"Life is the price we pay for running away from death "
































































"I needed just one sign, just one indication that you weren't what they made you out to be, just one move to prove that you hadn't changed, that you were still the same girl I fell in love with. Just one hint and it didn't have to come to this" he murmured to himself as he watched her from the corner of his eye. As both the lawyers walked over to the judge, he could see her more clearly now. Her face was emotionless, much like what she had maintained for the last 2 years.
 
The lawyers handed the papers to the judge and waited... it was a divorce that strangely wasn't fought between the two parties as vehemently as the parties fought amongst themselves. Her parents constantly raised a flag and voice warning her not to show any weakness, to fight for her rights and be as demanding as possible. His parents and relatives bitterly besieged him. They admonished him not to be meek; not to give in to her and be extremely tight-fisted. Each side bombastically instigated their candidates, like preparing fighters for a boxing match. It had been a month of hectic planning and scheming.
 
He reflected upon his 'soon-to-be-totally-dead' marital life. Their courtship had been the best ever, but marriage wasn't such a stable ship for them. How could independent and carefree love evaporate so fast? Why was there a paranoid discomfort like they were being watched all the time? Why did decisions start to seem forced instead of consensual? She had begun to look so unnatural- like a puppet of some invisible force. On the contrary, his parents kept blaming him for being a puppet at her hands. Why did a girl who loved his rich talents start eyeing his rich property? Alas, that's what everyone told she was upto. He didn't believe his parents at first, but she never seemed to prove otherwise. She always seemed to be hung up on a long list of demands:- open fixed deposits, buy gold, purchase a house, buy a car, etc. He also wondered why the same lady, who seemed to ignore everyone but him before marriage, suddenly seemed hooked on the phone with her parents all the time. His folks constantly bombarded him with accusations about her, and he hadn't believed them at first. But, somewhere, seeing her change seemed to make their bitter allegations look valid. How badly he needed a sign- to prove that she wasn't the monster they made her to be. "Please tell me that you aren't after my money," he would plead in silence. He had lost strength from within. His life had become an endless dark tunnel whose only opening was at her end.

They claimed that she had trapped him, but somewhere deep within, he had this strange feeling that only she could free him. 
 
Finally on the day before the judgment he had mustered up enough courage to confront his parents. He had proposed to give away most of his assets willingly as alimony. Though she never showed any sign, he still loved her as before. It looked like all she wanted was his money, so he would let her be happy with it.

The judge seemed a bit perplexed and the lawyers were given papers for countersigning. His lawyer came back with a pleasantly surprised look on his face. "Congrats gentleman, You are one lucky bum" the lawyer said, "Even though you did a foolish move to give off all your property, you wife seems more stupid. She has signed saying she doesn't want anything. The judge agrees to settle it without alimony. Can you sign here please?"

He was astounded. He could hear his dad chuckle from behind. There was a happy murmur amongst his relatives. He glanced at her once again. She was looking up now, at some invisible point in the roof, with eyes that seemed struggling to hold its emotions back. He beckoned his lawyer to come closer and whispered in his ear, "I don't want the divorce, please withdraw the case" and walked out.
 
When he saw her sign, he got his sign.

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27-Oct: Revised after proof-reading with Lynn (Biabeke).
The world is so full of disparity,
Wondering if it's actually in me.

Why so A.lienated, myself I see?
amongst my own folk and family.
Why U.nderrated, I assume to be?
breaking myself, ever so casually.

Why does T.error habit my ground?
when perfection is not seen around.
Why am I I.rked, like a mad hound?
as they make noise, of every sound.

Why do I go on a S.hivering streak?
when to a group, I have to speak.
Why do I become a M.oody freak?
when into my world, changes leak.

Queer are things, made by He!
Is it the world, or is it just Me?