the doorbell he smiled at her soggy self. Just in the locality, she said. Bloody rain. They go places they never dreamed of. They touch secret places. She’s not here to stop them. She won’t be here tomorrow morning when they wake up, limbs entwined, lips sore. Because she, too, is stuck, far away. A message on his mobile confirms, staying at Priya’s, Mumbai’s flooded xx. She leads him to her, their clothes forming a pathway from the bedroom to the sofa. She refuses to sleep on her sister’s bed.

And the rain keeps falling. There is no end.


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