she and him

She and Him by

She believed in miracles.

She was raised by a father who filled her entire being with cliches. Don’t give up. It’s never over till it’s over. Fight for what you believe. For what’s right. You’ll get there.

She believed in miracles.

She had Him in her life. Him. Him, who loved her takedowns on social media on intersectionality, wokeness, fuckbois. Him, who proudly ‘shared’ and ‘re-shared’ every letter of the alphabet she carefully curated, thought and planned. She said to Him…when others sniggered, said I dissipated time shaping my visual poem on Instagram, my prose on Facebook, my 140 characters on twitter, and I drowned in the noise of hate and dick-pix…you stood against the mighty heft of the haters. Asked the vengeful verbal lynchers to back off.

She lives and feels and breathes her beliefs. You said, her every ‘a’ and ‘an’ and ‘the’ and ‘and’ has a reason, a purpose. Her every contretemps, squabble, dissension comes from nights burrowed in texts and speeches and staying awake with one-day old chai in a flask that she heats and reheats and doesn’t care it could be poisonous but at least I died for a good cause, you’d quote my flippant ass self.

You fight for me. You say…disagree all you want with her tie-die yellow and blue t-shirt two sizes too large, soda-bottle glasses that fall down her nose, her POV. But don’t dare question her groundwork and evidence. She loves the subject and object in her sentences as much as she does the living, breathing souls and beating hearts surrounding her. She lives. Loves. Her heart beats. Always. For everyone.

She’s precious.

And She, She suppressed herself sometimes. For Him.

He loved yellow ochre. It reminded Him of the turmeric powder his Mumma mixed in hot milk and spoon-fed him after he coughed up a mucus storm. The yellow ochre border on his Mumma’s white saree with hundreds of light pink dots…stains from…when his Baba slapped her as she cooked dinner and the red curry paste went flying. And landed on her. Scalding her. Coloring the immaculate white to blotches of faded pinks. The yellow ochre tiles in their central courtyard where he and his sister played hopscotch and screamed and giggled with unfettered happiness because Baba was away and Mumma smiled.

So.

She wore yellow ochre skirts and sleeveless embroidered blouses even though Her heart yearned to be girly and wear pink. The hues of majestic magenta would stand out boldly against the light sheen her white skin had picked up from the sun. But she wore shades of yellow that washed out her pasty-fairness instead.

Yellow suits you, He said. She knew it didn’t. But in His eyes…she felt pretty. She was such a girl with Him.

********

He smiled and looked longingly at Lily next to him who wore a fuchsia pink blouse.

How? Why? She asked Him in agony disguised in a squeal of shock and surprise.

Because Lily makes me laugh, he said simply.

 

 


 

Roopa has a regular weekly opinion column on Elephant Journal. Her fiction is published on Eksentrika, Kitaab, Women’s Web and more. She also writes humor and is published on Slackjaw, Frazzled, Greener Pastures Magazine and more. Check out her writing on her personal page at www.themessyoptimist.com

 

 

Photo by Elizabeth Tsung on Unsplash

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