Shattered Glass

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As I gradually opened my eyes, I saw my reflection in the mirror. My almond-shaped eyelids were painted in a majestic bronze eyeshadow, that glimmered under the powder room’s white light. My lips were filled with the royal, ruby red. Syncopated with the scarlet of my creased lips, was my precisely situated bindi. The ostentatious, gold Maang Tika was lying in the middle of the head’s parting, adorning the forehead. My ears were ornamented with ornate chains that held the hanging, gold pendant.

 

My eyes welled with tears as I saw my dreams reflect on this mirror. I saw my future flash in front of me – a beautiful marriage tied together with indubitable love. My whole life reeled in front of me as if it were a part of a Bollywood movie. While these thoughts played through my overwhelmed head, I saw from the corner of my eyes, someone walk in. I could recognise these footsteps from anywhere, at any time.

 

Dad.

 

He stood behind me and gently placed one of his palms on my shoulder, and the other, he laid on my head and brushed my hair. Then, he picked the embellished, furbelowed veil, and placed it on my head. It was dyed in the colour of his blood, from the tireless hours of hard work, that he put in for me and for this dream wedding. A subtle smile settled on his clean-shaven face, and the happiness on his tensed face, was priceless.

 

Before I knew it, tears were trickling down my warm cheeks, as he placed a light peck on it. He looked into my eye, from the mirror, and said to lighten the mood,”Do you have cold feet yet? Because you just need to tell me, and we can run away from this sham-of-a-wedding right now. You still have time baby girl.”

 

Immediately, he made me chuckle and smile insanely. Those two words, ‘Baby Girl’, ripped my heart, to excavate the depths of nostalgia. He had not called me that since I was ten, after Mom’s death. He couldn’t have given me a better gift. He then walked in front of me and went on his knees, to look me in the eye, and past my soul. His eyes had a glimmer of confidence and trust, as he said,

”You were made for this. All your life, you have wanted this, and you are getting it all today. Your hopes, your dreams, your wishes are all coming true. Everything you imagined for your ideal day, and your ideal man, is here waiting for you. Grab it and make it yours, forever.”

 

I was made for this.

 

He held my hand, that was filled with henna designs and took me down to the hall. It was not like any ordinary wedding hall. It was THE glass hall. It was a replica of the glass hall, where my favourite Barbie got married. It was the most enchanting and beguiling place I had ever seen.

 

I grabbed the bottom of my majestic, crimson and heavily embroidered dress, to walk down the glass staircase.

 

As I took my first step, every head in the glass hall turned to look at me and heaved loud gasps. Everybody except the man standing on the aisle, waiting for me. His smile had elongated till his ears, but he didn’t seem surprised. It was as if he saw this beauty in me every day and it was nothing new. He was not surprised, he was delighted.

 

My dreams were awaiting me in this enchanting hall; built of strength, transparency, and a promise that will last for as long as my heart beats. Every wall was made of intricately designed pieces of glass. The enchanting, crystal clear walls looked like they had come out from one of Disney’s fantastical movies, as it gleamed under the faint moonlight. It was contrasted with the windows that were teasingly, yet perfectly made of stained glass. The exquisite combination of the walls and the windows made this the faultless and ideal destination for my dream wedding. Furthermore, the borders of every window and corners of the room were ribboned by cascading Begonias, Cardinal flowers, and Carnations. Etherial.

 

Even though, superficially everything seemed to be faultless, there was a nagging feeling in my chest. Something was just not right. Something was incongruous. There were too many people. Too many unknown faces.

 

I finally reached the ground and saw the crowd split on both my sides, to unravel a passage, on which I slowly sauntered with rhythmic steps.

 

However, as my hand slipped out of my father’s arm, and my eyes moved to my fiancé’s glorious, uncontrollable smile, all those negative thoughts vanished in a jiffy.

He moved his hands towards me, in a promise to keep me safe forever.

 

But before I could place my hand on his, there was a loud, deafening sound that dominated the room. A strong wave of heat hit me, and a white screen was placed in front of my eyes that left my mind blank. I was lying flat on the ground. When I struggled to open my eyes, I saw how my flesh was baked to the point where it was crispy and had charred to expose fresh tissue that was as red as my veil but was battered with charcoal dust. Shards of shattered glass pierced through my skin and slit my muscle, to leave my hand oozing blood uncontrollably. A ringing sound lingered stubbornly in my ear.

 

I was lying on a layer of shattered glass of wrecked hopes, dreams, wishes and devastated promises. My heart was beating faintly. My eyes were filled with unshed tears, that blurred my vision. All I could see was smoke of the hazy future and wildfire that fenced the room and gorged on the flowers, bordering the room. There was fire corroding my abandoned heart too, as I lifted my head to look into his unblinking, red eyes. Every moment felt like excruciating years, that I wanted to fast forward through. But I laid there shattered, with the glass.

Lisha is an avid reader, writer, and a Philomath, who seeks solace in novels and movies. She is too silent and awkward in person, so she weaves webs of words that sound like stories and traps her readers. She is not a fan of clichés and even though, she is accused of thinking “too” out-of-the-box, she doesn’t believe that there is anything like that. Ideas and thoughts cannot be measured or limited.

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