they bring diamonds and rust. ~ joan baez
I love this song. It makes me terribly nostalgic. Not for any person. But for the whole concept of love, and how doomed it really is. So well, I wrote a story about it. And now I present to you, my version of diamonds and rust.
She stared at the letters in her hand. She knew every word written inside.
Promises of love. Dreams he saw. Conversations he had. His friends. They were all there, in these letters.
She blinked as she looked up. The house was silent. U was in the bath. She could hear the shower.
The windowless kitchen was bathed in a fluorescent yellow light, from the new eco saving bulbs they had switched to. As usual, everything was perfect, in its place. The pretty jute basket with onions and potatoes. The set of knives on a wooden block. The sauce, the pepper grinder and butter dish in a tray. She noticed them all, carefully bought, well looked after. This is what she had always wanted.
She looked down at his letters again. Yesterday she met the woman he was serious about.
She hadn’t wanted to. Oh, some part of her was curious. Would she be thin? Fat? Pretty? Smart? A bitch? But she was scared; he had never asked her to meet any of his girlfriends before.
At dinner she knew why. He was serious about this woman. It was the way he looked at her. The way their heads touched when they scanned the menu. The way he said her name. Even though they tried hard not to give it away. Not to let any of their feelings for each other leak out, she could feel it.
She smiled brightly through it all. Laughed at how they must look. The ex and the present all having a good time together. This is so nice. Why can’t more people be civilised about this sort of thing?
When the gooey chocolate arrived, and she was just beginning to feel the tiredness sweep through her limbs, he looked at her, and said, “ Sleepy? Let’s go, I’ll ask for the bill.” She felt her heart stop. She still loved him. Even after two years, countless days, drunken nights, flings, a marriage....
He was saying something. She looked up. “ We plan to get married end of this year. Her folks are coming down from agra...”
That was it. She always thought that the day she tore his letters she’ll have a grand party. Call all her friends. Laugh and sing till the wee hours of the morning. Because it would be over. She would be healed. He would be forgotten.
And the letters... she imagined a bonfire. Dropping a lit matchstick into the pile, and watching them go up in flames.
But it was 8:15 on a Tuesday morning. And she’d have to start getting breakfast ready. U would be out of the shower any minute now. And she’d miss her ride to work.
So that’s how the letters ended up. Like her feelings for him. Jumbled up in a dustbin, in the kitchen. Soaked with egg shells, onion peels and wet tea leaves. .