Part 3: Breaking Shackles – Maya

“You’re unbelievable!”, his best friend sat looking at Maya unblinkingly.
She was horrified, yet wanted to understand her at the same time. She and Maya’s husband had been best friends since they were children. She was well aware of his tantrums and fits of temper, but also knew a patient girl like Maya was just what he needed to be happy.

“Just think how much you need him! You two seem so happy together! He takes care of you so much! He spends all his waking hours with you! I wish my ex would do that for me, maybe I wouldn’t leave him then!”, she couldn’t process the change she was sensing in Maya. She didn’t seem so needy suddenly. There was this look in her eyes. What’s with the look, she thought.

“Look. I was an idiot to marry so early, and well an idiot to divorce him so fast. I wish I listened to my mother. He still calls me, you know, and hasn’t seen anyone since our breakup.” Maya didn’t think she looked particularly distressed, she seemed to be enjoying the attention from her ex.

“I have to go.”, she realised maybe it was a mistake coming to his best friend for advice. Part of Maya came to her, instead of going to her own friends was to convince herself that she was wrong. She felt more confused than ever.
“Its only his mood swings, he hasn’t physically abused you! You should take a baby, that would make him happy”. And thats when three words sliced through her like ice: “make him happy”. Had that all that mattered to anyone? Make him happy? Was she to wait until one day she finds herself staring back at a mirror with a bruised face and a child crying relentlessly? Should she wait to find out if her mental abuse turns to physical abuse and spend the rest of her 42 years with puffy eyes and bitter taste? All to “make him happy”.

As she wrapped around the jacket tighter against the cold mocking wind, her mind raced. Did she love him? The answer was almost instantaneous, yes, thats why she was married to him. A tiny speck of doubt appeared in her mind. She did not know how to define love anymore.Was she happy? The answer was instantaneous aswell, NO! Despite the terrible weather, she enjoyed his absense. She was happy she was by herself, that one day in her life passed without him sneering at her neck. The make-up sweet-talk and romantic dinners did not have any affect on her anymore. Rather, she hated the double standard way he treated her.
Then her thoughts drifted to the night they bumped into Ridoy. She was embarassed of the way he treated her childhood friend. This was exactly why she abandoned her friends : he mistreated them to the point of insult. And she never raised a voice to “make him happy”. Her mind felt like a cyclone. Is this what happens when reality sinks in? Who was to blame for this entangled trap? Trap? Is that what her marriage had become now? A trap?

No matter what, Maya was not to bring a child in this horrid affair. She was adamant on that. To her, a child was a gift from God. Her husband’s best friend so easily gave her a solution to her problems – a child. That was when , once again and this time with certainty, she knew what she did not want. She did not want a child. She did not want a family. She only wanted to smile, to laugh, to talk , and to have an opinion.

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