All her life G wanted to be the ultimate party girl. Hanging out with friends who would praise her jewelry and clothes. Tell her how accomplished she is and how perfect is her life. She wanted to have money to spend, a husband who would accompany her to movies and parties. In short, a middle-class life without the usual boundaries. Unfortunately, life and circumstances had other plans and while some of these wishes did come true, they did so fleetingly. For G, this disappointment would scar her life forever.
G came from almost impoverished circumstances. Her father had passed away suddenly leaving the family penniless…. a fact she always romanticized so that it would help her to cope better. She was barely seventeen, at the cusp of an adulthood that seemed shorn of all hope. Academic skills were not her forte, while anything else was out of the question because money was always in very short supply. The only way out, as in most families in such situations, was a good marriage. G was good looking, lively, happy and eager to take on the world, except that she was unprepared about how to.
Marriage was an adventure and she took to it. Wholeheartedly at first and then when the cracks began to appear she started retreating. The fights, the foul language, the bitterness and the eventual disgust evolved and grew till it completely engulfed her. Misery, loneliness and depression leached away all feelings till what was left behind was a shell. Through it all she blamed him. With every fibre of her being, she blamed him. For reducing her to this.
It was when her mind started to give way that she decided that this would be her revenge. A revenge so insidious that it would poison his every living, breathing moment and even if he wanted to, there would be no escape.
And so her mind started slipping away. The doctors called it a form of dementia. A woman who had loved life to the hilt, enjoyed dressing up and going out was now restricted to a small corner of her home. And he suffered through it all with her because that was what she willed him to do. He continued to cling on to life by a wisp of a thread. A frail, weak-minded and frightened man who could not break away. He could feel himself suffocating and dying slowly…brain cell by brain cell. Just like he had killed her passion for life with his overbearing negativity.
Yet he loved her. Finally she was fully dependent on him. She was incapable of defying him because he had killed her spirit. Now he could love her in his way. He talked to her. Referred to her in his conversations. Checked on her. All he got in response was grunts and wild rants. But it didn’t bother him.
The dysfunctional relationship continues. As he dies bit by bit, she continues on. A woman with no functioning brain cell willing him to live on. Occasionally, her eyes betray the hint of something. Feelings? A vicious pleasure in denying him both life and death? Every breath she takes now is a breath taken away from him and that will continue till she decides that he has paid enough.
The perfect revenge, indeed.