She finally arrives and starts talking non-stop about how painful it is to live with in-laws.
This instantly reminds you of that one long month with the parents that was spent dodging questions about your whereabouts and trying hard not to comment on the sheer stupidity of the
speculation about how your lifestyle and your stubbornness may have impacted your decision to leave him, and the
horror stories adventures that followed, such as the first house you ever rented.
No more of this constant nagging. I have a new home now. Your new house is beautiful and its pristine white walls have filled you up with contentment. Apart from the fact, of course, that you’ve spent a painfully long time and a small fortune trying to select a dinner set with just the right shades of green and blue to match the upholstery in your ready-to-move-in ground floor apartment.
Within hours, your kitchen is well-stocked and you know where everything is. You can reach out inside a shelf, pick up a container, and tell what’s inside without even looking at it. There’s enough room for your clothes, and none for embarrassment caused by the father or the father-in-law walking in to your room unannounced only to find undergarments strewn all over your bed.
Life couldn’t be more perfect.
Until after the party. You’re amazed at how cold the house feels when everyone has left. Housewarming, you say to yourself, and smile as you clear the last few plates.
You’re trying to sleep, and that should be easy because sleeping has always been an ‘alone’ thing for you, despite being married. But today, you can’t sleep. The newness of the house suddenly becomes too overwhelming. You spend your first night in the house imagining shadows on the window.
The next day, you’re at work and things seem normal, but you’re dreading going back home. You hang back with a few colleagues for drinks. You go home drunk and dead sure you’ll doze off in no time. But again, no sleep. This time, it’s strange noises, as though something snake-like is slithering inside the walls.
Then one day, you find the ketchup bottle on the kitchen slab. That’s really strange, because you don’t eat ketchup, except with a sandwich, and you never make sandwiches. Also, you could’ve sworn you put the bottle in the cupboard the day you bought it and never took it out.
A week later, the noises are still there and things are still walking around in the house, and you’re darned sure there’s something wrong with the house. Something is not right, you say to the landlady, because I swear I left the bedroom light on and the door open when I left. I even took a picture. See?
Oh that! The landlord chips in. I saw that the light was on, and it was daytime, so I went and switched it off for you. I also shut the bedroom door, he says, sounding very kind and helpful.
You’re so mad you could rip his eyes out.
I’m sorry, did you just fucking say you entered MY apartment without my
fucking knowledge OR permission? Why the fuck would you have a key to my fucking apartment? You’re carefully editing the expletives at this point, because well, Indian mentality, respect the elders, etc.
Oh, I didn’t think it was a big deal.
Not a big deal? Screw respect for the elders. Did you just use not and big deal in the same fucking sentence? I’m a woman and I fucking live alone. What the fuck is wrong with you?
By this time you’re screaming like a banshee, nostrils flaring and claws out.
No no beta, don’t think like that. You’re just like my daughter.
Beta my ass! Explain that to my missing denim bra, you pervert!
Give me ALL the keys you have to my apartment, you asshole. Like right NOW. And NEVER enter my house without my permission, or I will call the police and sue you for harassment. You understand that?
You storm out of their house, filled with spite and the satisfaction of the
knowledge assumption that things could only get better from here on.