"I wake up as the curtain over the windows slide and blaring of horns and head high sunlight make their way into my room. My eyes feel sand papery and are puffed up. I call the room service and order a Black Coffee with Omelette. I get up feeling like a rag doll drowned in water – with no energy left to do anything. Abeer’s one letter had thrown me out of course like that – what will meeting him do to me?
You are so dead Ira.
Trrrrrring. Ugh, I forget I am an escort. I check my cell phone. Oh! The call is from the President of a very big company. He wants me to entertain his foreign delegates. He isn’t interested in me.
“Am I speaking to Rhea?” Duh!
“Will you make it by 8 tonight? We have a meeting at Marriott. I will leave you there. The requisite amount will be transferred to your account.” He said in his gruff voice. I was wasting his time.
“I am sorry. I am sick. I don’t think so I can make it tonight....No, I don’t need money. Thank you ----- I said I am not going to do it! Get Lost!” I scream into the mouth piece. My trade name is Rhea. And I was not going to do anything what Rhea does, today.
I get up and walk to the washroom groggily.
Trrring. Trrrrrrrrring. Argh! I pick up the phone and jam it under the mattress.
“Go to Hell! Let me be in Peace!” I scream at no one.
Holding my head in both my hands I get into the bathroom to run hot water in the tub and put some lavender oil I carry with me. Yeah, I know. Fancy. Whatever.
My room door bell rings. I let in the bearer with my breakfast and when he leaves, I bolt the doors shut, giving him an extra tip of Rs.20 for not letting anyone disturb me for the next 7 hours or so. I take off my clothes and lower myself into the tub. My body looks like that of a stranger. I have a blooming blue bruise on my left thigh. Some men are animals and don’t know even the basics of love making. They treat you like chicken and want to tear you apart. My neck hurts and I am disgusted with my own body. I can literally feel million hands all over me, smothering me, choking me, feeding on me.
Oh! What have I done?! How will I face Abeer? Will he even love me again? What am I thinking?
My tears start to fall fresh and I had thought I couldn’t cry more. I sob and sob with my face buried in my hands, wishing that someone could hug me and tell me everything will be all right – that I wasn’t so lost that I couldn’t find my way back home.
I am surprised to find myself at crossroads after four years. I have everything now - new name, new face, money, doting lovers but not the righteous Abeer, who was practical, loving and different. He will be different, always.
When I had enrolled in a designing school, leaving aside my writing dream - the dazzle of the industry made me something else. I was beautiful but I wanted to be sexy and hot. My long dark tresses were chopped to give me an edgy look, my lips puckered in red lipstick and frills, cuts adorned my fragile, dainty body. With the attention I received from every single guy in my college, I was riding high on the waves of ecstasy.
Abeer was there even then, warning me that I was pushing things wayyy too far. I hated his intrusion and purposely did things that would irritate him and give me reasons to fight. I had known him for past 8 years then and it's been 12 years now, since we met...I am still the same - irresponsible, immature and blinded by shallow things.
I slowly rub the bruise and notice different marks all over my body. No amount of bathing can ever heal the scars on my soul, on my conscience. I am cheap. So cheap. I had sold myself for 1500 Rupees - to someone who made me see what luxuries my body can provide me with..."
Will Ira drown in Rhea's personality or will she find a way out of this swamp? Keep reading by loyal friends! :)