She looked down at her shimmering gown. It looked fine. Even pretty. Slowly, she adjusted the mask on her face. She wanted to feel like a princess from some fairytale but couldn’t. No, she wasn’t the innocent girl right out of stories. She was a freak who sold her body to earn money.

And then she looked over at him. He stood there wearing a mask but easily recognizable. Everyone knew him and women flocked around him hanging on his every word. Many would know her too. At least half the men in this room had cheated on wives and girlfriends to sleep with her. But the mask would do enough to conceal her identity. Nobody cared for her. For them, she was a faceless young body. 

She knew he had come towards her only after he touched her hands. And she knew he was planning a dance only after taking the first few steps. As she moved with him trying desperately to match his grace, she could feel the fire of all the eyes on her. Disappointed eyes, greedy eyes, lustful eyes. But all she cared for was the slight warmth of his touch on her shoulders and tiny waist. 

Oh, how she wished this would go on forever. How she wished this would be the happy ending were the two of them would live happily ever after. But it wouldn’t be. Tommorow, he would be presiding over some board meeting. And she would be back on her street trying to woo men into having sex with her. 

‘But, I shall have this dance!’

Right out of the movies!

I looked at the sky. It was a bland shade of blue topped with some orange that was caving in from around the corners. He was nowhere around. As usual. Surprise surprise.

 I turned my head and turned it away soon enough as I spotted the tons of people hugging and kissing all around me. Well that was the thing about Valentines Day, wasn’t it? You hug and kiss and call each other cheeky names and revive your promise to love each other till the end.

Ryan (as always) wasn’t around. He wouldn’t come. Nope, he wasn’t late as in the Bollywood movies. He wasn’t going to spring out of somewhere wearing a tux and holding a bouquet. He wasn’t going to apologize for being late and give lame excuses. And I as custom went, would not talk to him for a long time until the flowers are offered. And then my anger would subside and we’d hug and kiss like the rest. Girls can’t deny flowers. Bollywood rule number one. Duh.

But it was a lot better this way. How he avoided Valentines Days and anniversaries. How he brought a smile to my face every time he called me by my full name. How he smirked and pulled a face at all the clich├ęd couples. How he never carried shopping bags. How he never commented on everything I wore; but if he liked it, you’d know it. How he fought with me and never apologized first. How he never planned on all the dates and parties we’d go for until we broke up or got married. Life didn’t have to be your Favourite movie. It just had to be flawed with a lot of love.

Pic Credit: Vecteezy