MONOLOGUE OF A PAPER BOAT
I used to be a paper boat. With lines and margins across my body. And folds on this side and that end. The girl who made me, she was made of glass. I could feel it. Her skin, cold and light, had written a letter on me in blue ink, before folding this side and that end to make me into a paper boat.
And once she was done, she smiled. I wondered, was it a love letter? I watched as she kept me waiting on her desk and got dressed in front of the mirror. She put on some colours here and there, under her eyes and on her lips. I watched as she stared at the mirror.
And once she was done, she smiled. I wondered, was it a love letter? Then she picked me up by the tip of my sail and dropped me in her bag. Carefully, though, so as not to crumple or fold my sides. So I sat in one corner of her bag, absorbing the scent of her perfume and lipstick and blue-inkpen that she had hurriedly thrown inside. I wobbled as the car sped through the city lights and city rush and city noise until it was quiet. There were whispers and mild laughter. There were smiles and chuckles.
I heard him, his voice, for the first time. He, who she had written the letter to. I sat there listening to them chit-chat, make jokes until suddenly things around me moved and I saw the light as she raised me out of the bag. She held me with her fragile fingers and slowly put me on his open palm. She reminded him not to open my folds till after she was gone. The letter, after all, it was to remind him of her when she wasn’t there. I wondered, was it a love letter? He put me on the bedpost before closing the door, and placing a kiss on her forehead.
I stood there, basking in the glory of love, proud for being a thread, albeit a paper one, that carried thoughts on her mind to his. From the bedpost I could look down to a whole new world confined within the four walls of his purple-painted room. Candles across the room behind which the lovers’ shadows danced, a mirror on the opposite wall, few photos on his desk, and a bowl of water, next to the bed, carrying floating candles. The water scared me, but I stood there boldly, un-crumpled, unopened, unaware I was holding a world of words that would never be read.
A world of words that would never be read…
Because something was off in the air. Suddenly the candles weren’t so bright and the air wasn’t so soft. There weren’t laughter or whispers. There weren’t smiles. I heard her try to shift out of his arm, let out slight cries as he held her tight….
The girl who made me, she was made of glass. I could feel it. I could hear it.
Because suddenly the mirror on the wall had cracks on it, and she had blood on her skin.
I could hear her breaking, her heart cracking, her mind in pieces.
She gasped and fought but he wouldn’t let go. He held her tight and covered her mouth as she tried to fight her way out but she kept failing yet fighting, but failing again. Until she gave up. And let him take over. The bed moved vehemently and I shook and I shook and I shook until I fell into the bowl of water. The tip of my sail slipped by one of the candles and caught fire before dipping into the water. The fire ended almost immediately. Yet it burned. Panic rippled across my margins and lines that she had earlier scribbled on. My folds opening, the ink on my skin running, a horrifying mix of water molecules and fear, seeping into every bit inside of me.
I cried, I tried, I fought to keep it together so that he would be able to read the letter! But as I drowned, the blue ink dissolved and bits of me tore away, rippling across the bowl. I wondered, was it a love letter?
But what did I know. I was just a paper boat.