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It was long after midnight when I woke up and realized Charlie had not come home, again. I didn’t want to think he was with someone else. I never did.

Over the lavender scent of AirWick I could smell the pungent stench. That’s how I knew he was somewhere in the house with an exorbitant amount down the drain, or because I was attuned to the fumes by the memory of my father. The reek hit me like a tornado and pushed me against the wall of back in time. On the contrary, I did not take the walk down memory lane though the past is the blueprint of the present.

In the toilet that’s where he was, propped against the toilet seat, his legs splayed out awkwardly. A bottle of Tusker lay on its side, dripping into a puddle that ran to where he sat. He held a second bottle by the neck. His eyes rolled back in their sockets, their whites an obscene gob popping out. He breathed in slow shallow gasps, and he had vomited on himself. Add peeing to that.

For an instance I couldn’t move a muscle, even my mouth to call him. A knot tightened around my chest making it harder and harder for me to breathe. A cold curl of fear unravelled at the pit of my stomach before the thought – he is dead – crossed my mind.

The he stirred. He began to waken. Without thinking, I took the bottle from him and emptied it in the toilet. Next thing was to help him up, but he was twice as big, and drunk.

You’re doing what a wife should, a voice whispered. It was my mother’s. She did it religiously till it killed her. Some other woman does it today.

I know, I told the ghost of my mother. It runs in the family.

But I knew it was the last time I was doing it; if not for me, for my daughter.

Born in Curse

When I stand to go, the first step is the hardest, but I take it. All I am thinking is I want to get myself out of the curse of being her ‘only child’. My spirit is bubbling from deep inside. It is that liberating. I will go and forget I had an elderly mother. I won’t look back, I decide. Even when, and if, she realizes that daughters too are children who can take care of their parents, I won’t come back, I tell myself. I am getting away from the curse, taking back my life. 

Prison Break

I am former beauty (and drama) queen, better known for throwing tantrums than runway prowess. In my days as the reigning Miss You I met, and slept, with men of

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