It was a comfort to me when I turned 25.
Unlike the other girls my age who were getting married,
And moaning everyday how life was over.
But slyly, knowing they really didn’t mean it.
For instance, I would be alone.
And they would be on a honeymoon in Mauritius.
I looked at them, their faces held that fierce determination.
An ambition to be the best bride the city had seen.
Facebook launched. And in my stuffed cubicle at a company
I saw how their shimmery chiffons fluttered around
In Bollywood type photo shoots.
How many ‘Likes’ each such picture garnered.
I liked them too. What was not to like? They looked beautiful.
But that was not for me.
At the time, I was concentrating on what my seminal novel would do.
Would they set store by it, like they had for Virginia Woolf?
What did it mean, this desire to be noticed as an intellectual?
What was the truth really, of life, and choices?
Relative, I knew.
Truth and love were always relative.
The other girls brought home this nugget of wisdom too.
Their honeymoon period was over.
Life was just beginning.
And before they could experience life,
Love started crumbling.
They felt stifled, they said, by their men’s morning breath,
And that morning wood they talked about.
And gave into every day before making tea.
In the morning, I woke up next to my lover.
This spending the night together was a treat
In an age of struggling finances.
The city felt beautiful.
He had never called me that.
So I asked him.
What do you see me as?
An ocean, he said. You are as deep and intense as an ocean.
What do you need a pick-up line for now? I asked.
Pulling him down to me.
And instead of giving me his lips, he gave me a proposal.
What do you say, shall we get married?
I felt giddy at the thought.
A part of me wanted that dream.
The chiffon saris fluttering on Facebook.
And a part of me died.
To be like that, tied.
In each other’s lives,
Bound by a document.
And soon the love would turn to charity.
Maybe even apathy.
That was the only future I could glimpse.
My thoughts getting that way again. Relative.
Truth and love is always relative.
Shedding my clothes, and my thoughts, I kissed his head
Said, ‘No that’s a chance we won’t take.’
Marriage will have to be missed.
The other girls complained again when we met.
At 26, their lives were all about containers.
Tupperware in matching colours?
Or should I mix-and-match my kitchen vessels?
And mine was about rejection.
Another publisher said I wrote brilliantly.
And while the smile began,
The next line ended the curve.
But, really, Ms. what is it that you have written?
We don’t have a market for angst.
Do you have some sex? Some coming-of-age story?
Maybe even a rags-to-riches story?
Or can you do an IIT campus story?
I tore up that letter.
Looked at the other girls.
We sipped iced tea.
And stayed quiet for two minutes.
And somehow for any of us
Life just wasn’t enough.
In response to challenge Above 25 on ode.la.