Of Monsters and Men

“Do you think it’s going to be easy?”

“I know it’s not, but there’s no other way. I can’t do cold turkey—that has never suited me.”

Hadn’t Maya held the gaze even after she stopped talking, Bini wouldn’t have bought it for the world. But well, it was Maya. She had always had bizarre ways of coping with heartaches.

Growing up, Maya was a brave kid. Whenever she feared the possible presence of a monster in her room, instead of hiding under the blanket, she sat upright on her bed and looked around, attentively, making sure that all was clear.

At 24, not much had changed. Of course the imaginary monsters had been replaced by human beings who stripped naked their demons. But, the way she coped was still the same. She didn’t like hiding away or closing her eyes when a monster lingered around. Instead, she made sure it was in her plain sight. She made sure she knew its every move. She made sure that it knew she wasn’t afraid.

Few months ago, when Maya found a monster in the person she loved most, she was devastated. She was in shock. For days, she struggled to soak it in. For days, she wandered around, completely distracted. Some days, she sat in one corner for endless hours, detangling her emotions that submerged her heart. Other days, she struggled to rise above her misery as the gravity of truth weighed her down.

Last week though, she made a call. She confronted it. Fuming with rage, she attacked her monster with all that she had, and in every possible way she could. And the monster stood still, letting her cause him bruises that would never really heal her own wounds.

It took her 24 hours to realize that the person who she thought brought out the best in her had brought out the worst in her that day.

But Maya was a brave woman. She didn’t want to hide from her monster; she didn’t want to run away from it. She wanted it in her plain sight. She wanted to watch her monster every single day, until it decided to disappear on its own. She wanted to keep her eyes wide open, making sure all is clear, making sure it didn’t for a second think that she was terrified.

“I am sure this is the best way to cope. I want to transition from lovers to strangers. I can’t shut him out, just yet.” She said to Bini.