This blog contains material I wrote and posted on between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).

Thursday, 11 October 2012

What Did You Do To Deserve This?

What did you ever do to deserve this?

You thought it would be the best day of your life, the culmination of all your desires, the justification of your existence. Oh yes, you’d wanted this, you’d hugged this to yourself, fondling your bulging belly and counting off the days. It was what you’d lived for, these last nine months, and even before that, whenever you’d thought of it, that’s all you thought about, right back to the time when you were the school beauty and the teacher’s pet.

Yes, you have a beautiful home, and a wonderful husband, and a good job, which brings you in plenty of money, wonderful, wonderful. All you needed to complete it was the baby, and for the last nine months all you wanted was for it to come. You sang to it, you talked to it, you ate for it, you even read to it and played music for it. You were resolved to be the perfect parent, and this would be the acme of your existence, motherhood as the culmination of all your efforts. And today was the day.

Yes, you thought as the labour pains began, this would be wonderful, the pain was sweet, the pangs of a new life, and you smiled all the way into the delivery room, and spread your legs wide for the obstetrician, and pushed nicely when told to push, and the baby came easily, came so easily, the baby came easily in a rush of milk-white maggotflesh, the baby, yes, a wriggling limbless mass with the eyes of a cornered rat, which snapped with its toothless gums and tried to bite.

And now when you stand at your window, the first day they would let you at home, and you think about why your husband won’t touch you any more, why he sleeps in the spare bedroom, and you think about the wriggling creature that came crawling out of your womb and was later quietly destroyed, and you begin to shake with despair, and the end of hope, and you wonder why, you wonder why your god is punishing you like this and what you ever did to deserve this.

And later, when you lie awake and watch the moths flutter at your window, you will know despair again, you will know despair worse than you feel it now, and you’ll go over your life and wonder why it’s all happening, and then maybe then you will remember me. I don’t think you will, and I don’t think you will make the connection if you did, but perhaps you will remember me, and the time when you were the teacher’s pet and the school beauty and I the ugly stupid girl at class, the one who was weird, and you used to cut me with your razor blades and stab me with your dividers, secure in the knowledge that I could never do anything to you then, that the teacher would never believe me if I complained; and maybe you will remember how, the last time you cut me, I looked up at you, the blood welling from the slash in my arm, and instead of crying or asking you to stop, all I did was look at you and nod quietly.

It was long ago and far away, but perhaps you will remember that, and perhaps then you will remember, too, the old saying that revenge is a dish best eaten cold, and then, at last, you might remember, too, the hate in my eyes.

Copyright B Purkayastha 2009


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