Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Cure - 4

I was devastated. Completely crushed and shattered. It was like my mother’s death all over again, only this time there was the added shame and the humiliation. People talked, and asked my family embarrassing questions. My family didn’t say anything, and I was glad not to hear the accusing “I told you so” from anyone, but I could tell that it was in their hearts. My colleagues tried their best to act normal, but it was very awkward for them too. Because I never talk about my personal life to anyone they didn't know how to react, they all knew what happened but since they didn't hear it from me they were not sure what to do. I knew that the mothers wanted to console me and the younger unmarried ladies wanted to discuss their boyfriend problems and commiserate with me, but nobody knew how to approach me and how to bring up the subject of lost love. I was my normal quiet self, did my work perfectly, came to work on time, and as far as appearances were concerned I acted exactly the way I used to. But inside I was hurting, and cried myself to sleep every night.

Two months after I left Makuka I discovered I was pregnant. When I missed my period the first month I thought it was due to stress, but when I missed it again the second time in a row I became suspicious and bought a pregnancy kit and tested myself. Positive. I took two more tests, and they all turned out positive. It was like fate had slapped me in the face; I didn't expect it coming, and it stung. I became angry because it was all so unfair. I didn't want the baby, I didn't want a reminder of the most painful experience of my life, and I definitely didn't want to bear the child of a person who stopped loving me and will most likely never love me again.

I thought of aborting the baby. I had never known anyone who has had an abortion, and I wasn’t sure how to go about doing it. Did people go to obscure clinics, or approach doctors who knew them well? If they go to a big hospital what was the procedure? Who do they consult? Did they see a normal doctor with some lame excuse and suddenly announce they were pregnant and wanted to get rid of it? I thought about the dangers, I knew full well the risks involved. I'd read about women dying because of botched abortions, of some unfortunate ones never being able to have children again. I thought about the social stigma that came with it. I hadn’t told anyone about the pregnancy yet, but bad news always finds a way to reveal itself somehow, and there’s nothing more entertaining than a scandal that involved sex and badly behaved women.

I called Makuka many times, intending to tell him about the pregnancy, but somehow our conversations always veered into how he had cheated on me and what a control freak I was. It always ended with someone hanging up the phone. The fact that we couldn’t have a proper conversation like two grown up adults made me angrier and more determined to cut off all connections with him, including his baby. I stopped calling, and he never once called back. 

The idea of dying then came to me. If I die, the baby would also die. No more heartaches, no more anger, no more tears. I wouldn’t have to see any more sympathetic faces and hear the gossip about me. I could sleep forever, and it would be so peaceful.

I looked at the pile of pills on the kitchen table. There was no way I could swallow all of them. So I crushed them till I got a nice little mound of white powder in front of me, and took out my favourite tea cup from the kitchen cupboard. It was ironic, really, I was going to die after drinking from my favourite cup. I wondered if it would be painful, and it was then that my mother came into my mind. She died in her sleep; did she feel any pain, or did she simply drift off and wake up in heaven?

I decided to take one last look at my mother’s face. I took out her album which my father had carefully preserved, and studied the photographs closely. Here she is with her school friends. Out on a picnic in the fields. With her younger brothers, dirty little boys, my uncles. I laughed out loud. Her wedding picture, she looked happy.  With her first child in her arms. I turned the black and white photograph over, and behind it was written in her spindly curvy handwriting, “Laldinliani, 2 months, September 1974.” And below it, “My baby, my life.”

I had never seen that before. I was her baby, I was her life. And now that she was dead, I was living for her. She lived in me, through me. I must have stood there for what seemed like an eternity, although it could not have been more than ten minutes. I read the words over and over again.

My baby, my life.

And here I was trying to end my life over a love affair that ended in tears, not knowing that if I die my mother would once again die, and a part of her that lived on in my baby would die too. The enormity of what I almost did hit me, and I lay on my father’s bed and cried and cried until I could cry no more.  My baby should live, I should live, and my mother’s legacy will continue. Here I was, pregnant, not knowing that I was the only hope for my family’s blood to live on. Kimteii wanted to have a baby but fate had decided otherwise, and I who had been blessed was planning to end it all. 

I got up, walked to the kitchen, threw the powder into the sink and washed it all away, and then scrubbed the sink until it was sparkling and spotless. I felt cleansed, redeemed, and forgiven.

I put my hands over my stomach, and smiled.

My baby, my life, my legacy.


  1. finally!! and well worth the wait. may her baby be a female and be as strong too!!

  2. Thanks for putting me out of my misery.Funny how mothers influence you.I lost mine early in life, she was a quiet woman, and I cant even recall any of her actual words, yet people who knew her tells me I look a lot like her in many ways. First time I 'talked' to her after her death was when my son passed his HSLC,when I felt the urge to go to her grave and tell her in 'person'.
    This is getting sordid. more cheery comments please.

  3. ku2 - Yes, finally it is over, and let's hope the baby is a strong beautiful girl :)

    Mimi - Mittui tling kuau in khap fuk fuk emi?

    dr_feelgood - I count myself lucky to have a mother who's still alive. Did it feel weird, talking to a grave? Did it feel more like you were talking to yourself?

  4. So, now you're curious! Actually it was more like an emotional connection than a conversation.When my son was born,a big bee ( khawi mu) flew into the house.Its the Mizo belief that 'khawi mu' are the spirit of the departed, and I felt that it was my mother checking out her grand son, so, I guess I felt I had to keep her 'up dated' as it were.

  5. I don't mean to sound rude, but isn't that a bit superstitious? I mean the khawimu bit. Wasn't Christianity supposed to erase all that belief in spirits and nature worship? But again there are some things which live on, some beliefs which are passed on, I guess this must be one of them.

  6. Wow..I've been silently enjoying all 'the cure's, and at part 3, I feared it was going to end a little cliched.. But this is a beautiful ending, beautifully written through out. You're a wonderful writer.

  7. Very unexpected ending, and now I'm feeling all sad and depressed. I'm curious now - is there a real person that 'Makuka' is based on? Stupid question I guess, I can think of several 'Makuka's' off the top of my head :-) Well, despite the Makuka's of this world, I'm glad the baby and its mother lived!

  8. lucky i came late,i gotta read evrything at one go.Aduh please,please came up wit another story.

  9. Alejendro - I'm cured, I'm cured all right!!

    diary - I'm happy that you enjoyed all the chapters. I bet you thought I was going to make the lovers reunite at the end, a cliched apologising-forgiving-happilyeverafter scene, didn't you? Hehehe.. And thank you for the lovely compliments, you just made my day :)

    Jerusha - I know it's not exactly your typical happy ending, but it still is a happy ending, isn't it? To answer your question, no Makuka is not based on anyone I know, but like you said there are many men out there who behave in the same manner.

    nghetz - Thanks for visiting and reading everything. I will write another story as soon as inspiration strikes :)

  10. Lovely ending, though so sad. And come to think of it, the guy's quite typical. You really are good at weaving a story.

  11. As usual, bravo. Was really into every word and sentence written. At the end, ka mur chhuai chhuai mai :-) Well written indeed.

  12. mesjay - Thank you. It's a sad/happy ending, whichever way you chose to view it.

    Kima - One again, thank you, your lovely feedback really is an encouragement.

  13. lolzzz an rawn correct hman chiah chu le :D

  14. Makuka very bad boy...hehe

    Not the ending I expected but quite touching. Could have ended with a re-union between the control freak and the bad bad

  15. Keichal - A reunion would be too Bollywood, don't you think?

  16. va ngaihnom ve..ka mittui te parawl vel :P