“You have been pushing this for long,” She threw her hands in the air in exasperation. “It is your birthday party you know!” Even a deaf man could not miss her emphasis on ‘is’. When she received no reply, she took in a deep breath. “Ten minutes,” she announced. “I can keep them entertained without you for ten minutes. Tops! After that they want to be with you. They are here for you. You have no right to deny them that!” She turned and stomped towards the door. With one hand on the doorknob she tilted her head to make herself more audible and said softly, “those people are here because they love you. Don’t disappoint them.”
Love. She smirked. The people on the other side of the door did not love her! They wanted her. They needed her. But they did not love her. Half of them wanted what her money could buy, the other half needed her networks. Not one amidst the three hundred people come to celebrate her birthday had really come because they loved her! She swirled the glass in her wine and watched the ruby fluid slide smoothly down the walls of the goblet. In the gathering pool of red at the bottom of her glass were dreams drenched in her blood, relationships she had sacrificed and love she had murdered.
All of this to get to the top of an empty space where bodies are mummified in their ambitions. Where money was the embalming fluid which preserved the fake beauty of human artifacts and real human beings looked in through glass windows coveting the delusional glory. She swallowed the remaining wine in one gulp and was about to pour herself another glass when she caught her reflection in the mirror.
Her dress was dazzling. It was created by one of the top designers. He had spent a month thinking what her birthday dress would be. Not because he wanted it to reflect who she was, he wanted it speak of who she had become. He wanted it to be covered by the journalists and for another month he wanted to be the talk of the town. He had not done a bad deal either. Soft golden silk hugged her curves sensuously before flowing down in asymmetrical frills just above her knee. Her narrow waist was accentuated by a Swarowski studded belt which glinted gold in the harsh yellow light of dressing table.
She moved her eyes upwards to the bare column of her neck. Further up to her garish red lips which people found so luscious, up the bridge of her nose to her eyes. Long ago someone had told her that her eyes reflected her soul. She squinted at the black pearly staring back at her. She wanted to see something left of her soul. Some hope. Some light. Some glint. Something. Anything. She searched the black orbs with an intensity she did not know she possessed. She needed to find her soul in those eyes. She looked frantically.
Yet all that stared back at her were two lifeless dots, rimmed with spectacular make-up. She swallowed a sob. Her eyes sparked to life at that. She swallowed another small lump of tears. Her eyes shimmered awake. Dancing delicately on the gold sprinkled mascara were the first traces of her tears. They looked like they might have traces of her soul in them. She blinked hard. She could not let those tears flow. They were all she had!
The tears rolled down nevertheless. They took whatever little life she had left with them.
Angrily she grabbed the bottle of wine and stumbled towards the balcony. She raised the bottle to her lips and took long swigs which did nothing to calm her. It smelled lovely outside. It smelled of careless summers and grass swept monsoons. It smelled like the blush of a teenager having her first crush. She lifted her button nose into the air and inhaled deeply.
She started a little. It took her by surprise. She drew her hand under her nose, where she could see it better. There, right under her third knuckle was the crystal clear drop of rain. She smiled. It seemed to smile back at her. Another drop joined him as he plopped on her wrist. Another one landed on her hand. She was sure she was catching some in her hair.
They started multiplying rapidly all over her body. They danced in the faint magic created by the city lights. She laughed at their performance. Suddenly they were everywhere. On her expensive golden dress, on her silly red lips, on her mosaic tiled terrace, everywhere! There was a huge rumble which shook her to her bones.
And then it rained!