ETWA|Ch12b: Are Eyes For Seeing?

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Every Thing We Are is a coming of age novel where Samyukta aka Sam learns that every thing we are is not always on display. This is my first attempt at writing a novel. I started this project as part of #NaNoWriMo2020 before I fell off the wagon. Hope you will read along as I get back to writing it. All episodes of this series are available on the ETWA page. Subscribe to my writing here.


Trigger Warning: This chapter contains graphic mentions of suicide methods, self-loathing and alludes to mental health issues.


It could have been me. It could have been me. It could have been me. It could have been me.

She repeated like a chant. This was a newly acquired habit. It numbed her brain. A pleasant feeling. She found it hard to stop. She had been cruel to Adil and John even though it could very well have been her. If it were her, a girl, her classmates’ reaction would probably have been worse. And yet, she had been cruel. I am horrible. I am horrible. I am horrible. I am horrible. I am horrible. I am horrible. Another chant formed spontaneously. 

What if I didn’t exist tomorrow? This whole body of disgusting, lesbian me. What if I were to vanish. Would they miss me if I wasn’t in my room? How long would it be before anyone even notices? They would perhaps be happy to rid themselves of this prashnam. One less thing to worry about. One less justification to make to colleagues, friends and relatives.

Achams was snoring lightly now, periodically. Sam liked this white noise, a relaxing ASMR experience. How would I vanish? She thought, lying in bed, staring out of the window, paying no heed to the din of the city.

I could hang myself from the ceiling fan. What would I need—a saree or a belt maybe? It’s very painful, she’d heard from Siam. Zassies were talking about how the films make it look so easy. Anyway, she’s not allowed to close her room door. Nor is she ever left alone. So hanging would be a difficult feat. 

I could slit my wrists like a helpless heroine. That would be very dramatic. I could do it in the bathroom. How long does it take to bleed out? Do they keep track of how long I take in the bathroom? They probably do. I’ll need a knife or blade that’s sharp enough to make a gash deep enough. Mama would notice right away if one of her knives were missing.

Another option is to pop some pills. Achams’ pillbox is by her bedside. She has diabetes, hypertension and a heart condition. Her pillbox could literally be lethal. I could collect them over a week. I could vanish in my sleep. Would the capsules make too much noise popping and rustling as I open them?

What’s the point of living anyway? There’s no point. There’s no point. There’s no point.  There’s no point. There’s no point. There’s no point. There’s no point. There’s no point.  My parents are not going to let me be. They will not allow me to go to college. If Chinnu is to be believed, they will marry me off in a couple of months to the first man who shows interest. Just to get me off their hands. They already want to cure me. Wouldn’t I be doing them a favour by disappearing?

At least they would be able to put this shameful incident behind them and be happy again. Up until a month ago, they were a happy family, right? I used to think I was lucky to be a part of this family. And now they are worrying so much because of me. It is my fault. I am the rotten egg here. I am making Mama-Papa fight. I am getting Chetta all worked up. I am even making Chinnu pick sides. I am the bad apple. I had to go.

But there was nowhere to run. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to run. They’ve made it impossible to leave the house. Even if I managed to sneak out somehow, where would I go? If I went to one of my friends’ houses, their parents would send me back for sure. Their parents would surely know about me by now. If I was to leave the city, where would I go? Where and how do I catch a bus out of here?

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. She shook her head to make the loop stop.

If I were to stay in the city, where would I go? Who could I go to? Who would listen to me? Madhu. Yes, I could go to Madhu, she thought for a moment. But what could she do? If her parents got to know she liked me, they would perhaps do the same thing to her. I have no money either. All the money I won in dance competitions I’ve given Mama for safekeeping. It was just simpler to cease to exist. Cleaner. Calmer. 

Cease to exist. Cleaner. Calmer. Cease to exist. Cleaner. Calmer. Cease to exist. Cleaner. Calmer. Cease to exist. Cleaner. Calmer. Unscientific as it may be, the head shake seemed to have made the loops shorter.

She tried to imagine them finding her body. She conjured up their faces. A cold shiver went down her spine. No, that was a truly scary thought. No, I couldn’t do that. She began counting upwards from 1001 again, desperately summoning sleep.

Thank you for reading today’s chapter. As this is the first draft of the novel, I expect a lot of changes in subsequent drafts before this goes to print. I would love to hear what you thought of this chapter and how I could make this better. Hope you will leave your tips in the comments below.

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Next Chapter | Ch13a: A Small Talk Tsunami

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