Paper Cuts

She sat in front of the blank sheet wondering where to start. She looked at the variety of pens on the desk. He rarely wrote nowadays, most of his works were directly typed on his laptop. The writer’s desk was just for photo-ops with the media.

Yet somehow every day he managed to clutter the desk. Did he ever even notice that she still held the dream of being his muse? Just before their wedding, they had carefully chosen the desk big enough for her to lean with her cup of tea looking out of the window watching the sunrise, while he sat and wrote looking at her.

“Your eyes tell stories, I merely copy them,” he once said looking into her eyes. She had shivered. She felt as if he had seen her deep down and read every thought she hid in her heart.

“One look and he knows what is going on inside me,” she had said to her friend. “I have read his poetry, he knows me inside out.” Their age difference was a concern for her parents.

“He is twenty-eight,” Dad had said. “Ten years is a big gap,” mother had tried to reason. But she was word struck. She felt comfortable in the cushion of his words. They calmed her down like no other.

It took fourteen years and a daughter, to realize how easy it was to write about a love-struck teenager. They all felt the same. Raging hormones, rebellious streak, and carried away by words they just learned to understand.

She tried to recall the last time they both were together, when she stood leaning on the table with a cup of tea, watching the sunrise, while he sat next to her, writing. It never really happened. All that he had promised her remained like unhealed cuts in her memories.

He was a late riser. “Always have been,” he had smiled and said on the night of their wedding. “I write through the night.”

“So you don’t need the window to watch the sunrise?” she had innocently asked hoping to make it her space.

“Of course, I do. I need it to keep the cigarette smoke out,”

She sighed and looked around the cluttered desk once again. She picked up the paperback that he casually threw on the desk after reading, never bothering to keep it on the bookstand.

“Ouch!” she sucked the blood oozing out of her finger.

“What happened?” he murmured in sleep.

“Paper Cut” she replied.

“Oh, paper cuts are deep,” he remarked and turned the other way to continue his nap.

“The first cut is the deepest,” she whispered watching the sunrise.


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