Maya looked at the haggard woman looking back at her. Dark circles and bags below her tired teary eyes. Shoulders drooped like she has given up on something. The pink flowy T-shirt wrapped her slightly flabby figure. She was slowly growing out of it, yet she wore it because nanna gave it to her on her birthday. Maya was 24 – yet the reflection she was looking at screamed 40. At least thats how she felt.
A tall, wide figure stood behind her back. She felt a pull on her T-shirt.
“You’re wearing that hidious T-shirt again! I told you it looks horrible on you, babe! Your flabs show! And a bit of your belly too”, he said smilingly.”I hate that!”She felt her stomach drop, tears on the verge of toppling over. She blinked a couple of times to push the tears back.
“I’m fine! Shall we go?” She said quietly.
“What…you’re not gonna change?”, he asked knitted his brows, jaw tightening.
Haven’t I enough, she thought to herself.
“Naaah!”, she said lightly and walked towards the car. For once, not listening to the tightened jaws, felt scary but good.
The 30 minutes trip to her nanna’s felt like she was in a valley of death. He drove like a madman: deliberately dropped on potholes and swearing at the city council. The radio played, Last Friday Night. The tune made her feel a bit happy, so she put the volume up. His fingers shot at the radio button to turn it off. “Hate that song! He mumbled, “‘There’s a stranger in my bed’ – disgusting woman! The stuff they say in these genre.”
Maya wanted to open the damn door and drop from the racing car, what was she doing with a man like this?
They reached the Aged Care facility. As she was about to enter, she saw a familiar figure from the corner of her eye. She stared at him for ten seconds before registering who he was. He was the first guy, after her dad, who she could rely on based on instinct. As kids, they’ve spent countless nights counting stars while camping, he stood up for her whenever someone bullied her at school, when he got his license, she was the first one he took for a ride to their friends party. He wasn’t her best friend. He was the older brother of her best friend, happily married for ten years.
She jumped on her tiptoes and exclaimed, “Ridoy! Oh my Gawwd!! WhatareyouDOINGhere!”. For a second, she lost her usual composure, and a glimpse of her the bright personality she had been before, flashed, forgetting the consequences she would face later.
The two friends giggled thinking about old times, as Ridoy explained her that he recently joined the Aged Care Centre. he took her to her nanna, who was equally overjoyed to see the two friends together again. Old nanna’s eye didn’t overlook the expression of extreme annoyance on the wretched guy’s face. He looked like he would punch a wall everytime Maya laughed at something Ridoy said.
To be continued …