Self Love

Sheela Iyer posted under Flash Fiction



 I am a chartered accountant and a trained singer. I loved to explore places and often travelled either solo or with friends. My family and friends considered me to be the luckiest of my siblings. When I turned 23, my parents found an alliance for me. Kartik's good looks, black eyes, dimpled smile, and physique impressed me instantly. He also had a good job and a decent salary. We soon tied the knot within two months of our engagement. I felt on cloud nine and expressed gratitude to the universe for the blessings he bestowed upon me. A year passed. Things were now very different and no more exciting. “Though the coin remains the same, flipping may make a difference. It can bring a lot of change. The coin may not decide your fate but hope surely will. It settles the questions and doubts for a while and helps you take a better decision.” My dad’s words kept ringing in my mind, and I could not sleep. I woke up and sat on the bed with palms on my head. Tears pooled in my eyes. I closed my eyes to squeeze out the tears. I came out on the lawn and sat on the rocking chair. My husband was not in town. I had called one of my close friends to accompany me that night. But gripped by anxiety, I completely forgot about her.   “Time is the coin of our life. We need to spend it carefully.” Anna said softly. “Oh, Anna, when did you come?” I asked my best friend. “I came Just now. Your maid said you are sitting on the lawn. What is it that’s bothering you?” I have never seen you like this. You seem to be so lost nowadays. Besides, you have not been posting any of your travel pictures lately. Did you stop travelling? Anna asked with concern. “Yes, almost stopped,” I said. “Why? What happened?” Anna inquired.  “It’s just that Kartik is neither getting any time nor interested in travelling with me,” I replied with a tinge of sadness in my voice. "Kartik wanted me to leave my job and look after the house. I did, and now I am left out with only cooking, getting groceries, cleaning the house and waiting for him for hours. His behaviour and attitude have changed towards me. At times he is even abusive. My relatives started pouring in sympathy. I, too, pitted myself,” I continued. My annoyance was converting into anger while I was narrating all of these.   “So what? Were you not travelling alone all these years? Why are you now dependent on Kartik? So is this what you wanted in life? You are educated and were so independent. Where is the self-love you always spoke about and encouraged others to love themselves?” Anna questioned. “Look, every coin has two sides. Right? One side means staying in this relationship and stop chasing your dreams. The other side talks about nourishing your soul and loving your precious life. We are not caged birds. When you toss a coin in the air, which side do you hope you want to be?” Anna asked “You are right, Anna. I had forgotten that every coin has two sides. Just a few minutes ago, I pondered over my dad’s words and could not come to terms. Thank you, Anna, for being there. You are a sweetheart and a true friend.” I said with a smile.   Till now, I only saw one side of the coin and never flipped to see the other bright side. I realized I didn’t have to censor myself from this beautiful world. I gathered the courage and decided to put my foot down. I wanted to be myself and pamper my soul. I thought, if I continue to stay in this abusive and meaningless relationship, I will never be able to do what I love. I need to trust and embrace myself again. This thought made me feel like a free bird flying high in the azure and limitless sky. Whenever I felt low or found it difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I flipped the coin not because it gave my problems a solution but because there was an undying hope. A hope that I would never bid adieu. I'm currently single, but I'm very excited and content. I learnt a lesson forever. If you cannot see the shine, flip the coin.    Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!